Uterine cancer accounts for 3% of all new cancer cases, with an estimated 65,950 new cases reported in 2022. Recent research found that women who used hair straightening products at least four times a year were more than twice at risk of developing uterine cancer than those who didn’t use these products.
If you or a loved one is battling uterine cancer and suspect your medical condition is linked to the use of hair relaxing and straightening products, you can file a lawsuit against the manufacturers and distributors of such products.
The highly experienced product liability attorneys at Elrod Pope Accident & Injury Attorneys will file a hair relaxer cancer lawsuit and fight for your rights to ensure you receive adequate compensation for damages. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
What is the link between hair relaxer products and uterine cancer?
Hair relaxer products have chemicals that break down the sulfide bonds in human hair to make it softer and easier on the comb. Di-2-ethyl-hexyl-phthalate (“DEHP”) is a carcinogen chemical found in straighteners that researchers believe could contribute to an increased risk of uterine cancer.
DEHP is absorbed into the body through the scalp and may be exacerbated by burns and lesions caused by straighteners. Once the chemical is in the body’s system, it impacts and disrupts the endocrine system and interferes with hormone receptors, ultimately triggering cancer development.
Other carcinogens found in hair relaxers include:
- Bisphenol A
- Dangerous metals
In 2014, the FDA issued new regulations directing hair relaxer manufacturers to disclose ingredients used in their products. However, many companies don’t comply with these regulations. After a National Institute of Health report revealed that repeated use of chemical hair relaxers could be causing uterine cancer, thousands of women have filed personal injury lawsuits against negligent makers of hair relaxer products like L’Oreal and Strength of Nature.
Damages to Seek in a Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuit
Most product liability lawsuits involve negligence. As a result, damages in these cases include compensatory damages for loss associated with the defective product. Notably, punitive damages are not available for product liability lawsuits since such damages require purposeful or malicious intent to harm.
Generally, the following are some of the damages to seek in a hair relaxer lawsuit:
Economic damages cover quantifiable losses. Some of the economic damages to seek in a hair relaxer lawsuit include the following:
- Medical expenses, including surgeries, therapies, and diagnostics
- Lost income
- Disability cost
- Future medical expenses and more
Non-economic damages are also referred to as general damages or non-monetary losses. These damages cannot be quantified and may include the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disfigurement
- Loss of consortium.
If a loved one’s death from cancer is linked to a hair relaxer product, you could pursue damages from the manufacturer through a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death damages include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of a loved one’s services
- Loss of companionship and society
- Mental anguish
- Loss of prospective inheritance
How Much Is a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Settlement?
A hair relaxer lawsuit settlement is always determined on a case-by-case basis. An experienced product liability attorney can review your case in detail and determine the potential settlement value. Most court cases are still in their early stages of litigation, and it may still be premature to put an exact dollar figure on verdicts and settlements.
However, cancer is a severe condition, and in most cancer-related product class cases, settlements run into six or seven figures.
Factors that affect a hair relaxer cancer settlement amount
There is no precise formula to calculate the personal injury settlements related to hair relaxer cancer lawsuits. However, understanding the general factors that affect the value of personal injury cases can help you manage expectations and negotiate effectively.
The following are some of the factors that could affect a hair relaxer cancer settlement amount:
- The severity of the injury: Incidents that result in more severe injuries produce larger settlements due to the pain and suffering involved. If injuries are permanent, patients should expect larger settlements.
- Disruptions: If the condition dramatically disrupts your daily life, it will likely produce a larger settlement amount. For example, if cancer makes it more difficult to perform everyday activities such as walking or standing, cooking, sports, and more.
- Treatment and recovery: Larger settlements generally occur when a condition requires long-term specialized treatment involving doctors and hospitals as opposed to physicians. The duration of the recovery period also matters. Longer recoveries require multiple follow-up appointments and prescriptions hence larger settlements.
How Long Do You Have to File a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit?
Hair relaxer lawsuits are subject to a statute of limitations, like other types of product liability and mass tort claims. This implies that you only have a limited time to file your lawsuit. The duration you have to bring a hair relaxer lawsuit depends on several factors, including your state or residence. The statute of limitations for product liability lawsuits in South Carolina is three years.
South Carolina factors in the “discovery rule” when applying the statute of limitations. The discovery rule pauses the statute of limitation clock until the date the victim or family knew or should have reasonably known about the injury. You should not, therefore, assume you are outside of the statute of limitations if you just discovered your illness is linked to a hair relaxer product you used several years ago.
The right time to file a lawsuit is now. Contact our experienced product liability lawyer today for immediate help with your case.
Contact the Elrod Pope Accident & Injury Attorneys Today
Hair relaxer manufacturers, marketers, distributors, and retailers have a cardinal duty to ensure their products are reasonably safe for consumers. Unfortunately, it is emerging that some popular hair relaxer products in the market have adverse chemicals that could impact human health, including causing uterine cancer in women.
At Elrod Pope Accident & Injury Attorneys, our lawyers are committed to helping people living with uterine cancer and their families in South Carolina get justice and appropriate compensation for their losses associated with uterine cancer. We have a track record of negotiating compensation for complex, dangerous, and defective product claims. Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.