CHICAGO, Ill. –– Nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump of Ben Crump Law and attorney Diandra “Fu” Debrosse Zimmerman of DiCello Levitt were named co-lead counsel for plaintiffs in litigation against L’Oreal USA and other companies for selling hair relaxers that caused cancer and other health problems. This marks the first time that a Black man and a Black woman have been appointed as co-leads of multidistrict litigation in federal court.
In October of 2022, a study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, that showed frequent users of chemical hair straightening products, defined in the study as more than four uses a year, were more than twice as likely to develop uterine cancer than those who didn’t use those products. That month, Crump and Zimmerman filed a lawsuit on behalf of Jenny Mitchell, who first started using these dangerous products around 2000 and continued until 2022. In 2018, Ms. Mitchell – who has no family history of uterine or other cancer – was diagnosed with uterine cancer and underwent a full hysterectomy.
Attorney Crump released the following statement:
“Generations of women of color, especially Black women, have been marketed and coerced to believe that using chemicals to straighten their hair equates to beauty. We know now that these chemicals are responsible for the tragic number of users’ reproductive cancer. This litigation will bring justice to these women and their families and hold corporations that put profits over people accountable for their deadly actions.”