Hair relaxer lawsuit have now been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL). MDLs, sometimes referred to as mass torts, are a mechanism the used to bring together similar lawsuits from all over the country and try them within the same court. This centralized approach allows for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings, streamlining the legal process and ensuring a more efficient pursuit of justice. U.S. District Judge Mary M. Rowland has been appointed to preside over the MDL in the Northern District of Illinois.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation made this important decision.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys, including OnderLaw attorney Inez Ross who serves on the litigation’s leadership team, have filed a Master Long-Form Complaint, which outlines the common allegations raised in hair relaxer lawsuits.
More than 100 product liability lawsuits have already been filed against the manufacturers of popular hair relaxer brands such as Dark & Lovely, Just for Me, Optimum, and ORS Olive Oil. These lawsuits share similar claims that women were not adequately warned about the link between hair relaxer use and the risk of cancer.
We anticipate that hundreds, if not thousands, of additional cases will be brought in the coming weeks and months, given the widespread use of these products specifically marketed as safe for women in the Black community. Our goal is to ensure that every affected individual has the opportunity to seek justice and hold the responsible parties accountable.
The Impact of Bellwether Trials: Gauging Jury Response
As part of the MDL proceedings, Judge Rowland is expected to establish a bellwether process. This involves selecting a small group of representative claims to be prepared for early trial dates, allowing the court to assess how juries respond to key evidence and testimony. While the outcomes of these bellwether trials will not have a binding impact on other claims, they will help shape future settlement offers and provide valuable insight into the strength of the cases.
Discovery Process: Unveiling the Truth
In a recent case management order, Judge Rowland outlined the protocols for the discovery process. This includes the gathering of documents related to hair relaxer cancer risks, marketing practices, and warnings. Through this process, we aim to uncover crucial evidence that will support our clients’ claims and strengthen our pursuit of justice.
Each hair relaxer lawsuit raises similar allegations, emphasizing that women were not adequately warned about the toxic side effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals in these products. Our objective is to ensure that our clients receive fair compensation for their injuries, which may include uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine fibroids, and other complications.
While early bellwether trials will not have a binding impact on other claims, the jury verdicts and awarded damages in these trials will greatly influence settlement offers from manufacturers. If settlement negotiations fail, each claim may be remanded back to the U.S. District Court for future trial dates.
Your Rights Matter: OnderLaw is Here to Help
If you or a loved one have experienced injuries or health complications due to hair relaxer use, OnderLaw is here to provide support and legal representation. Our experienced team of attorneys is dedicated to fighting for justice on behalf of those affected by these harmful products. Contact OnderLaw today for a confidential consultation and let us guide you through the legal process. Together, we will pursue the compensation and accountability you deserve.