Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Latest News – May 2023

Hair relaxer cash settlement

Significant Growth in Hair Relaxer Class Action Lawsuit – Update as of May 15, 2023

As of March 15, 2023, the multidistrict litigation (MDL) for the hair relaxer class action lawsuit had 124 active cases, a significant jump from just 21 cases three months prior. With most MDLs taking between 6 to 9 months to ramp up in terms of new case filings, these figures could signal a substantial expansion in the hair relaxer litigation by year’s end.

Progress in Pretrial Discovery – Update as of May 11, 2023

Both plaintiffs’ and defendants’ attorneys have issued a joint status report addressing outstanding points of contention related to the proposed orders for preservation, electronically stored information (ESI), confidentiality, claw-back, and privilege log protocol. Agreement has been reached to merge these issues into two proposed orders, specifically an ESI Order and a Confidentiality Order, each including provisions for claw-back and privilege log protocol.

Disputed points remain in both the ESI and Confidentiality Orders. In the ESI Order, the handling of hard copy documents and the defendants’ responsibilities remain unresolved. In the Confidentiality Order, there’s ongoing debate regarding whether in-house counsel’s receipt of communications should be logged following the first action in this case.

While none of these disputes are deal-breakers, they are significant. The ESI Order dispute involves plaintiffs’ attorneys asking the defendants to outline non-responsive hard copy documents found in the same storage as responsive documents. The defendants claim this would be overly burdensome and costly without bringing any extra advantage to the plaintiffs. The Confidentiality Order disagreement revolves around the logging of documents shared with in-house counsel after the initial complaint was lodged. The plaintiffs want these documents logged unless they were authored by in-house counsel or include communications with external counsel. The defendants, however, contend that logging these communications would present an undue burden given the high volume of privileged attorney-client communications and attorney work product created in response to the complaint.

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