Busted we win! Unilever for breach of warranty, violation of consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices pays up!

realhairtruth.comI love it, I love it. Busted for whatever the lawyers could get, they got in full from Unilever!. According to documents filed Friday in Illinois federal court, Unilever United States Inc. has agreed to pay $10.2 million to settle a class action lawsuit accusing it of marketing and selling a Suave-brand hair treatment that causes significant hair loss.  The Suave Keratin class action lawsuit was initially filed in August 2012 on behalf of a class of consumers who purchased or used Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion 30-Day Smoothing Kit, a product that was recalled in May 2012. The plaintiffs alleged that the product included dangerous ingredients that caused injuries, and that Unilever failed to properly inform consumers about the proper way to use the product to avoid injury.  During this time frame we at the “Real Hair Truth/Jotovi Designs Inc.” watched closely all the litigations that went forward with this class action lawsuit.  And passed along any and all emails we received from consumers to the appropriate law firms representing the clients involved.  Jotovi Designs Inc. was also used as a avenue for any and all complaints within the professional beauty industry, working hand in hand with consumers and professionals directing them to the proper law firms involved with the plaintiffs.  Now trust me my friends that is just penny’s to them not even nickels or dimes at all. They are a large corporation will it hurt them, “NO” not at all.  These large manufacturers are always in court. Look at L’Oreal, the mother of all lawsuits does it hurt them “No”. They always find a way to push the envelope, this is just a part of there corporate lives. No biggy to them.  The consumer and professional are the ones who get hurt. And trust me the so-called professional beauty industry does not care to inform there industry of these deviate practices. They will actually support these company’s. Basically because they need there money to survive. They cannot do it on there own.

On the Unilever website the company claims that. “Our brands play a major part in helping us achieve our sustainable living aims of helping more than a billion people improve their health and well-being; halving the environmental footprint of our products and sourcing 100% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably”.  Really?

Unilever is a major force in the beauty/cosmetics industry with household names as, Dove, Axe, Lux, Pond’s, Sunsilk, Tresemme, and who could also forget the beauty industry TONI&GUY that you can buy anywhere and beauty professionals will hail the product. Knowing full well they have no exclusive of the product what so ever. But they will sell it in there salons. And buy there tickets to there hair shows supporting TONI&GUY. But that’s another story in itself. The Suave Keratin class action lawsuit asserted claims against Unilever for breach of warranty, violation of consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices statutes and unjust enrichment arising from the manufacture, advertising and sale of the Suave Keratin Infusion smoothing kit. According to the plaintiffs’ motion supporting preliminary approval of the class action settlement, between 225,000 and 260,000 smoothing kits were sold.

Under the terms of the proposed Suave Keratin class action settlement, Unilever will pay $10 million to establish two settlement funds: a reimbursement fund and a personal injury fund. The $250,000 reimbursement fund will be available to Class Members who purchased a Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion 30-Day Smoothing Kit, providing a $10 refund for the past purchase of the product.

The class action settlement injury fund will provide relief to Class Members who suffered bodily injuries to their hair or scalp as a result of using the Suave keratin treatment. Class Members who incurred expenses for hair treatment but who no longer have receipts for their expenditures will be eligible to receive up to $40 per claimant. Class Members who have receipts from their treatments will be eligible to receive up to $800 per claimant for their expenses. Class Members who suffered significant bodily injury to their hair or scalp will be eligible to receive up to $25,000 per claim.

real hair truth.comDuring the filming of my next documentary “The Beautiful Lies”, I received numerous emails for consumers who used this product. Writing to me the causes, and health hazards they experienced with this product.

” Dear Mr. Kellner, I too used this product and fried my hair…4 haircuts later still having issues with dry hair and itchy scalp. Any ideas on what I need to do to promote good hair health?”

” Dear Joseph Kellner,I found this email when reading about the horrible suave keratin product. I haven’t developed any health issues that I know of but my hair continues to fall out. I have had at least 10-12 inches cut off in the last 5-6 months and my hair used to be thick and is now just so thin and horrible feeling. Anything that can be done?”

“I bought the treatment on 3/23/12 from Wal-Mart and I used it a week later.  I have previously used Sally’s brand about 8 months prior so I knew what I was doing and I read the directions correctly.  Not even a week after I used the Suave brand, my hair got considerably lighter, which has never happened and my hair started to fall out.  Even now, every time I was my hair, more of it breaks and I am losing it by the handfuls.  I only use the treatments because after I had my daughter, my hair got wavy and thicker only in the back and I wanted an easier way to maintain my hair.  The treatment I used before worked wonders and seeing as Sauvé’s was a whole lot cheaper, I took a chance.  I know it is not supposed to make it straight, but it is supposed to make it easier to straighten, and this did not do as it was supposed to.  I saw the recall at my local CVS and wanted to know what I am supposed to do from here?  Thanks for your time.”

“I used this kit twice the first time my tightly curled hair was soft shiny the second time at first  I didn’t see any change in my then a couple of weeks after my hair started coming out by the handfuls it took me three years to get the growth I had now all Ivan do is cut it all off and do intensive conditioning treatments .something should be done to suave for the damage it has done to my hair.”

“I to had a bad experience with this product. My hairdresser called their 1800 # to let them know the damage that their product had done to my hair. It’s taken 6 months to get it back to almost normal. This has cost me a lot of money. Another dissatisfied customer”.

“I just used this product a few days ago and my hair is also fried. And when I went to the store to try to find a deep renewing conditioner the product was still on the shelf! I don’t know what to do with my hair at this point. I’ve been trying to nurse it back to life with coconut oil and mayonnaise but it still isn’t enough. Help?!”

Help it has been 4 months for my hair and it continues to break off and is fried.  It seems like it is getting worse not better.  I have spent over $2000 and yet I am still struggling.  No one is responding to my letters Unilever, Suave or Kroger. I tried to join a class action lawsuit with Wasserman, Comden, Casselman& Esensten but they have not contacted me back yet either.  The $12 is not sufficient and my current professional stylist believes it will be at least another year before my hair is back to normal if ever.  I can not afford this!! Is there any hope we will get some resolve from the company.  Please someone help!! This is truly a nightmare and not only has it ruined my hair but my personal life, my professional life and my personal well-being have all been severely compromised. Any information that you might have regarding where I might go next would be greatly appreciated.”

The Suave Keratin settlement will also resolve several similar class action lawsuits that were filed in Kentucky and California.

The Suave Keratin class action settlement agreement was reached after nearly 18 months of litigation and lengthy mediation sessions with former U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen. According to the court documents, the plaintiffs believe that the settlement agreement is “fair, reasonable, adequate and in the best interests of the Named Plaintiffs and the putative Settlement Class. Unilever, denying wrongdoing of any nature and without admitting liability, has agreed to the settlement terms in order to address claims brought by consumers of Unilever products, and in order to avoid the burdens of continuing discovery expenses and litigation.”

The plaintiffs are represented by Marvin A. Miller, Lori A. Fanning and Andrew Szot of Miller Law LLC; Peter Safirstein, Christopher S. Polaszek and Elizabeth S. Metcalf of Morgan & Morgan PC; and Jana Eisinger of Law Office of Jana Eisinger PLLC.

The Suave Keratin Infusion Class Action Lawsuit is Sidney Reid, et al. v. Unilever United States Inc., et al., Case No. 1:12-cv-06058, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

How To Wrestle With Non-Compete Contracts in the Beauty/Cosmetic Industry

The Real Hair Truth Documentary Blog!

 

You’d expect a fat non-compete clause in a top-tier investment banker’s employment contract. Yet more companies of all stripes are foisting non-compete contracts on lower-level lieutenants–and even line workers.

Some employers also use non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements. A non-disclosure agreement helps an organization safeguard its trade secrets and other proprietary information. Under the agreement, employees are prohibited from disclosing this information. Confidentiality agreements are similar, except that the agreement requires that one or both parties must keep information confidential.

“Even though hair stylists aren’t six-figure earners, they are frequently being asked to sign [non-competes],” says David Conforto , an attorney at Conforto Law Group in Boston. Conforto recently won an injunction for a stylist client so she could continue to work; the judge deemed her non-compete contract un-enforceable because of the high demand for qualified stylists.

Employers wield non-competes to stanch turnover and keep a firm grip on proprietary client lists and critical research. And with global competition more fierce than ever, the paranoia is at a fever pitch. Being a member of this so-called professional industry a few words of wisdom from me to you may help you from being deceived from business owners who rent chairs. After your interview make sure you take a copy of the contract to a lawyer, NOT YOUR FRIEND TO READ. But a Lawyer. Sign nothing, and if the owner will not let you take it out of the salon to give to an attorney, they are probably 100% not honest with you. SCAMMERS are abundant in the beauty industry my friends. Do not get your advice on Non-Compete contracts from a beauty industry magazine, beauty industry website, a hair idol, or so-called Icon, but from an attorney licensed in your state. Read On My Friends.

In Pictures: Five Tips For Negotiating Non-Compete Contracts

While you probably can’t avoid having to sign these contracts, you should make every effort to negotiate as much wiggle room as possible. It is your business and you must conduct yourself as a business owner.

First step: Hire an attorney to vet your contract before you sign it. Yes, you might pay $200 to $500 an hour for the privilege, but that’s probably a good bet. The cost of going to trial over a breach of a non-compete typically runs in the tens of thousands of dollars. Even if you do win the case, you don’t recoup those legal fees, as defendants typically do in other cases. If you lose, you’re out of work to boot.

If you’re presented with a non-compete clause, send your potential employer a letter confirming that you are consulting an attorney to make sure you understand all the terms. Declaring that step in writing is important because it prevents the employer from retaliating by swiping the job offer later on. (Judges don’t look too kindly on a move like that.)

In lieu of a traditional non-compete contract, try to angle for a “non-disclosure” or a “non-solicitation” agreement. Non-disclosure agreements stipulate that departing employees can’t make off with valuable research, while non-solicitation agreements prohibit them from going after important clients–except those they cultivated prior to joining the company. If that doesn’t work, focus on winnowing the scope of the non-compete. “The employer is going to push it to be as broad as possible, but you want to make it as restricted as possible without jeopardizing the job offer. Two key elements here: geography and time. Try to limit both. Reasonable restrictions will vary by industry, of course.

For example, temporarily barring a hairstylist from working in an entire county might not be plausible, but shackling a pharmaceutical rep in the same area might. Contracts stating that you can’t work in the industry throughout the U.S. probably won’t hold up in court, although some tech companies may be able to enforce them, because of the global nature of the Internet. The same strategy goes for the time span of the non-compete. The standard window for these contracts is six months to a year. Anything more than two years is downright draconian, and probably won’t hold up in court. Then again, don’t count on a judge to bail you out. “You still have to pay for litigation, or hope that your new employer will pay for it. In a tough economy, that’s a chance you probably don’t want to take. Take my advice my fellow professionals go see a lawyer.

Legal matters

While there are no federal laws directly governing non-compete agreements, some states do address the legality of such agreements. Under Wisconsin law, for example, the agreements must:

  • Be necessary for the protection of the employer;
  • Provide a reasonable time period;
  • Cover a reasonable territory;
  • Not be unreasonable to the employee; and
  • Not be unreasonable to the general public.

Although most states will enforce non-compete agreements if they are “reasonable” in terms of breadth and length of the restriction, the definition of what is “reasonable” varies. When crafting a non-compete agreement, an organization must pay careful attention to the agreement’s scope. An overly limiting agreement may be deemed un-enforceable by state courts.