Submitting new hair relaxer personal injury claims is now easier due to the recent approval of a Short Form Complaint by the judge overseeing the Hair Relaxer multidistrict litigation (MDL), a consolidation of federal hair straightener/relaxer lawsuits approved in February. 

The Short Form Complaint (SFC) streamlines the process for new plaintiffs to submit claims that they developed cancer of the reproductive organs or other health problems caused by the synthetic, endocrine-disrupting chemicals in hair relaxers. 

Fewer than 250 hair relaxer lawsuits have been assigned to the MDL, presided over by U.S. District Judge Mary M. Rowland in the Northern District of Illinois. The MDL was approved because of the potential for tens of thousands of lawsuits to be filed in the future considering the pervasive use of these chemical hair straighteners. 

Judge Rowland issued an order on August 3 to allow the SFC for every new case assigned to the MDL. The SFC follows the May filing of a plaintiff master complaint that summarizes the alleged physical harms of each claimant. 

Plaintiffs in the hair relaxer lawsuits are mostly African American women who have developed uterine, ovarian, or endometrial cancer as well as breast cancer, uterine fibroids, or other serious complications. In a 20-year study conducted by Boston University, 95% of the 52,000 black women surveyed reported having used or currently using chemical hair straighteners. 

Hair relaxer plaintiffs allege that the manufacturers of the hair relaxer/straightener products such as Dark & Lovely, Optimum, and Just for Mes should have informed consumers about the risk of using these chemical hair-care products.

Plaintiffs who filed a hair relaxer claim before the August 3 SFC approval must re-submit their claim using the SFC within 75 days of that date.  

The catalyst for hair relaxer litigation was a 2022 study by the National Institutes of Health, which found that regular use of chemical straighteners was associated with higher uterine cancer risk. Chemicals in hair relaxers include a class of synthetic chemicals used in hundreds of consumer goods called phthalates, which are used to make plastics more durable. “Chronic exposure to phthalates adversely influences the endocrine system and the functioning of multiple organs,” says a 2021 research review published in the Swiss journal, Healthcare.

If chemical hair relaxers have harmed you, contact MedTruth for a free case evaluation. All of the firms we work with are based on contingency, and you’ll pay no fees unless a settlement is reached on your behalf.