Illinois Judge Appoints Diverse Lead Attorneys in L’Oréal Litigation

The Illinois federal judge presiding over the 75 cases that have been filed in the multidistrict litigation against L’Oréal USA, Inc. and its India-based subsidiaries has appointed a slate of diverse and revered attorneys to represent the plaintiffs.

Illinois Judge Appoints Diverse Lead Attorneys in L’Oréal Litigation

ByKandace Watkins, J.D.

|

Published on April 5, 2023

|

Updated onApril 5, 2023

Illinois Judge Appoints Diverse Lead Attorneys in L’Oréal Litigation

The Illinois federal judge presiding over the 75 cases that have been filed against L’Oréal USA, Inc. and its India-based subsidiaries in the multidistrict litigation claiming that hair relaxers cause cancer has appointed a slate of diverse and revered attorneys to represent the plaintiffs.

Background

In 2022, the National Institute of Health (NIH) released a study, which found that frequent users of chemical hair straightening products were more than twice as likely to develop uterine cancer compared to those who did not use such products.

In October 2022, shortly after the disclosure of such findings, Diandra “Fu” Debrosse Zimmerman of DiCello Levitt and Ben Crump of the Ben Crump Law Firm filed their first lawsuit claiming that chemical hair relaxers, which contained chemicals including formaldehyde, metals, phthalates, and parabens, caused uterine cancer by absorbing into the skin through scalp burns. Their plaintiff, Jenny Mitchell, was diagnosed with uterine cancer after using chemical hair straightening products sold by L’Oréal USA, Inc.

Zimmerman and Crump claimed that L’Oréal knew that their products contained dangerous chemicals and marketed and sold such products to mostly Black and Brown women despite having such knowledge.

Lead Counsel for the Plaintiffs

Since the filing of the first case, there have been about 75 cases filed in the multidistrict litigation against L’Oréal, which was formed in February. Judge Mary M. Rowland of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois appointed Ms. Zimmerman and Mr. Crump as plaintiffs’ co-lead counsel along with Fidelma Fitzpatrick of Motley Rice LLC, and Michael A. London of Douglas & London PC. In addition, Judge Rowland appointed a plaintiffs’ liaison counsel, a nine-member plaintiffs’ executive committee, and named another 21 lawyers to a plaintiffs’ steering committee.

In making such appointments, the judge considered diversity, similar professional experiences, willingness and resources to commit to a time-consuming project, and ability to work cooperatively with others.

Are you working on the multidistrict litigation against L’Oréal?

We’re helping attorneys access the latest research, medical record reviews, physician consultations, and world-class experts to build your case. Learn more about this MDL and how Expert Institute can help.

About the author

Kandace Watkins, J.D.

Kandace Watkins, J.D.

Kandace Watkins, J.D., is distinguished in the field of financial regulatory compliance, currently holding the position of Compliance Counsel II at SECU. She has previously served as the Assistant General Counsel at Self-Help Credit Union and was an Associate Attorney at Young Moore and Henderson, P.A. Her legal acumen was further developed through her role as a Judicial Law Clerk at the Supreme Court of North Carolina. Kandace's legal education includes a J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law and specialized training in International Human Rights at the Paris Summer Institute, a program of Cornell University Law School.