(800)525-7111 Free Consultation

Hair Relaxer Lawsuits Consolidated Into MDL: April 2023 Updates

Riddle Brantley LLP   |  March 31, 2023   |  

Hair Relaxer Class-Action MDL Will Streamline the Litigation Process

Hair relaxer cancer lawsuits have been consolidated into multi-district litigation.A judicial panel established a hair-relaxer multi-district litigation (MDL) in February, 2023, centralizing all current and future cases under one judge in the Northern District of Illinois. The MDL will consolidate claims that hair relaxers and straighteners cause uterine and other cancers, allowing for a more efficient trial process.

Diandra “Fu” Debrosse Zimmermann, who became the first Black woman to ever lead an MDL, and famed civil rights attorney Ben Crump, were announced as co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in March, 2023.

Judge Mary M. Rowland, who is overseeing the MDL, also announced Fidelma Fitzpatrick, an environmental and toxic injury claims lawyer, and Michael London, a product liability lawyer who served as trial counsel the first successful tobacco industry lawsuit, as leads in the MDL.

Zimmerman and Crump, who are the first Black man and Black woman co-leads of any MDL, say they expect hundreds of plaintiffs to join the hair relaxer class action. The MDL, which included 53 claims at the time it was established, has grown to include more than 70 hair relaxer claims as of March, 2023.

More than 100 hair relaxer lawsuits and this consolidation into MDL follow research suggesting that people who use chemical hair straighteners and relaxers, especially Black women, are at increased risk of a variety of cancers and other negative side effects.

“How Can I File a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit?”

If you have suffered from uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, or another qualifying condition and used chemical hair straighteners, you may qualify for a hair relaxer lawsuit. Call 1-800-525-7111 for a FREE case review and consultation. Our experienced attorneys will help you navigate the litigation process, and you won’t pay any fees unless you receive compensation.

The primary injury cited in the order establishing the hair relaxer MDL was uterine cancer, but ongoing lawsuits include allegations that products have caused:

What’s Next in the Hair Relaxer MDL?

Now that a hair relaxer MDL has been established, Judge Rowland will set timelines for discovery and will eventually schedule bellwether trials.

In large class action lawsuits, “bellwether” trials serve as test cases. Individual cases representative of the larger group are chosen to be tried, allowing parties to see how future litigation could play out. Bellwether verdicts can significantly impact whether MDLs are settled, and, if they are settled, how much compensation is offered by defendants.

It isn’t uncommon for larger MDLs to take years to reach a resolution, but they do offer a more efficient option for issues that involve a high number of individual claims. 

“Am I at Risk?”

Preliminary research indicates that use of hair relaxers may roughly double the risk of uterine cancer.A study published in October 2022 revealed that people who use chemical hair straighteners and relaxers are at increased risk of uterine cancer. The association was particularly strong among Black women and was present among both frequent and infrequent chemical relaxer users.

If you have used chemical hair straighteners and relaxers and were later diagnosed with uterine or ovarian cancer, you may be at risk. You deserve justice. Call 1-800-525-7111 for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys handling hair relaxer lawsuits.