Archive for April, 2016

$10 Million Settlement Reached In Personal Injury Claim Against Unilever USA

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

The United States 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has confirmed a $10 million settlement against personal care product company, Unilever USA, in a personal injury case for the damage caused by their Suave Keratin 30-day hair smoothing kit. The kit is reported to have caused hair loss as well as burning of the scalp. The legal representative of Unilever USA objected to the claims made by consumers based on numerous circumstances, however, the court rejected their attempts to dismiss the claims. There were three separate class lawsuits filed against the company which were then compiled into one massive claim in 2012. The personal injury claim was filed against Unilever after class members purchased and used the smoothing kit. A consistent ingredient in the product, Thioglycolic acid was found to be the cause to the hair loss as well as burning of the scalp. Thioglycolic acid is said to be extremely destructive to the hair and scalp when left in for an extended period of time, which is what the product’s directions instruct to do.

After mediating for a year and a half, both parties agreed to a settlement of $10 million in injury claims. For anybody in the class, the reimbursement fund provided a one-time $10 compensation for the cost of the kit. Three benefit packages were created to compensate the class members. These benefits include:

  • Benefit A: Provides $40 maximum for those class members who purchased the hair treatment but lacked a receipt or another form of proof of purchase.
  • Benefit B: Provides $800 for those who have receipts of hair appointments or medical bills after using the product; and
  • Benefit C: Provides up to $25, 000 for those that suffered major bodily damage and have proper receipts/medical bills as a proof of the injuries. A class compensation of $10,250,000 was completely separate from class counsel fees.