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Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Update: The Legal Battle Behind the Gloss

Any of us has tried to straighten our hair, or at least we know someone who did. However, we have never thought that this beauty product would be the reason for so many hair relaxer lawsuits.

How does a hair relaxer work?

A hair relaxer is a chemical product designed to straighten and manage naturally curly, kinky, or wavy hair. It works by breaking down the protein structure in the hair, primarily keratin, which gives hair its natural shape. This chemical process alters the hair’s texture, making it smoother and easier to style. Hair relaxers are often used by individuals who want to achieve a straighter hair look or make their hair more manageable.

Hair relaxers typically contain strong alkaline chemicals, most commonly sodium hydroxide or calcium hydroxide, which are applied to the hair and left on for a specific amount of time. The chemicals break down the hair’s disulfide bonds, which are responsible for the hair’s natural curl or wave pattern. After the relaxer is applied and rinsed, the hair is neutralized with an acidic product to stop the chemical reaction and restore the hair’s pH balance.

The Hair Relaxer’s Begining and the Lastest Update

Following the NIEHS study conducted in October 2022 that revealed a correlation between uterine cancer development and the regular use of hair relaxers among women, those who have suffered harm have initiated legal actions in federal courts across the nation. Currently, 

and according to the last hair relaxer lawsuit update in August 2023, there are 275 pending cases in the hair relaxer class action MDL. Another 36 new cases were added to the MDL over the last 30 days. It is possible that this number could rise given the widespread usage of these hair products. Consequently, these cases will be consolidated under multidistrict litigation overseen by federal district judge Mary Rowland. This consolidation aims to streamline the process of pre-trial matters and discovery.The primary defendants in these lawsuits are L’Oréal SA, Godrej SON Holdings Inc., and Dabur International Ltd. The plaintiffs contend that these companies were aware of the harmful chemicals present in their products but still chose to market and sell them. In response, L’Oréal, the central defendant, asserts its confidence in the safety of its products and states that the recently filed lawsuits lack legal merit.

How Can a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Be Filed?

Filing a hair relaxer lawsuit involves several steps and considerations. If you have been harmed or experienced negative effects due to the use of a hair relaxer product and are considering filing a lawsuit, here’s a general outline of the process:

Consultation with an Attorney:

Seek legal advice from an attorney who specializes in personal injury or product liability cases. Look for a lawyer who has experience with similar cases or consumer protection issues. During the initial consultation, provide detailed information about your situation.

Gathering Evidence:

Collect all relevant evidence, including photographs of any injuries or damages, records of medical treatments and expenses, receipts or records of the product purchase, and any communication (emails, letters) related to the product.

Medical Evaluation:

Obtain a medical evaluation from a healthcare professional who can document and assess the extent of your injuries or health issues resulting from the use of the hair relaxer. This medical documentation is crucial for supporting your claims.

Investigation:

Your attorney will investigate the product, its ingredients, potential defects, manufacturer’s history, and any prior incidents or complaints related to the product.

They will assess whether there are grounds for a lawsuit based on product liability, negligence, false advertising, or other legal claims.

Filing the Lawsuit:

If your attorney believes you have a valid case, they will draft and file a formal lawsuit on your behalf in the appropriate court. The lawsuit will outline your claims, the damages you’re seeking, and the legal basis for your case.

Notification and Response:

After the lawsuit is filed, the defendants will be served with legal notification. They will have a designated period to respond to the lawsuit.

Discovery Phase:

Both sides will engage in the discovery process, during which evidence is exchanged. This may involve document requests, interrogatories, depositions, and more.

Negotiation and Settlement:

Many lawsuits are resolved through negotiation before going to trial. Your attorney will work with the defendant’s legal team to potentially reach a settlement agreement that compensates you for your injuries and damages.

Trial:

If a settlement cannot be reached, your case might proceed to trial. Both sides will present their evidence, and a judge or jury will decide the outcome.

The most important aspect to note is that legal processes can vary based on jurisdiction and the specifics of your case. Consult with a qualified attorney who can guide you through the specific steps required for your situation.