Cantu Shea Butter Hair Relaxer Lawsuit

A new medical study has found that the chemicals in hair relaxers or straighteners can cause uterine cancer and other hormone related conditions in women. Cantu Shea Butter is one the more popular brands of hair relaxer and it is manufactured by PDC Brands. Hair relaxer lawsuits are being brought in all 50 states against PDC Brands and other companies who sell chemical relaxer products. The lawsuits allege that relaxers such as Cantu Shea Butter caused the plaintiffs to develop uterine cancer or other injuries.

In this post, we will discuss the new medical evidence linking relaxers to uterine cancer and the lawsuits being brought against PDC Brands regarding its Cantu Shea Butter relaxer product.

About Cantu Shea Butter and Other Hair Relaxer Products

Hair straighteners or hair relaxers are products that use chemicals to force curly hair to flatten down. These products are largely used African American women. An estimated 80% of Black women in the U.S. use hair relaxers and most start using them when they are very young. The hair relaxer market in the U.S. is estimated at around $750 million per year.

There are many different types and brands of hair straightener products, including products meant for professional use at a salon and products made for use at home. The process of using or applying hair relaxer (referred to as getting a “perm”) requires the relaxer product to be applied to the root of the hair. Once applied, the product must sit or “cook” for a length of time so that the chemicals in the product can break down the proteins in the hair leaving it flat.

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Cantu Shea Butter is one of the leading relaxer products on the U.S. market. It is sold at all major retailers, including CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Ulta, Amazon and others. Cantu Shea Butter is essentially the same as most other chemical straighteners, but it utilizes shea butter to help moisturize and protect the hair during the process.

The Cantu Shea Butter line of hair relaxer products is manufactured by PDC Brands. PDC is a leading maker of wellness and personal care products and owns brands such as Cantu, Dr. Teals, Elegant Touch, and Salon Systems. PDC is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, and it is a privately held company. In 2017, PDC was acquired by CVC Capital Partners, a European private equity firm.

Harmful Chemicals in Hair Relaxers

All hair relaxer or straightener products, including Cantu Shea Butter, contain a large dose of very potent chemicals that are necessary to dismantle the protein structure of the hair follicles. The chemicals in hair relaxers include phthalates, parabens, bisphenol A (“BPA”) and diethanolamine. All of these chemical constituents are considered endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).

The endocrine system produces hormones, such as estrogen in women. EDCs are chemicals that disrupt the normal functioning of the endocrine system, resulting in hormonal imbalances. Most of these harmful chemicals are not listed on the ingredients label for hair relaxer products, but lab testing and clinical studies have repeatedly found that these chemicals are in fact contained in relaxer products.

NIH Study Links Hair Relaxer Use to Uterine Cancer

Recent findings from the Sister Study – a large, diverse, ongoing prospective cohort study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to investigate risk factors for breast cancer and other health conditions – show that women who used chemical hair straighteners and/or relaxers had a significantly higher risk of uterine cancer than those who did not. Importantly, the researchers found no such association with other hair products used by those women, including hair dye, bleach, highlights, or perms.

The uterine cancer risk increase associated with hair relaxer use is very significant. The study found that regular use of hair relaxers (4 times per year or more) increased the risk of developing uterine cancer by 150%. These recent findings are consistent with earlier studies showing an increase in hormone-related cancers in women with use of straighteners, including breast and ovarian cancer. The NIH Sister Study researchers previously found that permanent hair dye and straighteners might increase breast and ovarian cancer risk.

Cantu Shea Butter Lawsuits

The recent findings of the NIH Sister Study showing a link between the use of relaxers and uterine cancer, has generated a growing tide of hair relaxer product liability lawsuits against cosmetic companies such as PDC Brands. These lawsuits are being filed by women who used Cantu Shea Butter and other relaxer products for years and subsequently developed uterine cancer (or other related conditions such as endometriosis, or uterine fibroids).

The hair relaxer plaintiffs allege that PDC and other cosmetic companies knew or should have known about the dangers posed by the chemicals in their products, specifically that they could increase the risk of uterine cancer. Now these companies are being accused of failing to warn about this risk or altering the design of their products to make them safer.

A motion has already been filed seeking to have the hair relaxer lawsuits consolidated into a new MDL class action. This motion will most likely be granted as thousands of lawsuits could potentially be filed alleging that their hair relaxer products caused uterine cancer or other injuries.

Potential Settlement Value of Cantu Shea Butter Lawsuits

It is important to understand that this value estimate is speculative in nature. These are new lawsuits and the causation evidence has yet to be tested in court.  Therefore, our settlement projections are based on the very big assumption that the allegations in the lawsuits will be supported by causation evidence that will be admissible in court.

Value of Uterine Cancer Cases

Our hair relaxer attorneys believe that a successful Cantu Shea Butter hair relaxer lawsuit involving uterine cancer as the primary injury could have a potential settlement value range of $300,000 to $1.75 million.

The reason that our value estimate range for uterine cancer cases is so wide is that uterine cancer cases can present dramatically different circumstances. If the plaintiff is older and has already gone through menopause, uterine cancer is not as tragic. By contrast, if you have a young plaintiff who loses her ability to have children then the case is much different.

Value of Fibroids & Endometriosis Cases

Cantu Shea Butter lawsuits involving other injuries, such as uterine fibroids or endometriosis, will have lower potential settlement value for two reasons. First, the causation evidence linking these injuries to hair relaxers is less compelling. Second, these health conditions are not as serious as uterine cancer, which reduces their potential settlement value.

Our current settlement value estimate for hair relaxer lawsuits involving uterine fibroids is $150,000 to $500,000. Although uterine fibroids are non-cancerous, they can be extremely painful and often require surgery to remove the fibroid. Our value estimate for endometriosis cases is slightly lower at $110,000 to $300,000. The lower value estimate here is based primarily on the uncertainty regarding the causation evidence.

Value of Ovarian Cancer Cases

Our attorneys estimate that hair relaxer lawsuits involving ovarian cancer as the primary injury will have a settlement value of $400,000 to $750,000.

Contact Us About Filing a Cantu Shea Butter Lawsuit

Our firm is currently investigating product liability cases alleging that chemicals in Cantu Shea Butter hair relaxer cause uterine cancer, breast cancer and other conditions. If you think you qualify for a lawsuit involving chemical hair straightener, contact our office today for a free consultation at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.

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