Lawsuit against L’Oreal
According to a decision made on Monday by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, over 60 lawsuits alleging that hair relaxer products provided by L’Oréal USA Inc. and other businesses cause cancer and other health issues will be combined in federal court in Chicago.
According to court records, at least 57 cases have been brought against the products, which use chemicals to permanently straighten textured hair, in federal courts around the nation. According to the claims, the businesses marketed and sold their products despite knowing they included hazardous chemicals.
The actions will be combined into a multidistrict litigation under the supervision of U.S. District Judge Mary Rowland, which will streamline the cases’ pretrial proceedings and discovery procedures. The complaints mention the US-based L’Oréal SA subsidiary as well as the Godrej SON Holdings Inc. and Dabur International Ltd. businesses that are situated in India. Requests for response from representatives of the corporations, who opposed the centralization of the proceedings, were not immediately returned.
After the initial complaints were submitted, L’Oréal released a statement on its website in which it stated that it is “confident in the safety of our products and believe the recent lawsuits filed against us have no legal merit.”
The claims come in response to a National Institutes of Health research that was published in October and revealed that women who used the products frequently had a greater than doubled risk of developing uterine cancer. At a hearing last month, Diandra Debrosse Zimmermann of DiCello Levitt, who brought the initial complaint after the study’s publication, pleaded with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to refer the cases to Rowland.
The panel’s ruling, according to Debrosse Zimmermann, “recognised the clear benefits of centralising the hair relaxer litigation,” and she anticipates that many more businesses will file their cases in the upcoming weeks.
As the goods are often promoted to women of colour, she predicts that hundreds of women may end up suing over them.