For many women, assimilating to eurocentric beauty standards means more acceptance and less discrimination from society. This has caused many women to turn to cosmetic products, including hair straightening chemicals. The beauty industry uses these standards to market and sell its products. Research has shown that after years of using these hair straightening products, women are at an increased risk of developing uterine, breast, and ovarian cancers.
Unfortunately, hair straightener manufacturers seem to profit at the cost of their consumers. Many women have filed lawsuits claiming that these manufacturers ignored their duty to ensure their safety. If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with uterine cancer due to prolonged use of hair straighteners, you can hold the manufacturers accountable.
By filing an individual claim or joining a mass tort against the manufacturers of the hair straightens, you can recover the much-needed compensation. At Consumer Alert Now, we understand the devastation you must feel from the cancer diagnosis. We will guide you through understanding your claim and connect you to mass tort lawyers to help file a hair straightener lawsuit.
Overview of Hair Straightener Lawsuits
Recent studies have shown an increased risk of developing uterine cancer for women who use chemical hair straighteners. According to research, the following chemicals present in hair straighteners have been linked to cancer:
- Biphenyl A. Biphenyl is an industrial chemical that is used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastic.
- Metals. Most cosmetic products contain metal traces like cobalt, lead, cadmium, mercury, and chromium.
- Formaldehyde is a flammable gas used to manufacture many products, including construction materials. This gas is known to be carcinogenic, and increased exposure is cancerous.
- Parabens. Parabens are a group of chemicals commonly used in pharmaceuticals, food, and cosmetic products as preservatives.
Although the Food and Drugs Association maintains that these chemicals do not pose a significant risk when used in low doses, the results of the new study raise concerns about the safety of individuals who have used hair straighteners on sensitive parts of the scalp.
Many people who have suffered from this type of cancer are filing claims against the manufacturers of the products. The following brands of hair relaxers are currently facing lawsuits by individuals diagnosed with uterine cancer:
- Soft Sheen Carson Inc.
- Namaste Laboratories
- Strength of Natura Global LLC
- L’Oréal USA Products Inc.
As cosmetic products, chemical hair straighteners and relaxers do not require approval by the FDA. However, the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act regulations can apply to the manufacture, marketing, and sale of these products. Under the FD&C Act, companies cannot market misbranded or adulterated products. A product is adulterated when it contains chemicals or components that cause harm to the consumer.
Before selling cosmetic products, companies are expected to label the products correctly while indicating all the components of their product. Failure to do this could result in legal liability for injuries resulting from their product.
Link Between Hair Straighteners and Uterine Cancers
Over the last two decades, uterine cancer cases have raised a growing concern over women’s health. A connection between uterine cancer and the use of chemical hair straighteners has contributed to the increase in these cases. Most women use hair straighteners to conform to eurocentric beauty standards. Unfortunately, these standards have proven dangerous for numerous women.
When you use chemical hair straighteners, the products must break down the structure of your hair to achieve the desired look. For this reason, relaxers and straighteners have a harsher chemical composition compared to other cosmetic products. In breaking down your hair, these chemicals can cause abrasions and wounds, which allow the body to absorb harsh chemicals at a higher rate.
The uterus is a part of the female reproductive system meant for the growth of a fetus. Uterine cancer is a general term that describes the cancers of the uterus, including:
- Endometrial cancer. This type of cancer develops in the inner lining of the uterus. Endometrial cancer is one of the most common gynecological cancers among women.
- Uterine sarcoma. Uterine cancer develops on the walls of the uterus.
In addition to age, genetics, and other lifestyle factors, exposure to the chemicals in hair straighteners has been linked to these types of cancer. The symptoms of uterine cancer are similar to those of other conditions affecting the reproductive organs. Therefore, you should consult with your doctor for an accurate diagnosis if you experience these symptoms:
- Vaginal bleeding between periods
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting after menopause
- Prolonged, frequent, and heavy vaginal bleeding
- Post-menopausal clear vaginal discharge
Your doctor could diagnose uterine cancer by performing the following tests:
- CA-125 assay test
- Transvaginal ultrasound
- MRI and CT scans
- Endometrial biopsy
Uterine cancer can be categorized into four stages depending on its severity. When detected in the early stages, uterine cancer is manageable, and the survival rate is high. However, in the later stages, there is a risk of losing your life. In addition to uterine cancer, research has shown that chemical straighteners can increase your susceptibility to ovarian and breast cancers. You could have a valid claim if you receive an ovarian, breast, or uterine cancer diagnosis after prolonged straighteners use.
Filing a Lawsuit Against Hair Straightener Manufacturers
When a product is advertised and put up in the market, the consumers expect them to serve the expected purpose and be safe. Sadly, hair straighteners seem to cause more complications than anticipated. Manufacturers have the responsibility to produce safe products, failure to which they can be held accountable for the injuries or losses resulting from their defective products.
You should be quick to pursue compensation if you receive a uterine or breast cancer diagnosis after using hair straightening chemicals. The process involves the following steps:
Confirm your Eligibility for the Case
Not all individuals who have used the hair straighteners can file a successful claim against the manufacturers. There is a specific criterion used to determine if the use of these products caused your cancer. Before you begin the claim process, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- You used a chemical hair straightening product. Different products from various companies across the country have been identified and proven to cause cancer, so cancer should have specifically resulted from the use of a hair straightener
- You started using the products in your adolescent years or later in life
- You have used the straighteners for several years before the cancer diagnosis
- The hair relaxers were applied by a professional or at home
- You received a diagnosis of uterine cancer or other types of cancers
- You did not have a family history of the disease
Although you do not have to meet all the eligibility requirements, the more factors present in your case, the stronger your lawsuit and the likelihood of recovering compensation.
Build your Case
Pursuing compensation from large cosmetic companies is a challenge. These companies will use skilled and top-notch attorneys to fight your claim and avoid liability for their negligent actions. Therefore, you must build a strong case before filing a claim or a civil lawsuit. Building a case against manufacturers of a dangerous cosmetic product involves collecting the relevant evidence to prove that you suffered the losses.
Common pieces of evidence you can collect include testimony from professionals involved in applying the hair straighteners. Additionally, you can obtain medical records from your doctor. Cancer is one of the most serious health conditions that you could face. Treatment for uterine or breast cancers can take a toll on your financial life. Having your medical records helps in proving the exact condition you suffered and the amount you have spent treating it.
If cancer from the hair straighteners caused you to miss work, you could present evidence of lost wages.
File a Claim within the Statute of Limitations
Sometimes, product liability claims do not move to court. You can negotiate a settlement with the company liable for your injuries. When you identify the company that produced your hair straightener, you can present your claim to them. Most companies do not want to shoulder liability for their actions. Therefore, they attempt to downplay your claim and offer lower compensation than you deserve.
Dealing with the effects of cancer is bad enough. You do not have to suffer financially due to another person’s negligent actions. Therefore, you should never accept a settlement that will not cover your losses. When dealing with defective product manufacturers and their attorneys, you must stick to your ground and not accept the first settlement you receive. You can file a civil suit if you cannot reach an out-of-court agreement.
Pursue a Lawsuit
When you file a civil lawsuit against manufacturers of the hair straightener that caused your uterine cancer, the judge decides the amount you deserve as compensation for your losses. Many people who have filed a claim against the companies that manufacture hair straighteners base their claims on the following:
- Negligence. Manufacturers are responsible for checking and testing each ingredient used in their products. This ensures that the product serves the intended purpose and is safe. Various chemicals present in hair relaxers are known carcinogens. In the lawsuits, the plaintiffs claim that the manufacturers failed to establish the required standard of care to ensure the safety of their consumers.
- Defective design. A defect in the design of a product is an error that occurs before the product is manufactured. When there is a defect in the design, all products from that line are defective.
- Failure to warn. In addition to manufacturing safe products, manufacturers are expected to notify their consumers about all the ingredients in their products by effective labeling. When consumers understand the side effects of the products, they can make informed decisions when purchasing or using them. The lawsuits against hair straightener manufacturing companies allege that the manufacturers failed to warn the consumers of the side effects associated with their products.
Joining a Hair Straightener Mass Tort
A mass tort is a lawsuit filed by multiple plaintiffs who have suffered similar injuries from defective products. Mass torts seek to hold large companies like L’Oréal accountable for their negligence and failure to warn consumers about the side effects of their products. While you could file an individual lawsuit after a cancer diagnosis from hair straightening products, joining a mass tort may be a great way to recover from your injuries.
There are several benefits you could accrue from joining a mass tort, and they include the following:
- Reduced legal costs. Since many individuals make mass tort cases, you can hire skilled attorneys to represent the case and increase the chances of compensation. Hiring an attorney to battle your claim with large corporations could be challenging. Therefore, being part of a mass tort saves you on legal fees.
- Increased efficiency. Many women use hair straighteners. If each person filed a claim, the court would need a lot of time to resolve each case. This means you may have to wait for a prolonged period to receive compensation. A mass tort requires fewer judges and attorneys to resolve.
- Defendants in mass tors face increased pressure to settle the lawsuits. This could lower the demand or evidence needed to support your claim.
If you want to join a mass tort, you must ensure that you meet the criteria and follow the right channels to be part of the lawsuit. The steps involved in joining and filing a mass tort for hair straightener include:
- Reviewing records. A skilled attorney can review your records to determine whether you have a case. Some of the records the attorney will look into are the statements made by other plaintiffs in the case and the allegations of your injuries. When you file a personal injury claim, defense lawyers look into your medical records dating back ten years. However, mass tort lawyers require your full medical history.
- Distinguish uniformity. Before accepting a mass tort, there must be consistency between your injuries and those of other plaintiffs. Although each plaintiff has an individual lawsuit, mass tort lawyers must build a common case against the defendant. Mostly, mass tort cases are classified depending on the type and severity of the injuries.
- Filing federal lawsuits. Attorneys consolidate mass tort claims by filing them together. The courts prefer consolidation of the claims to streamline the legal process.
- Bellwether trials. Before handling the mass tort, the court could try several cases from the mass tort. Often, courts choose the more serious claims to predict the outcome of the mass tort.
- Settlement. The last stage in a mass tort lawsuit is resolving. Since mass torts are complicated, the timelines for settlement could vary significantly.
Potential Compensation in Hair Straightener Lawsuits
Although a settlement has yet to be reached for the lawsuits filed against manufacturers of chemical hair straighteners, the volume of consumers who have suffered the effects of these products continues to bring more claims. If you have suffered uterine, ovarian, or breast cancer from prolonged use of hair straighteners, you can recover the following types of damages from your lawsuit:
Your medical expenses make a significant part of your settlement when you sue a company for a product that caused you cancer. If you are diagnosed with uterine cancer, you may need to undergo a variety of treatments, including:
- Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy uses powerful drugs to destroy cancerous cells.
- Radiation therapy. This type of treatment uses radiation beams to destroy cancer cells.
- Hormone therapy. Doctors use hormone therapy to produce vital hormones or block them for effective cancer treatment.
- Targeted therapy. The targeted therapy treatment approach uses specific drugs targeting particular cancer cells.
Treatment for uterine cancer is very expensive. Even when you recover or the doctors control the spread of cancerous cells, you will incur hefty medical bills that can take a toll on your financial life. If you are successful in your lawsuit or mass tort, you can recover compensation for past and future medical expenses resulting from uterine cancer.
Past and Future Lost Wages
Cancer is a serious condition requiring extensive treatment procedures. Especially when the disease is diagnosed in its later stages, you may spend a significant amount of time in the hospital. During your treatment, you could miss weeks or even months from work. Lost wages are the amount that you lose from missing work. When you file a lawsuit or claim against manufacturers of a dangerous product, you can be compensated for the lost wages.
Sometimes, your condition could worsen, making it impossible for you to return to work. If you have suffered serious or lifelong effects from uterine cancer, you can claim compensation for your lost future earnings.
Pain and Suffering
Although you cannot put a dollar value on pain, the physical pain and emotional suffering caused by the effects of uterine cancer can take a toll on your life. You will spend most of your time in the hospital undergoing painful and serious treatment procedures. In your lawsuit against the manufacturer of hair straighteners, you can recover from the pain and suffering.
Frequently Asked Questions on the Hair Straightener Lawsuits
You could suffer substantial losses when diagnosed with uterine cancer after the prolonged use of hair straightening products. The process of claiming compensation from the manufacturers could be challenging, especially when you are dealing with a serious condition like cancer. It is common to feel confused and not know the way forward. The following are frequently asked questions on hair straighteners and their link to uterine cancer:
1) Are chemical hair straightening products safe?
Not entirely. Some of the most common side effects people expect from hair products include hair loss and a burning sensation on the scalp. Unfortunately, research has linked these products with far more serious side effects like uterine and breast cancers. Recent studies have shown that biphenyl, parabens, and phthalates in these straightening products increase the risk of cancer among its consumers. Therefore, if you use a product associated with these side effects, you must cease using the product and seek immediate medical attention.
2) Can straightening or relaxing your hair cause cancer?
Yes. Although the exact link between hair straighteners and relaxers to uterine cancer is not fully understood, women who use these products are at an increased risk of developing cancer. The scalp is a sensitive part of the body, and these products could cause burns that increase the absorption of carcinogenic chemicals into your body.
If you have been diagnosed with uterine cancer, you may be eligible to pursue an individual claim or join a mass tort against the manufacturers.
3) How long do I file a lawsuit over chemical hair straighteners after a uterine cancer diagnosis?
Although each state has its timeline, there is a statute of limitations within which you can file a claim over dangerous cosmetic products. Therefore, you must begin the claim process as soon as you receive the cancer diagnosis.
4) How much can I recover from a hair straightener lawsuit?
After out-of-court negotiations of a successful lawsuit against hair relaxer manufacturers, you can recover compensation for the medical expenses associated with cancer, lost wages, and the pain or suffering resulting from the injuries.
Find Expert Guidance on Filing a Hair Straightener Lawsuit Near Me
Using hair straightening or relaxing products has been linked to an increased risk of uterine cancer. Despite the overall rarity of uterine cancer, it is still one of the most common gynecological cancers among women in the country. The emotional, physical, and financial costs associated with the condition are painful and deliberating.
When products are placed on the market for human consumption, we expect them to be safe. If you suffer an injury or disease from such products, you can hold the manufacturer accountable for your losses. Many people are filing lawsuits against these companies alleging negligence and failure to warn as the main causes of the serious side effects. If you have been diagnosed with uterine cancer, you may be able to recover for your losses by filing a claim against the manufacturers of the specific hair product that you used.
Suing against large cosmetic companies like L’Oréal USA Products and Soft Sheen Carson Inc. can be difficult. Therefore, having expert guidance is critical. At Consumer Alert Now, we will help you understand more about your claim and connect you with competent attorneys to guide you through your claim. Contact us today at 800-511-0747.