If you have frequently used a chemical hair relaxer product and you have been diagnosed with cancer or another condition related to contaminants in the product, then you may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical treatment costs and other damages.
Recent studies have shown that the regular use of chemical relaxers, chemical hair straighteners, and other women’s beauty products is correlated with higher rates of uterine cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and other cancers. Absorption of harmful chemicals through the scalp and the skin during a hair relaxer treatment can cause these substances to accumulate in tissues, triggering changes that may lead to an increased risk of cancer.
The Personal Injury Lawyers ™ is dedicated to serving those in the community and throughout the United States who have been harmed by the effects of carcinogenic hair relaxer chemicals. With our legal guidance and representation, you can increase your chances of recovering compensation from the companies responsible for exposing you to cancer-causing chemicals. We help our clients seek the maximum possible compensation, and we aren’t afraid to fight for your rights in court or at the negotiation table.
If you are ready to learn more about your rights and legal options related to hair relaxer lawsuits, take our eligibility quiz.
How to File a Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuit
Anyone who can show medical proof that they have experienced harm from using a product like chemical relaxers and who has documented damages from this medical condition is eligible to file a hair relaxer lawsuit or injury claim. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal process needed to seek damages from the companies responsible.
At The Personal Injury Lawyers ™, we have recovered millions for our clients who have been the victims of carcinogenic chemical exposure or other forms of personal injury. When you choose to work with our firm, we immediately focus on helping you calculate the full damages you have suffered while documenting your history of using the product in question. Our attorneys and legal staff are highly experienced at building cases and representing clients in a wide variety of venues, including district, state, and federal courts. You can rely on our dedication towards helping you recover the maximum damages available under the law.
To start the process of filing a lawsuit to claim all of the damages you have suffered, reach out to one of our hair relaxer cancer lawsuit lawyers today to speak to them for free during a confidential consultation. We will assess your diagnosis and history of use of products suspected to cause cancer while helping you take the next steps toward filing your claim. We can even help you get a more complete diagnosis in order to solidify evidence that you have suffered harm because of exposure to harmful chemicals in hair relaxer products.
It’s important to act fast, as many such cases are currently moving through courts in the form of Multidistrict Litigation (MDL), and class action cases may be pending. Your voice is needed to help others gain ground in the fight to hold companies accountable.
Who Is Eligible to File a Chemical Hair Relaxer Product Injury Claim?
To sue a company that makes a dangerous product, you have to be able to answer the following questions:
- Did you use the product as intended?
- Did you suffer an injury or a medical diagnosis as a result of using the product?
- Did your injury or medical condition lead to treatment expenses, lost wages, or other damages?
If the answer to all three is “yes,” then you may have an injury claim available under strict liability laws for dangerous products.
Most states (including Illinois) have such a doctrine in place, but others may instead have a doctrine of negligence. Under negligence law for product liability, it is not enough to merely prove that the product caused harm. You must also show how the company intentionally or carelessly allowed the harm to occur. Proving such a mistake is not always easy, as it can require deep knowledge of regulations, the company’s internal design and manufacturing processes, and the types of evidence that are expected to back up claims of negligence.
The good news is that many hair relaxer cancer lawsuits are being filed as part of MDL, meaning that they fall under the laws of the federal court system. While there aren’t any federal product liability laws that apply nationwide, there are regulations and federal statutes that can be used to hold companies accountable for the harm they’ve caused.
To see if you qualify to sue a company or file an injury claim against them for giving you cancer, reach out to one of our experienced product liability attorneys for a free consultation.
What Damages Are Available in a Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuit?
The damages awarded for a hair relaxer cancer injury claim will vary depending on the exact diagnosis of the injury victim and the other losses they have experienced. Speaking generally, those who have suffered an injury from the use of a product may be able to claim the following categories of damages:
- Reimbursement of related medical costs from past treatments, including diagnosis, surgery, follow-ups, chemotherapy, radiation, and other forms of treatment
- Money for future medical care, including the full estimated costs of all future treatments, rehabilitation, and accommodations needed because of the medical condition
- Lost wages and lost earning potential for those who missed work temporarily because of an illness or the need for treatment, as well as those who were permanently unable to earn the same income or whose life was ended prematurely
- Out-of-pocket expenses made necessary because of the diagnosis, including the costs of over-the-counter medicines, home modifications, durable medical equipment, parking/transportation to appointments, and other costs
- Compensation for loss of personal property, which in these cases would primarily apply to the lifetime costs of purchasing hair care products that cause cancer
- Pain and suffering restitution to injury victims and to the surviving family members of deceased cancer patients
- Funeral and burial expenses for those who died of cancer connected to hair relaxer use
- Punitive damages, which are awarded by juries against companies whose conduct was seen as egregious, reckless, or blatantly unethical
What Is the Link Between Hair Relaxers and Cancer?
“Hair relaxers” are a category of beauty products that use certain chemicals to break down the proteins in natural hair and cause it to temporarily become straight. The products are available for use in beauty salons or at-home hair treatments. They can be purchased at salons, beauty supply shops, and other retailers — even supermarkets and drug stores.
Most often used by women with tight curls, curly hair, or kinky hair — especially Black women — these products are now suspected to be harmful and dangerous to the general public. Worse, many products are also targeted directly at Black children, meaning they would be exposed to harmful chemicals throughout their lifetime.
The harmful chemicals that can be found in chemical hair relaxers include:
- Di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP)
All are suspected to have effects on the endocrine (hormone-producing) system or to be carcinogenic in some way. In fact, the FDA is considering a complete ban on hair care products that contain formaldehyde because prolonged and repeated exposure to the chemical has been shown to raise the risk of developing certain cancers.
A report from NBC News noted that “chemical hair relaxers contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which can disrupt the functions of the endocrine system (which includes the thyroid, ovaries, pancreas and adrenal glands) and affect hormone levels. These chemicals include phthalates and parabens, which can be found in relaxers. People can be exposed to them by absorption through the skin or inhaling them in the air.”
Study Shows Increased Risk of Developing Uterine Cancer After Chemical Hair Straightening Product Use
While the link between chemical hair relaxers and cancers has long been suspected, few studies have been conducted on the issue that have conclusively determined the relationship. That ended in October 2022 when the National Institutes of Health published a study that found that the risk of developing uterine cancer more than doubled for women who regularly used chemical hair straighteners. The study also cites other literature indicating that the incidence rates of uterine cancer in women are rising in the United States, especially for Black women.
The NIH’s study noted that Black women may be at a higher risk of uterine cancer because of their more frequent use of chemical hair straighteners, on average.
Study Links Higher Breast Cancer Risk to Hair Relaxer Use
A review of data collected from 59,000 self-identified Black women during Boston University’s Black Women’s Health Study found that women who used lye-containing hair relaxer products had a 30% higher risk of developing breast cancer. Further, these cancers were more likely to be aggressive and fatal forms of breast cancer. Older studies confirm this link.
Links Between Ovarian Cancer and Hair Relaxer Products Shown Through Data
A 2019 study found an association between the development of ovarian cancer and breast cancer and the use of certain permanent chemical hair dyes and chemical relaxer products.
There are also studies linking chemical hair straightener use to other forms of uterine cancer, including endometrial cancer.
Products Named in Hair Relaxer Cancer Litigation
While dozens of lawsuits have been filed in the wake of studies revealing the link between chemical relaxers and cancer, litigation in this field is still relatively new. As such, only a few companies and products have been named so far in lawsuits and MDL cases. It is possible that more products will be included in lawsuits like these in the future.
Products manufacturers and products named in hair relaxer cancer legal action so far include:
- Optimum Salon
- Dark & Lovely
- Just for Me
- ORS Olive Oil
- TCB Naturals
- African Pride Dream Kids
- and other Chemical Straighteners
What to Do If You Suspect You Have Cancer From Using a Chemical Hair Straightener Product
If you feel that your health and well-being have been impacted by using a chemical hair relaxer or other beauty product, you can take the following steps to increase your chances of successfully recovering compensation.
1. Discontinue Product Use Immediately
If you suspect that a product has impacted your health in any way, immediately stop using it. Do not discard the packaging, however, and save any recent receipts or other proofs of purchase. Take photos of all evidence that you have purchased or used the product in the past.
2. Get a Full Medical Diagnosis
You must have a documented medical condition that has been connected to use of the product in question in order to file a claim for damages against the product manufacturer. If you have experienced symptoms of uterine cancer or symptoms of breast cancer, have your condition investigated immediately. You can schedule an appointment with a primary care doctor, cancer screening center, or oncology specialist to get a full and accurate diagnosis.
3. Reach out to an Experienced Products Liability Law Firm
The next steps to take after you have been diagnosed are made significantly easier by having representation through an experienced law firm. Your attorney can assist you with building a strong claim, including assembling all of the needed evidence and filing a lawsuit or contacting the manufacturer with an injury claim.
Working with a law firm is especially important before contacting or corresponding with any possible at-fault parties. They may ask you to make a recorded statement or begin looking for something like a pre-existing condition to weaken your claim. Knowing which steps to take and what mistakes to avoid is key to preserving your chances at a successful claim, so reach out to an attorney before discussing your case with anyone else.
4. Preserve All Evidence
You will need as much evidence as possible to strengthen your cancer claim. This includes evidence of:
- How often you have purchased a cancer-causing product
- How often you have used a hair relaxer
- Evidence of using the product as labeled
- Proof of medical diagnosis of a cancer connected with the product’s use
- Proof of earnings over the past 6-12 months, documenting your difference in wages since the diagnosis
- All medical bills, discharge papers, and other proof of treatment and treatment costs
It would also be beneficial to start a running log of your day-to-day experiences in order to document your personal pain and suffering. Note the impact your diagnosis has had on your schedule, including the interruptions caused by appointments or symptoms; the pain, nausea, and other symptoms you experienced; your inability to perform basic tasks or chores or to enjoy activities you once did.
5. File Your Injury Claim in the Appropriate Court
Your personal injury lawyer will help you determine all parties to name in your lawsuit and which court would be most appropriate in which to file your case. During your case, be wary as to what you communicate to others, including on social media. Continue to attend all appointments and receive all treatments necessary to improve your prognosis. Your attorney will handle the rest.
Work With a Hair Relaxer Law Firm That Wants to Fight for You
The Personal Injury Lawyers ™ are highly experienced in taking on big-money interests for the sake of their clients. We only want you to be able to get the rightful compensation you need to restore all the damages you and your family have suffered. We understand that you are going through a difficult time, so we aim to make the process as easy on everyone as possible while seeking the maximum damages available from all liable parties.
Find out more about how we can help you and the types of damages you could be eligible to claim when you call (312) 999-9990 or contact us online.
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