Hair Straightener Lawsuits Filed After Government Study Links Products to Uterine Cancer

December 5, 2022
Hair Straightener Lawsuits Filed After Government Study Links Products to Uterine Cancer

Manufacturers of hair straightening products, such as L’Oreal USA, have come under fire after a government study released on October 17th that found a connection between hair straightening and hair relaxer products and uterine cancer. It is a cancer of the uterus that can result in vaginal bleeding, low abdominal pain, and thin white or clear vaginal discharge. Since the study's release, at least nine product liability lawsuits have been filed seeking compensation for damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.  

If you developed uterine cancer after using hair straightening products, you have the right to recover damages caused by the negligence of hair straightening manufacturers. They failed to warn of the dangerous qualities of their products, which can leave them liable in product liability lawsuits. Dolman Law Group can help you join the others filing hair straightening lawsuits to recover damages caused by using hair straightening products that resulted in uterine cancer.

What is Uterine Cancer?

The crux of the hair straightening product lawsuits is the fact that a recent government study found a connection between using the products and uterine cancer. The uterus is a part of the reproductive system for women where a baby grows during pregnancy. Uterine cancer is caused by a change in the cells of the uterus, with the mutated cells growing and multiplying to the point where they cause a tumor.

The following are the two types of uterine cancer:

  • Endometrial cancer: This is cancer of the endometrium, which is the inner lining of the uterus. Although it is highly curable when identified early on, it can have symptoms that can drastically change someone’s life, such as abnormal vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, and weight loss.
  • Uterine sarcoma: This is a rare form of uterine cancer that develops in the muscle wall of the uterus, otherwise known as the myometrium. It will spread and develop more quickly than other types of endometrial cancer and can cause constipation, a mass lump on your vagina or pelvis, and pelvic pain.

About 3% of women develop uterine cancer at some point in their lives, mostly after menopause. However, young women can suffer from uterine cancer due to the use of hair straightening products. If you received uterine cancer from hair straightening products, you could file a product liability lawsuit to pursue compensation for damages.

Study Finds Connection Between Hair Straightening Products and Uterine Cancer

A study from the National Institute of Health released on October 17th found that women who used products or chemicals to straighten hair multiple times a year were more than twice as likely to contract uterine cancer. The study involved over 33,000 women reporting their use of hair products, such as hair dyes, straighteners, and relaxers. Over the course of a year, those women who used hair straightening products at least four times were up to two and a half times more likely to contract uterine cancer than those who did not use hair straightening products.

Women of Color Most At Risk of Suffering From Uterine Cancer from Hair Straightening Products

The study found that 60% of the women who used hair straightening products were black. Although no connection could be found between the effects of hair straightening products on women of different races, it was determined that black women were more likely to use these products due to eurocentric beauty standards. 

Pressure to adhere to these beauty standards results in black women using hair straightening products more frequently and at a younger age, exposing them to uterine cancer. According to a different study, the rate of deaths caused by uterine cancer is increasing, with the rate of death of black women double that of other racial groups.

Hair Relaxer Lawsuits Filed Due to Uterine Cancer Study Findings

Following the release of the study connecting hair straightening products to higher rates of uterine cancer, nine lawsuits were filed to recover damages from hair straightening product manufacturers. Product liability lawsuits were filed due to the hair straightener manufacturer’s failure to warn of the dangers associated with their products.

Jennifer Mitchell, the first person to file a hair straightener lawsuit, is a black woman that has used hair straightening products for over 20 years since she was ten years old. At 28, she was diagnosed with uterine cancer and had to get a hysterectomy. According to Diandra Debrosse Zimmermann of DiCello Levitt, who filed the first hair straightener lawsuit, the goal is to hold manufacturers responsible for marketing the products to black women despite their harmful effects.

Lawyers involved in the hair straightening product lawsuits have been looking into the connection to uterine cancer for a while. Jennifer Hoekstra of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz revealed that her firm looked into the connection between hair straightening products and uterine cancer 15 months ago, with the new study providing a sturdy enough scientific base to file a lawsuit.

The defendants of these initial lawsuits have included subsidiaries of L'Oreal and India-based companies Godrej Consumer Products Ltd and Dabur India Ltd. L’Oreal has responded to the lawsuits in a prepared statement, stating that their highest priority is the safety of their consumers. “We are confident in the safety of our products and believe the recent lawsuits filed against us have no legal merit.”

Motion Filled to Consolidate All Hair Straightener Lawsuits

On Tuesday, November 15th, the plaintiffs in the recent hair relaxer lawsuits file a motion to consolidate the case into a multi-district litigation (MDL) before a judge in Illinois federal court. The advantages of an MDL include streamlined litigation, consistency in discovery, and increased chances of a global settlement. 

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will hear arguments as to why the cases should be consolidated and will decide whether the cases should consolidate. Other lawsuits involving hair products have centralized into MDLs, but it is yet to be known whether what will happen with the recent hair straightening lawsuits.

Contact Dolman Law Group Firm for Help With Your Hair Straightener Lawsuit

Dolman Law Group is a personal injury law firm capable of helping victims of uterine cancer from hair straightening products. Our product liability lawyers have experience holding manufacturers accountable for their negligence that resulted in adverse health effects. With our vast resources, personalized legal counsel, and years of experience, we can put you in the best position to recover compensation for hair straightener uterine cancer damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Matthew Dolman

Clearwater Personal Injury and Insurance Attorney

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 or $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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