In October 2022, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced surprising new findings from the Sister Study, a long-term study to identify risk factors for breast cancer by examining data from over 50,000 pairs of sisters. Researchers identified a causal link between regular use of chemical hair relaxers and an increased risk of uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, and other hormone-driven female health conditions. They noted that frequent users of the products had a 150% increased risk of uterine cancer and an elevated risk of ovarian cancer compared to women who did not use the products.
The news spurred lawsuits from individuals who claimed they were harmed by the chemicals in these hair care products. The defendants include the manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of these popular products. In response to the growing number of hair relaxer uterine cancer lawsuits, a multi-district litigation was established in the Northern District of Illinois to conserve resources and manage the litigation. The legal team at Lawsuit Legal News put together this Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuit Update to help you follow the progress of the hair relaxer MDL.
Hair Relaxer Uterine Cancer Lawsuit Updates – August 2023
The hair relaxer multi-district litigation was established just six months ago, but already there are at least 236 pending cases thanks to a recent surge in filings. The growth of this mass tort is expected to continue as more women become aware of the link between hair relaxers and uterine cancer and other female reproductive conditions.
Hair straighteners and relaxers are widely used among women of color, especially Black women—a population that already has a higher-than-average risk of uterine cancer. If you or a loved one regularly used these products and was diagnosed with uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine fibroids, or endometriosis, contact the legal team at Lawsuit Legal News today to learn if you can bring a hair relaxer uterine cancer lawsuit.
July 18, 2023 – Hair Relaxer MDL Filings Reach All-Time High
Dozens more lawsuits were added to the MDL last month—the highest monthly count of new cases since the MDL was established in February. There are at least 236 cases currently pending in the hair relaxer MDL—over 10 times more than when the MDL began.
June 30, 2023 – Deadline Established for Complaints Naming Revlon in Hair Straightener Claims
Revlon, makers of hair relaxer brands such as Crème of Nature, African Pride, French Perm, Fabulaxer, and others, presented an update on its ongoing bankruptcy. The 91-year-old cosmetics and hair care company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection before the hair relaxer litigation began due to a downturn of sales in recent years.
Revlon told the MDL judge that hair straightener claims against the company must follow the bankruptcy court’s order and proof of claims procedures, and claims can only be filed in the MDL or the Southern District of New York by September 14, 2023.
May 23, 2023 – Plaintiffs File the Master Complaint
Hair relaxer plaintiffs filed a Master Complaint for the MDL in federal court, corralling the shared allegations into one document. The hair relaxer MDL Master Complaint asserts that companies such as L’Oréal, Revlon, and others, “sold, distributed, advertised, and promoted toxic hair relaxer products that caused Plaintiffs to develop uterine and other types of cancers.” This Master Complaint replaces all the individual claims made during the early stages of the legal process.
March 31, 2023 – Direct Filing of Hair Relaxer Lawsuits
Judge Rowland issued a case management order allowing any plaintiff to file their case directly in the hair relaxer MDL in the Northern District of Illinois. Since the MDL was established, the number of pending hair relaxer lawsuits in the MDL has ballooned to at least 78 cases.
March 2, 2023 – First Status Conference in the Hair Relaxer MDL as Lawsuits Mount
In the few weeks since the JPML established the hair relaxer MDL, the number of lawsuits has more than doubled. Judge Rowland held the first status conference to begin the process of forming the plaintiffs’ steering committee (PSC). Lawyers appointed to the PSC are charged with managing and administering the affairs of all plaintiffs in the MDL on their behalf.
February 6, 2023 – JPML Establishes the Hair Relaxer MDL
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) established the hair relaxer MDL, consolidating all hair relaxer cancer lawsuits pending in federal courts across the country in the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago under Judge Mary Rowland.
January 26, 2023 – JPML Holds Hearing
The JPML held a hearing to discuss whether to consolidate the roughly two dozen hair relaxer lawsuits now pending in federal courts into a new multi-district litigation and, if so, where the lawsuit will be assigned. Plaintiffs are pushing for Illinois, while defendants have requested a federal court in New York.
December 9, 2022 – L’Oréal, Other Defendants Oppose MDL
L’Oréal and other defendants facing hair relaxer uterine cancer lawsuits filed a response to plaintiffs’ motion for consolidation, arguing that an MDL is not appropriate because the various cases do not involve common claims. But if the JPML does grant the plaintiffs’ request for an MDL, the companies claimed that the most appropriate venue would be the Southern District of New York, where L’Oréal is headquartered.
November 15, 2022 – Plaintiffs Seek Consolidation of Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuits
Attorneys representing a group of 13 plaintiffs who filed nine hair relaxer uterine cancer in four different federal district courts, filed a motion with the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (JPML) requesting the cases be consolidated in a new multi-district litigation under Judge Mary Rowland in the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago.
The largest named defendant in the hair relaxer cancer lawsuits is L’Oréal USA (brands include Dark & Lovely, ORS Olive Oil, and Motions), a corporation worth nearly $225 billion. Other defendants include Unilever (brands include Sunsilk and Just For Me) and Proctor & Gamble (brands include Ultra Sheen).
The motion comes just one month after the NIH announced new findings from the Sister Study, linking regular use of chemical hair relaxers and an increased risk of uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, and other hormone-driven female health conditions.
To Learn More, Reach Out to an Experienced Mass Tort Team
If you or a loved one used hair relaxers and later developed uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, or endometriosis, you may be eligible to join the hair relaxer cancer lawsuit MDL. Contact the legal team at Lawsuit Legal News. We can answer your questions and explain your rights during a free consultation. Call 866-467-0943 or complete our online contact form today.