Good news out of the multidistrict In re: Hair Relaxer Marketing Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, brought by Equal Justice Society and Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein on behalf of Black and brown women who purchased and used hair relaxers which caused them to develop uterine and ovarian cancers.
The defendant companies recently moved to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claims. On November 13, the court largely denied this motion and allowed the majority of the plaintiffs’ claims to go forward.
This case was filed after recent studies by the National Institutes of Health found that women who used chemical hair relaxers at least four times per year are more than twice as likely to develop uterine or ovarian cancer than women who never used hair relaxers.
The companies that manufacture and sell these hair relaxers have never warned women about the dangerous health impacts of their products and continue to sell them without any cancer warnings today.
Plaintiffs alleged, in part, that the companies “[i]ntentionally target[ed] Black and Brown women, including Black and Brown teenaged girls and children, as customers to purchase and use their unsafe hair relaxer products.” The master complaint contains fifteen counts against the defendant companies, most of which can now move forward following this decision.