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July 23, 2014 / Alexis Domb

Settlement Reached in Suave Keratin Infusion Class Action

On July 9, 2014, a federal judge granted approval of a $10.2 million settlement in the Suave Keratin class action lawsuit, which alleged that Unilever PLC—the manufacturer of the Suave Keratin Infusion 30-Day Smoothing Kit—had engaged in the sale of defective products. The class action, filed in 2012 (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), alleged that Unilever’s Suave Keratin Smoothing Kit caused consumers to suffer hair loss and/or scalp injury.

Class members of the Suave Keratin class action settlement include all individuals who purchased the Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion 30-Day Smoothing Kit in the United States for personal or home use prior to February 17, 2014.

The lawsuit claimed that Unilever allured consumers into buying the Suave Keratin Infusion Smoothing Kit by making false and misleading statements about the safety of its hair product. Specifically, this class action argued that Unilever failed to disclose to consumers the unreasonable risk of hair and/or scalp injury associated with use of the Suave Keratin 30-Day Smoothing Kit.

Unilever denies such allegations but has agreed to the settlement to avoid the burden of ongoing litigation. Under the terms of the settlement, a Reimbursement Fund worth $250,000 and an Injury Fund worth $10 million will be created. The Injury Fund will compensate injured class members for their medical expenses and emotional distress.

The settlement provides that class members who suffered Smoothing Kit injuries may submit reimbursement claims ranging between $40 and $25,000, based on the extent of their injuries and proof of their treatment costs. Additionally, class members who did not suffer injury from the Smoothing Kit may receive reimbursements of up to $10.

U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo granted approval of the Unilever class action settlement after the final fairness hearing. Judge Castillo overruled objections from class members who argued the payout was too small for those who suffered serious injuries as a result of using the Suave Smoothing Kit. Furthermore, Judge Castillo stated that class members were free to opt out of the settlement and file their own individual personal injury lawsuits.

If you or someone you know has suffered injuries as a result of false or misleading advertising, you may be titled to relief. Please contact Khorrami Boucher, LLP for a confidential consultation.

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