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Why Beauty Lawsuits Are Set to Increase

  • March 17, 2023

Beauty companies seem to be coming under increasing fire with lawsuits, fueled in part by the rise of TikTok and other social media platforms, and legal experts are expecting the number of cases to surge.

For a quick recap of the current ones garnering the most attention: In a suit against Olaplex, several plaintiffs have claimed they have sustained personal injuries to their hair and scalp including hair loss and damaged hair, something chief executive officer JuE Wong has vehemently denied on social media. There’s also a case against L’Oréal, in which Missouri resident Jennifer Mitchell filed a lawsuit against the beauty giant and a slew of other companies, claiming that her uterine cancer was “directly and proximately” caused by her regular and prolonged exposure to phthalates and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in their hair care products. Recently, it was consolidated into a new class action multidistrict litigation (MDL).

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Then there’s the suit against Sephora where Lindsey Finster alleged that a significant percentage of products with the “Clean At Sephora” tag contain ingredients inconsistent with how consumers understand this term. In particular, it claimed that Saie Mascara 101 contains numerous synthetic ingredients, several of which have been reported to cause possible harm.

“If you Google the Olaplex case, that says it kind of started from TikTok. As an attorney, it is crazy to think that trends in litigation are going to come from social media outlets,” said Marissa Alkhazov, a shareholder in Buchalter law firm’s Seattle office and the Northwest chair of the firm’s products liability practice group. “But the fact of the matter is that information is spread so widely now, and there’s this huge audience and our society is more litigious.”

Kelly A. Bonner, an associate at law firm

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