Hair Straightener Heating Up

July 19, 2023

Hair Straightener Heating Up

Hair Straightener Heating Up: Mass Tort Report from by Attorney Jeff Keiser.

It’s amazing the amount of information out there if you just look.

MTMP Webinar – News and Updates

We get bombarded by hundreds of emails inviting us to one online presentation after another, and after a while, you realize that they’re generally a waste of time…but not always. The presentations put on by the good folks of MTMP and Levin Papantonio Rafferty continue to impress with their free webinars. I can’t recommend them highly enough – they’re free, and you can even get CLE credits in some jurisdictions.

I attended one of these last week and the info on the hair straightener and Paraquat litigations is more than just informative, it’s helpful from a professional POV. When it comes to screening cases, this stuff is gold.

Hair Straightener Heating Up

Let’s start with the hair straightener case, where things are starting to heat up. Written discovery has been issued, but nothing has been received yet. The MDL is slowly starting to come together, and per MDL leadership, the vast majority of ‘infrastructure’ orders have been issued.

Plaintiffs had one big win with a recent order in the MDL denying defendants attempts to bifurcate causation issues. This will greatly simplify these cases. But most importantly, MDL leadership has announced that there are only two types of diagnoses that remain viable – ovarian cancer and uterine cancer.

The science just isn’t there when it comes to breast cancer cases, and especially fibroid cases. So, when it comes to choosing cases to take, these two diagnoses are the only ones that will work in the MDL.

The good news is that there is a direct filing order in place, and Case Management Order #2 (CMO2) gives you all you need to know about how, where, and when to file.

Paraquat Resolution Pending

Paraquat is much further along, and some kind of resolution may happen this year. The first trial is scheduled for October, and plaintiffs are ready. The only viable cases here are with solid diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease or Parkinson’s motor symptoms along with a relevant medication being prescribed with confirmed exposure.

This product has never been sold through general consumer outlets, but rather through agricultural co-ops, farm supply centers, etc. In other words, these cases will not likely come from urban or suburban plaintiffs & if the claimant says they got the chemical from Home Depot or Ace then it is not Paraquat they were exposed to.

Screening these cases is tricky, as no one has receipts for products that have been sold for more than 50 years.

Make sure you ask questions and establish the actual contact the claimant had with the chemical, how they knew it was Paraquat, and the method of spraying. Just being in the area where spraying occurred is not enough; they have to specify how their body was exposed, either through spraying/mixing the chemical themselves, breathing the vapor, skin contact, etc. You may not be able to get actual product receipts, but it’s important to confirm what chemical was used.


These webinars are great. Getting some of this information right from MDL leadership goes a long way in figuring out what is really going on with these very important cases.

You can sign up for them here – And if you’re too busy to do that, you can stay tuned to these reports.

I’ll try to write up any webinars that may be valuable. Until next time…

Craig H. Alinder, Vice President

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