What Is the Average Payout for the Hair Relaxer Lawsuit?

What Is the Average Payout for the Hair Relaxer Lawsuit?

As of early May 2024, the hair relaxer lawsuits have yielded no known settlements or verdicts. This mass tort is in its early stages in a U.S. District Court in Illinois. 

These lawsuits focus on the link between hair relaxer products manufactured and sold by major beauty companies and the development of certain types of cancer, particularly uterine, endometrial, and ovarian cancers.

If you have questions about this lawsuit or believe you may qualify, discuss your options with a mass tort attorney handling these cases today. Contact us for a free consultation. 

How Much Are Hair Relaxer Lawsuits Worth? 

Calculating an accurate average payout for any type of injury lawsuit or mass tort is challenging even after similar cases close. In the early stages of multidistrict litigation (MDL), we cannot yet predict the possible range of settlements or verdicts. Some factors that could affect the outcome of these cases include: 

Variability of Cases

Each case is unique, with factors such as the necessary treatment, the cancer’s effect on the plaintiff, and other individual circumstances influencing settlement amounts.

Subjectivity of Damages

Damages in these lawsuits can include medical care costs, missed work, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and possibly punitive damages. The varied types and nature of these damages make it difficult to standardize settlement values.

Negotiation Dynamics

Settlement negotiations involve parties with differing interests and strategies. Settlement amounts can vary based on attorneys’ negotiation skills, the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the case, and the parties’ willingness to compromise.

In general, it is impossible to accurately calculate an average settlement value that applies universally across cases or can help you understand the potential value of your case. Your attorney will help you evaluate your case on its own merits, considering its unique circumstances and factors involved. 

When Can I Expect Settlements or Verdicts in the Hair Relaxer Lawsuit?

The hands of an African stylist apply relaxer cream with a comb to the natural, long hair of a female customer at a beauty salon.

The timeline for reaching a settlement or obtaining a verdict in an MDL can vary depending on the case’s complexity, the number of lawsuits involved, the stage of litigation, and the efficiency of the legal process. 

The hair relaxer mass tort is still in the early stages. It could take a long time before plaintiffs see any settlement offers or payouts.

Some considerations that could affect this timeline include: 

  • Case Complexity: Complex cases involving thousands of plaintiffs, numerous defendants, and ongoing scientific research could take longer to resolve.
  • Pretrial Motions: Pretrial motions, including motions to dismiss or motions for summary judgment, could affect the timeline of the case. The Judge already denied a motion to dismiss filed by the defendants in this case.
  • Bellwether Trials: The time it takes to select cases, conduct these trials, and analyze their outcomes can affect the overall timeline.
  • Settlement Negotiations: Parties may negotiate for a settlement agreement at various stages of the litigation process. The timing and success of these negotiations can vary but most often occur after discovery or following a bellwether trial.
  • Court Schedule: The availability of court dates and the court’s crowded docket can influence the timing of trial proceedings, including possibly delaying a summary verdict or bellwether trials.
  • Judicial Management: The judge overseeing the MDL may implement case management strategies to expedite or streamline the litigation process.

Given these factors, we cannot predict an exact timeframe for a settlement or verdict in an MDL. Our team will work to keep you up to date on the case’s progress and provide you with information about any settlement offers, summary judgments, or other potential payouts.

What Is the Basis Of the Hair Relaxer Lawsuit?

Thousands of consumers are participating in a mass tort against beauty companies that made and marketed hair relaxer products that contain potential carcinogens. These marketing efforts primarily targeted Black women, although people of all genders and races may have contracted cancer from hair relaxers

According to the lawsuits, these hair products contained sodium hydroxide, guanidine hydroxide, and ammonium thioglycolate. Research links these chemicals with several types of hormone-related cancers, such as uterine cancer, endometrial cancer, and ovarian cancer.

In February 2023, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated about five dozen individual hair relaxer lawsuits into multidistrict litigation under the U.S. District in the Northern District of Illinois. This case is known as MDL 3060 IN RE: Hair Relaxer Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation. 

The Panel reported 8,387 pending actions in the MDL as of April 1, 2024, and millions more plaintiffs may yet file. Many consumers used these products regularly throughout their lives.

If you used hair relaxer products and later received a uterine, ovarian, or endometrial cancer diagnosis, discuss your legal options with a hair relaxer lawsuit attorney as soon as possible.

Don't wait any longer, call 866-535-9515 or submit your case for review today!

What Are the Steps of Multidistrict Litigation?

Understanding how the multidistrict litigation process works is essential to knowing when and how you might recover compensation if you file a hair relaxer lawsuit and participate in the MDL. This mass tort efficiently manages complex litigation involving multiple parties by consolidating similar cases for pretrial proceedings. 

MDLs provide a path to close many cases—through a settlement or verdict— while preserving each individual’s right to trial and settlement negotiations. 

The process may require some or all of these steps:

Pretrial Motions

The plaintiff's seat in a courtroom, empty, in a traditional wooden setting.

During pretrial motions, a lot of administrative work related to the case takes place. Plaintiffs and defendants file initial pleadings outlining their respective positions, and they could also file other pretrial motions to resolve any outstanding legal issues.

This could include motions to dismiss or motions for summary judgment. These motions and the Judge’s actions work to streamline the case and ensure it proceeds with little stalling.

This is where MDL 3060 is as of April 2024. Pretrial motions and the discovery process remain ongoing. Courts have scheduled no bellwether trials, although they may find their way to a court docket before the end of the year. 

Discovery Process

During discovery, the parties exchange relevant documents, evidence, and information related to the case. This information exchange is essential to the case outcome.

During the discovery process, each side develops a compelling argument to use in bellwether trials and beyond. One major benefit to mass torts is that the plaintiffs all share resources to build a case against the manufacture of the defective or dangerous product. 

During discovery, both sides will take depositions. These are witness testimonies recorded under oath. They will also need to work with expert witnesses to establish a strong link between the chemicals used in hair relaxers and the cancers in question.

As a part of this process, they must disclose all expert witnesses and their opinions, and they will be subject to scrutiny by the opposing parties.

Bellwether Trials

Bellwether trials serve as a way to see how the evidence each side presents will work in court. Representative cases from the MDL pool proceed to trial. These trials will occur under the watchful eye of Judge Mary M. Rowland. 

The outcome of these cases does not directly affect other cases in the MDL, but they do provide insights into potential outcomes. Often, verdicts and settlements from bellwether trials influence the resolution of remaining cases in the MDL.

Possible Outcomes

Multidistrict litigation may end with several possible outcomes, including:

  • Settlement: Parties often negotiate settlements to resolve claims efficiently without going to trial. Verdicts from representative trials may guide parties toward global or tiered settlements.
  • Dismissal: Courts may dismiss some cases due to lack of merit, legal issues, or successful pretrial motions.
  • Summary Judgment: Sometimes, the judge could issue a summary judgment on the case without taking each individual lawsuit to trial.
  • Remand to Original Court: Individual cases may return to their original districts for trial if they do not resolve through the MDL proceeding.

Who Qualifies to Participate in the Hair Relaxer Lawsuit?

Split Ends Remedy: An Unrecognizable Black Woman Applies Moisturizing Spray to Her Curly Hair at Home, Close-Up.

If you used hair relaxer products and later received a cancer diagnosis, you might have a case against L’Oreal, Softsheen-Carson, Dark & Lovely, or another beauty products manufacturer.

You will need to demonstrate a history of using these products and a diagnosis that includes: 

If your loved one died from their cancer but previously used hair relaxer or straightener products, you might join the MDL with a wrongful death case. 

What Should I Do if I Believe I Qualify to Join MDL 3060?

If you believe you qualify to participate in this MDL, act as soon as possible. While you may still file a lawsuit and join, you must meet deadlines, and this case could proceed quickly. 

If you believe you qualify to join MDL 3060 based on your previous hair relaxer user and cancer diagnosis:

  • Get a Free Consultation: Seek advice from a qualified mass tort attorney handling hair relaxer cases. An experienced lawyer can evaluate your case, determine your eligibility, and explain your legal options. Contact us today to get started immediately. 
  • Gather Documentation: Be prepared to gather any relevant documents, such as your medical records, receipts, and other paperwork related to your diagnosis.
  • File Your Lawsuit Before Any Deadlines Arrive: Mass torts have deadlines for joining or filing a lawsuit. You should talk to an attorney about the timeline for this case and how long you may have to act. Filing your lawsuit and joining as soon as possible will protect your rights.
  • Stay Informed: Keep on top of developments in the mass tort, including any updates on settlements, trials, or legal rulings that may affect your case. Our team makes this easy for clients by keeping in constant communication, answering questions, and providing updates.

How Will a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Attorney Help With My Case?

While MDL 3060 has a team of attorneys managing the ongoing litigation, you will benefit from having your own mass tort attorney who will protect your rights and advocate on your behalf.

You will want to hire a hair relaxer lawsuit attorney for: 

  • Legal Experience: An experienced mass tort attorney knows how to handle this type of complex litigation. They understand the nuances of MDL proceedings, including case assessment, discovery, pretrial motions, and settlement negotiations. They will ensure you understand what is happening and what to expect every step of the way.
  • Realistic Case Evaluation: Your attorney can assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case within the context of the hair relaxer tort, helping you understand your chances of success and all possible outcomes.
  • Individualized Attention: Unlike attorneys appointed by the court to represent the entire MDL, your own attorney can provide personalized attention to your case, addressing your specific concerns and advocating for your interests.
  • Strategic Guidance: Your attorney will develop a personalized legal strategy based on the unique circumstances of your case, including whether to pursue a settlement or proceed to trial.
  • Ease of Communication: Your attorney serves as your primary point of contact throughout the MDL process, keeping you informed of important developments, deadlines, and decisions.
  • Maximizing Compensation: With your attorney’s assistance, you can seek maximum compensation for your damages, including medical costs, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other costs.
  • Protection of Rights: Your attorney will ensure your rights are protected throughout the MDL proceedings, including safeguarding your privacy, challenging adverse rulings, and advocating for a fair payout.

Having your own hair relaxer mass tort attorney can significantly enhance your ability to navigate the complexities of this MDL and pursue the best possible outcome in your case.

Discuss Your Cancer Diagnosis and Hair Relaxer Use With Our Team Today

If you have a history of using hair relaxer or straightener products and later received a uterine, endometrial, or ovarian cancer diagnosis, you could qualify to join thousands of consumers attempting to hold beauty product companies accountable. Get a free case evaluation today. 

Call (866) 535-9515 or complete our online form to connect with our team. 


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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