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Users of Hair Straighteners Who Got Cancer Seek Compensation

Posted By Legal Team | March 26 2024 | Firm News

A federal lawsuit against L’Oreal, Revlon, Dark & Lovely and other companies alleges that the businesses that sell hair straightener products, knew, or should have known, that the use of the dangerous chemicals in the products would increase the risk of cancer. They marketed and sold them anyway without so much as a warning label.  

As of March 2024, there were 8,334 hair straightener lawsuits pending in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, in Chicago. With its background in class action lawsuits and product liability, Smith LaCien LLP was asked to serve as co-counsel on some of these cases.  

Studies Demonstrate Notable Association 

In their lawsuits, scores of plaintiffs – predominantly Black women – noted a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in October 2022 that found an association between the frequent use of hair-straightening products and uterine cancer. The study data included 33,497 U.S. women ages 35-74 participating in the Sister Study that sought to identify risk factors for breast cancer and other health conditions.  

Because Black women use hair straightening products more frequently (defined as more than four times a year) and tend to start using them at an earlier age than other races and ethnicities, the risk to frequent users was shown to be higher. 

No Product Recall Issued 

No recall was issued on the listed products. One reason that the FDA refuses to take hair relaxers off the shelves is that the agency is not required to test cosmetics before they are sold in the U.S. 

Lawyers who are involved in these cases are seeking a Special Master to oversee the exchange of information between the plaintiffs and the defendants, which will help the lawsuits proceed smoothly and efficiently.  

An experienced Chicago product liability lawyer can help you decide if you have a case, and then navigate the civil litigation process on your behalf. 

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