Tag: consumers

Unilever Is In A Mess But Whats New

According to the 49-page case, TRESemmé Keratin Hair Smoothing Shampoo and TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Color Shampoo, made by defendants Unilever United States, Inc. and Conopco, Inc., contain a preservative called DMDM hydantoin, which is known to leach formaldehyde when it comes into contact with water.

Uh Oh!

Given formaldehyde is a “well-known human carcinogen” that can cause cancer and other harmful reactions when absorbed into the skin, Unilever’s use of DMDM hydantoin in the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth products is “an entirely unnecessary risk” since safer and natural alternatives exist, the lawsuit argues.

Nevertheless, the suit alleges, the defendants have failed to properly warn consumers of the risks associated with using such a strong chemical on their hair and have even gone so far as to claim the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth products are safe.

“Defendants continued to conceal the dangers of the Products by failing to appropriately and fully recall the Products, by continuing to claim the Products were safe when properly applied, and by failing to warn consumers of the dangers attendant to the Products’ use,” the complaint scathes.

The lawsuit alleges Unilever marketed its “Keratin Smooth” line of shampoos to women who “wanted smooth, shiny, manageable hair with no frizz.” Through online marketing and the products’ labeling, the defendants allegedly represented that the TRESemmé products contained keratin, a protein found naturally in hair, and would “deeply nourish,” “gently cleanse,” and “repair hair.”

According to the case, however, Unilever failed to warn consumers that a preservative named among the products’ ingredients has been known by the defendants to cause or contribute to hair loss and scalp irritation. The suit charges that nowhere on the products’ packaging or in advertising did Unilever warn customers of the risks of using DMDM hydantoin on their hair and scalp and instead claimed the shampoo was safe when properly applied.

The lawsuit explains that DMDM hydantoin is a formaldehyde donor, which is a class of preservatives added to water-containing cosmetics to prevent the growth of microorganisms through the release of small amounts of formaldehyde. According to the case, the defendants until recently used the chemical in their TRESemmé Keratin Smooth line since keratin is a protein—i.e., a food for microbes—and has a limited shelf life.

Per the complaint, the use of formaldehyde donors, and particularly DMDM hydantoin, in cosmetic products has been linked to the development of allergies, dermatitis, hair loss and even cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the suit says, considers DMDM hydantoin to be one of the top allergens “that cause the most allergic reactions from the use of cosmetic products,” especially since individuals can become more sensitive to the irritant over time. The case adds that irritation of the scalp is linked to hair brittleness and hair loss.

According to the suit, Unilever has known of the dangers associated with DMDM hydantoin for a decade or more given the chemical and several other ingredients were the subject of prior litigation against the company. Per the case, Unilever’s Suave Keratin Infusion product, which was advertised as formaldehyde-free, was recalled in 2012 following complaints of hair loss and scalp irritation. The lawsuit initiated against the company resulted in a $10.2 million settlement that was upheld by an appeals court in 2016, the suit says.

Though Unilever continued using DMDM hydantoin as a preservative and even publicly asserted that the chemical was safe for use in hair products, the company only recently reformulated its TRESemmé Keratin Smooth shampoos to replace DMDM hydantoin with other preservatives, the case avers.

Given the litigation against Unilever, not to mention the flood of consumer “horror stories,” some of which are cited in the lawsuit, the defendants should have been well aware of “the high potential for toxicity or allergic reaction” caused by use of the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth products, the lawsuit charges. Nevertheless, the company has allegedly “failed and continues to fail” to warn consumers about possible reactions and has even attempted to downplay or conceal the plethora of consumer complaints.

“Unilever continues to this day to advise consumers that these Products are safe to use as directed, without providing any disclosure concerning the complaints of hair loss and with no warnings regarding the hair loss that may result from their continued use,” the complaint reads. “Indeed, despite Unilever’s knowledge and awareness of hundreds if not thousands of complaints of significant hair loss and breakage caused by the Products, Unilever continues to claim the use of DMDM hydantoin it [sic] is safe and permits them to be sold to this day — without providing consumers with any revised warnings or disclosures.”

According to the suit, the defendants’ “reckless indifference” has allowed Unilever to realize “sizeable profits” at the expense of consumers.

This article was supplied by Class Action Claims.

Defective Product Personal Injury Lawsuits

The Beautiful Lies

Defective product litigation and injury lawsuits involve defective and unreasonably dangerous products that cause personal injuries and even death. Manufacturers of defective products are liable for design defects, improper safety devices and manufacturing defects that cause injury.

Product liability lawyers will evaluate cases involving defective consumer goods that cause physical injuries such as burns, fractures, head injuries and blindness. Lawsuits can be brought against manufacturers for design defects, improper safety devices and manufacturing defects, and marketing defects (failure to warn of possible hazards). Injuries, deaths and property damage from defective and recalled products cost the public more than $500 billion each year.  There are four legal means for establishing liability in personal injury cases where a defective product has caused injury.

  • Negligence occurs when expected, reasonable care is not taken and a legal responsibility exists to do so. The lack of care can be the result of carelessness or even malice. Negligence can occur when defective parts or improper assembly results in a dangerous or malfunctioning product.
  • Breach of warranty takes place when a seller fails to uphold a claim or promise about a product.
  • False advertising that leads consumers to believe a product is safer than it really is, or distracts them from potential risks inherent in the use of a product, can be argued as misrepresentations under breach of warranty or under strict liability.
  • “Strict liability” makes the manufacturer or seller of a defective product responsible for all injuries occurring from the use of the product. The victim must show that the product was defective, and that the defect was the cause of the personal injury. If so proven, then strict liability holds the manufacturer or seller responsible, regardless of fault or intent. “Strict liability” means everyone involved in the making of a consumer product is potentially liable for any personal injury that results from using the product.

There are three main types of product defects that can result in a personal injury.  These occur before the product is created, in the initial design and planning stage.These flaws result from mistakes that take place during the actual manufacturing stage.  Advertising misrepresentations occur when sellers do not provide adequate warnings or instructions, or define the potential risks of using the product.  More than one party may be legally responsible for a personal injury, i.e. the designer, manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, advertiser, etc.

You may need to know how old the product is that injured you. Most states have laws limiting how long the manufacturer or seller can be held liable for personal injuries. The limits are usually from six to 12 years after the product was first sold on the market.

Product liability cases usually involve products such as toys, automobile design, household products, industrial machinery and equipment, farm machinery, products causing explosions and burns, aviation products, medical devices or drugs and any other defective or unreasonably dangerous product.

A “defective product” is one that causes some injury or damage to person because of some defect in the product or its labeling or the way the product was used. The manufacturer, and others involved in the chain of commerce involving the products that caused the injury, are often liable for injuries defective products cause.

Scum of my Beauty Industry!

 

Professional hair care companies as well as professional hair dressers try to spread fear amongst hair consumers by warning them about hair care products. Fear is a powerful emotion which can motivate in a variety of ways. Why do professional hairdressers hate hair product diversion? Quite simply if hair consumers buy from CVS, Walgreens or Amazon.com, they’re not buying from their salon professionals. From the beginning of time, professional hair product companies would promise professional hairdressers that they would only sell to them so that there would be no competition for any other marketplaces.

As a result, when a professional product line such as Aveda winds up in Amazon.com, professional hairdressers rise up in arms to try and stop the sale of the professional products by anyone but professional hair stylists and salons. The basic bottom line is that professional hairdressers just want to protect their sales territories.
Ask yourself how professional hair products make it to CVS or other large grocery chains? Contrary to what the professional hair companies might want you to believe, they aren’t delivered in SUVs by individual professional hairdressers who are selling out the back door of their salon. No! If a CVS sized retail outlet is buying professional products, and they are, it’s because the professional hair care company is either secretly selling directly to CVS or is looking the other way when it happens. Bottom line. Professional hair product manufacturers talk out of both sides of their mouths. The professional hair care companies have brainwashed hair consumers. In fact, in the Summer of 2008 “Good Morning America” had a segment that was focused on what has become known as Professional Hair Product Diversion. The segment spread the same fear based untruths that are often spread to hair consumers.

According to the professional hair care industry professional hair care products are only to be delivered and sold through professional salons, distributors or hairdressers. Anyone else selling professional hair care products such as Amazon.com or CVS or Target is officially selling “diverted products.” Yet why would large corporations like that take the risk to divert?
To try and minimize diversion, the professional companies will put out the fear based rumors that hair consumers who buy their professional hair care products from Amazon.com, Target or CVS are buying potentially contaminated products. Seriously, do you think that a major company like CVS and Target would risk consumer lawsuits over contaminated products? Think about that one.

The other rumors are that diverted products may be counterfeit. While I’m sure this is much more of a possibility, it is very unlikely. Yes, there have been some isolated cases but they are very rare. While major hair product manufacturers like Aveda might say they fight product diversion, if they had a hint that their products were being counterfeited they would swarm down on the store in question and seize the products in question. Why? Neither the manufacter or the retailer, like CVS, wants any legal problems from counterfeited products.

Besides falling under monitoring by the FDA, hair care products are chock full of preservatives to extend the shelf life of the products. Most hair care products have a shelf life of 3-4 years. Those very preservatives protect against the growth of any type of fungus or bacteria. If not, the products would be bulging at the seems and have a frightful odor. Just like rancid food products.

The hair care industry also hints at fungal and bacterial infestation. Is this a real danger? Again, unlikely. It is simply a scare tactic to keep hair consumers away from professional products sold over the counter.
It should be noted that many of the professional hair products found on the shelves of CVS are the latest packaging and the latest ingredients. How do I know? I have stopped to look at them in great detail. I have even taken labels from professional products purchased through professional outlets and have compared them. And yes I have interviewed buyers of companys.
Cost factors is the other diversion bugaboo. Is it true that diverted products cost more in non-authorized companies than authorized professional beauty outlets? In some cases yes but in other cases maybe not.
1. Competition in the professional hair product arena continues to explode. If a professional hair product company can sell trailor truckloads of their products to a CVS or Target and look the other way, why not? I’m not saying ALL professional companies do it, but I’m saying it happens. Probably more than you think.

Guess what, professional hairdressers know the truth. Most of them do anyway. I talked to so many hairdressers over the years who all call Hair Product Diversion the industry’s “dirty little secret.”

2. Good Business Plans. Hair consumers are cutting back on any hair related luxuries. Why would professional hair care companies promote the myth of professional diversion when it could cost them a strong growing sales base and a competitive edge with their competitors? Have they thought about that? I wonder.

3. Professional Hair Product Diversion Does Not Exist In The Rest Of The World. Hair product diversion only exists as an issue in the United States. In Europe and the rest of the world there is no Professional Hair Product Diversion issues. Hair consumers buy products from their professional hairdressers and salons but because they trust their hairdresser with the proper product recommendation and because of timing. The same should be true in the United States. Why isn’t it?

4. Professional Hair Publications Give Lip Service To Diversion Topics. Why? If a professional hair magazine or online newsletter is receiving advertising from a major professional hair care production company like an Aveda, they are definitely going to drink and share the Kool-aide. Money talks and advertising talks even louder.

Ultimately all hair consumers must think for themselves and not just believe what the hair product companies want us to believe. Before drinking the Kool-Aide of product diversion think about the realities of the situation.

Is the product in question fully stocked on the shelves? Is the entire line of products options available from shampoo to styling products? Are the products restocked on a regular basis? Do the products like brand new? They probably are.

Best Regards
Joseph Kellner

Beware of Labeling, Repackaging of Beauty/Cosmetic Products

The Real Hair Truth!

Across the gamut of media formats – from television to the Internet to print – beauty product advertising bombards consumers on a daily basis. Each ad seeks to persuade potential buyers of the product’s value, or even its necessity for the buyer’s well-being and self-image. These techniques, sometimes manipulative in nature, affect more than the consumer’s wallet. It can effect their health. In my industry if a product is not selling to the so-called professionals they will repackage the product. And sell under a new gimmick. Here is a lawsuit placed in a Florida court against Loreal. Read the print very closely. I just love to see when a customer takes a major beauty/cosmetic bully to court. Especially if it is Loreal!

Morelli Ratner Files Class Action Against L’Oreal for Defrauding Consumers

Morelli Ratner PC, together with the Alters Law Firm, filed a class action last week against L’Oreal and Lancôme for defrauding consumers. The case is Nino v. L’Oreal USA, Inc. et al, and was filed in federal court, in the Southern District of Florida. The complaint alleges that the Defendants have advertised their “anti-aging” creams as having been scientifically tested, making claims and promising results to consumers that the Defendants know to be unfounded. Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration sent Lancôme a formal warning letter about the misleading advertising. The complaint alleges that L’Oreal has made millions of dollars by knowlingly and willfully misleading consumers. Plaintiff Costanza Nino, a resident of Florida, is bringing the suit on behalf of a proposed nationwide class of all persons who purchased Lancôme’s “Anti-Aging” products within the applicable statutory limitations period, and a Subclass of Florida residents.

 Read more on this Loreal Lawsuit! 

Unsafe Cosmetics Owns The U.S.Government!

It is so amazing how little authority federal and state governments have over the estimated $30-billion annual cosmetics industry – even when there is compelling evidence that ingredients are dangerous. And are being sold to consumers left and right each and everyday. Did you know that under federal law, cosmetics companies don’t have to disclose chemicals or gain approval for the 2,000 products that go on the market every year. And removing a cosmetic from sale takes a battle in federal court. The same goes for entrepreneurs in my beauty industry. They will go and purchase a private label hair care/skin/makeup line, stamp their name on the line and promise you the world. Major manufacturers do this everyday, entrepreneurs in the beauty/cosmetic industry are well taught.

The Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, enacted in 1938, doesn’t require FDA approval before a beauty product is sold to the public or give the agency authority to recall a harmful product. One of the biggest topics in my next film/documentary “Beautiful LieS”, involves the hair straighteners in the  beauty industry.  Billions of pounds of chemicals are produced every year to make adhesives and binders for wood products, pulp and paper products, plastics, synthetic fibers and textile finishing.  

In the United States, more than eight billion personal care items, mostly cosmetics, are sold annually for an estimated $54-$60 billion. From 2004 to 2012, cosmetics imports nearly doubled, according to FDA and industry officials. In California, where manufacturers must report chemicals in consumer products that are known or suspected of causing cancer  or reproductive effects, 700 companies reported 17,060 cosmetic products as containing one or more hazardous chemical ingredients. Unlike drugs and medical devices, cosmetics are not subject to pre-market approval or notification. A manufacturer may use any ingredient provided it doesn’t adulterate the product and it is properly labeled – except for 10 types of ingredients, including chloroform, methylene chlorine and mercury, according to FDA regulations.

Under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the FDA doesn’t have recall authority; instead it must start enforcement proceedings in federal court to prove harm. Thats how it all starts. So if you think about mega cosmetics company’s such as P&G, Loreal, Unilever these company’s have considerable financial pockets to pay attorneys. And they will argue their case in court until kingdom come. “Beauty industry professionals think cosmetics are tested for safety. They are not. It’s not like pharmaceuticals or even pesticides where some data are required. All the same, people slather cosmetics directly on their bodies, and absorb them in creams, deodorants, fragrances and shampoos, and ingest them in lipstick and gloss”.

The industry is highly resistant to regulation, and it provides zero information on the chemicals in products. In August, Johnson & Johnson announced it was voluntarily removing some chemicals, including formaldehyde, from its products. By 2015, the company promised to get rid of 1,4 dioxane, which is a probable human carcinogen, and several chemicals linked to altered hormones, including phthalates, triclosan and parabens.  The cosmetics industry has petitioned the FDA to strengthen some regulations. The industry recognizes the law needs modernizing in the global marketplace.  An overarching goal, however, is to avoid piecemeal state rules!

It’s going to be a long, hard haul before anything can happen. The current laws have created a perfect storm for these companies to continue to get away with it. And as long as there pockets get deeper they will get away with all this. And you the consumer are on the short end of the stick. It should shock consumers to hear how little regulation there is over the production and sale of cosmetic products. That the entire burden of proof is on the federal government to prove that certain products are harmful is unacceptable: we need safeguards put in place that require manufacturers to test the safety of their products before they reach the shelves, so consumers and Beauty industry professionals are not subject to poisonous chemicals. At the very least, the labeling of these products should inform consumers about the risks they take by using them. When cosmetic companies are expected to regulate themselves, professionals and consumers lose. We need standards in place to make sure that corporations—whether they are financial institutions, oil companies, commercial fishing companies, or food production plants—behave responsibly and do not threaten our lives.