Chemical hair relaxers and hair straightening products are utilized by millions of women across the United States and have caused immeasurable harm by exposing consumers to cancer risk. An array of studies have found that the use of these chemical hair straighteners can dramatically increase a consumer’s risk for cancers like uterine cancer. As a result, many consumers have elected to take legal action via hair relaxer lawsuits against the companies responsible for putting these products on the market.
Filing a lawsuit over a defective product not only can hold these companies accountable for the role they played in the harm of consumers via chemical hair straighteners. Hair relaxer lawsuits also can provide plaintiffs with compensation for the damages they suffered related to hair relaxer-caused uterine cancer.
When it comes to these hair straightener lawsuits, many question exactly how much they can be compensated should their case succeed. Valuing a lawsuit over cancer caused by hair straightener use is more complicated than many anticipate.
Factors That Affect Hair Straightener Lawsuit Value
Every personal injury lawyer will tell you that despite similarities between different cases, each and every lawsuit is different. Everyone’s experience with a defective product like hair relaxers and the resulting harm is different which can significantly influence the potential compensation they receive. A number of variables can change depending on the details of the case so it is important not to look at the settlement of one hair relaxer lawsuit and expect the exact same outcome.
With that said, it is possible to come up with a rough estimate of what a potential settlement or court award might look like through analysis of several factors with respect to each individual case.
The Injuries You Suffer Affect The Value of a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit
The number one thing that will affect the overall value of a chemical hair straightener lawsuit is the injuries suffered by the plaintiff. Put simply, the worse the injury, the higher the value of the case. A broken arm is typically not going to require as much compensation as a cancer diagnosis.
In the case of hair straightener lawsuits, those suing because of uterine cancer will likely receive larger settlements than those that suffer from other hair straightener-related injuries like endometriosis or uterine fibroids. The reasoning is that uterine cancer is considered to be more severe than the others.
How an Injury Disrupts the Plaintiff’s Life
Not everyone’s injuries are the same and even if someone suffers the same type of injury, it does not mean that it will affect them the same way. For example, uterine cancer is one of the worst injuries involved in the recent hair relaxer lawsuits. Many plaintiffs filing lawsuits because of their uterine cancer might get different settlements because of how their injuries affect them differently.
For example, two people may get broken arms because of a defective airbag. They may have similar injuries but that does not necessarily mean that they will get the same settlement. One plaintiff could be an athlete whose broken arm disrupts their life more than the other plaintiff who does not rely on their limbs as much for a living.
With hair relaxer lawsuits, two plaintiffs with uterine cancer might have different case values because of something like differing ages. Since uterine cancer causes permanent conditions such as infertility that someone has to contend with their whole life as opposed to someone that is older and already has children. There may be different prognoses for recovery or there may be pre-existing conditions that make treatment of cancer more difficult to treat.
The Strength of a Lawsuit Influences Settlement Amounts
Another important factor in determining the value of a lawsuit is the actual strength of a case and how much evidence there is to effectively argue that a defendant owes a plaintiff compensation. The more support a lawsuit has via convincing evidence and clear liability of a defendant, the higher the level of compensation is likely to be.
The lawsuits over chemical hair straighteners may see different levels of compensation depending on each case’s ability to connect the injury to the use of the defective product. With uterine cancer, there is very strong evidence of a connection between chemical hair relaxer use and increased cancer risk because several credible studies support this conclusion. However, those suing over endometriosis do not have as strong of evidence connecting chemical hair relaxer use to this particular injury.
Damages in a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit
The damages that are claimed in a lawsuit are the primary determining factor of a lawsuit’s value. Damages are the losses experienced by a plaintiff that a lawsuit’s goal is to “make whole”. Compensation through an out-of-court settlement or a court award is intended to cover these damages but exactly what damages can be claimed can vary from case to case.
Economic Damages in a Chemical Hair Relaxer Lawsuit
The nature of the damages that someone suffers because of hair relaxer exposure can be economic and non-economic in nature. Economic damages are losses caused by an injury that are financial in nature. This typically includes things like medical bill and lost wages that have an easily assigned dollar value.
Non-Economic Damages in a Chemical Hair Relaxer Lawsuit
On the other hand, there are non-economic damages that do not have a tangible dollar value and can be more difficult to calculate. Damages like pain and suffering or mental anguish caused by something like uterine cancer may not come with a receipt but nonetheless, deserve compensation.
Potential Damages in a Chemical Hair Straightener Lawsuit
- Medical bills
- Doctors appointments
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost career
- Diminished income
- Lost benefits
- Misc out-of-pocket expenses
- Living assistance
- Loss of enjoyment
Estimated Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Settlement Value
The many lawsuits filed against hair straightener manufacturers like L’Oreal have necessitated the consolidation of these cases under an MDL class action. Class action lawsuits involve a large number of lawsuits being filed together behind one representative plaintiff. By consolidating these cases, resources can be shared, the legal system is streamlined, and the “class” shares in a settlement that they manage to attain.
The class action filed because of cancer caused by hair relaxers creates a situation where a settlement is shared by many plaintiffs. This is accomplished through what is called a global settlement where a defendant agrees to set aside a sum of money that will be allocated to the various plaintiffs. Most outlets have estimated that a likely global settlement could provide anywhere from $300,000 to $1,750,000 to plaintiffs. It goes to show that even with all the factors taken into consideration, the potential settlement amount could range fairly greatly.
Contact an Experienced Chemical Hair Relaxer Lawyer
If you have developed uterine cancer or a similar condition because of long-term chemical hair relaxer or straightener use then consider contacting an experienced product liability lawyer. You can reach our firm about your case by either call our office at 727-451-6900 or filling out an online contact form.