L’Oreal Cancer Lawsuit

Black woman spraying hair care products into her hair

One of the world’s largest cosmetics companies, L’Oreal, is facing litigation over its hair straightening products that have been linked to certain types of cancer. Plaintiffs contend that the company’s hair relaxers contain harmful chemicals that disrupt endocrine receptors, causing a higher risk for uterine cancer.

It is incumbent upon all manufacturers to assess the safety of their products, and caution consumers about potential hazards or side effects. The legal complaints argue that L’Oreal designed and marketed chemical relaxers that were misrepresented as safe, putting countless women in danger of developing reproductive health problems.

The attorneys of Douglas & London have decades of experience litigating product liability cases on a state and national level, and can determine if you qualify for a L’Oreal cancer lawsuit. Plaintiffs in these cases may be eligible for substantial compensation to cover medical bills both present and future, as well as lost earning opportunities, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and punitive damages against the defendant company for egregious conduct.

L’Oreal uterine cancer lawsuit overview

Hair relaxers, including L’Oreal’s ‘Dark and Lovely,’ are popular beauty products used to straighten curly hair through chemical processes. Primarily marketed to African American women, these products are formulated with phthalates and other compounds known to be carcinogenic. A handful of legal complaints against L’Oreal have been filed across the nation by women who developed uterine cancer after using their products.

The claimants argue that they were not given any warning about the damaging effects of phthalates, and that L’Oreal knew or should have known its straightening products were unreasonably dangerous.

The lawsuits are bringing claims of:

  • Negligent misrepresentation
  • Fraud and fraudulent concealment
  • Design and manufacturing defects
  • Breach of express and implied warranties
  • Failure to warn
  • Violations of various state laws

Study finds hair straightening products linked with uterine cancer

Much of the litigation has been spurred by a recent study led by the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences. The study determined that women who used chemical hair relaxers at least 4 times in the last year were at greater risk for developing uterine cancer. Of the 33,497 women followed by researchers, those who reported frequent use of hair straightening products saw their uterine cancer risk jump from 1.6 percent to more than 4 percent.

This means that women exposed to these chemically-laden products were twice as likely to develop cancer of the uterus compared to those who did not use the straighteners.

Effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals  

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) have been described by scientists as a global problem for human health. Most of these compounds are absorbed in the body’s fatty tissue, meaning that latent effects can be slow to develop.

By interfering with the production, transport and function of hormones, EDCs can contribute to health conditions and female reproductive disorders, including decreased fertility, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, early menopause, and cancer of the uterus and reproductive tract.

The timing and duration of EDC exposure in the human body can make a significant impact on resulting consequences. Some women who are filing a lawsuit against L’Oreal started using the company’s hair relaxing products at a very young age, making them more vulnerable to developing hormone-sensitive cancers attributed to EDC’s.

Uterine cancer occurs when cells of the lining begin to mutate and grow. According to the National Cancer Institute, nearly 66,000 new cases of uterine cancer were diagnosed last year, and incidence and death rates of this disease are rising. Those with uterine cancer have a 5-year survival rate of 81 percent.

I use these products. What should I do?

Given the causal link between hair relaxers and hormonally mediated cancers – especially among the African American population – women should weigh the risk-benefit ratio before continuing use. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular physical activity can reduce your risk for many types of cancer.

If you have used L’Oreal’s chemical relaxing products for any period of time and were diagnosed with uterine cancer, you may have a viable hair straightener lawsuit. Symptoms of uterine cancer may include, but are not limited to: irregular or heavy bleeding, pelvic pain, or blood in the urine.

If you have experienced any of the symptoms after exposure to hair relaxers by L’Oreal, it’s important to see your gynecologist as soon as possible.

When to Contact a Defective Products Attorney

Product liability litigation can be complicated and time-consuming, and having the help of a law firm experienced in this field is crucial. Douglas & London provides sound legal guidance for those who developed cancer after using L’Oreal’s hair straightening products. A skilled defective product attorney can pursue maximum compensation on your behalf from at-fault parties, which can help offset medical expenses, lost income, and reduced future earning capacity, as well as provide damages for pain and suffering endured.

To schedule a free L’Oreal lawsuit evaluation, please contact our New York City law office today. The consultation comes with no obligation to retain our services, and all cases are handled on a contingent-fee basis.