After three years of litigation between a group of customers and a celebrity stylist’s hair product a settlement was finally arrived at.
When this story first broke, fully three years ago, it was after months of rumors about a hair product, loved by celebrities, that was causing major hair loss for users, even after they discontinued use. Hard to believe, when you dig into the details, that it took all that time to reach a conclusion given the seemingly overwhelming evidence of misinformation and downright subterfuge engaged in by the manufacturer. The outcome means that members of the class action suit are split into two categories, those who purchased the product and are entitled to a flat $25 refund, and those who suffered scalp pain or hair loss, who can claim up to $20,000.
WEN In The Spotlight
Chaz Dean is a celebrity hair stylist with his own range of products under the branding WEN by Chaz Dean. Along with the product manufacturer, Guthy -Renker LLC, they found themselves on the receiving end of a class suit action on behalf of potentially millions of claimants. It is a story we have been covering since 2015. At the heart of the suit was the complaint that their Cleansing Conditioner was causing substantial hair loss, with as much as a third of head hair being lost. In the detail, and the devil is always there, were allegations of harsh chemicals and human allergens being used. The products also contained sulfates even though they were advertised as sulfate free. This and other perceived wrongs resulted in an amended complaint based on false advertising, negligence, failure to warn, failure to test and strict product liability. An outstanding claim is still pending, this slams the companies for continuing to sell despite tens of thousands of complaints.
A Happy Ending?
As is almost invariably the case in this type of action the agreement was reached before judgement was passed. This means that although the claimants can walk away satisfied they have proved their case and with the cash to recognise their issue, it also means that WEN can continue to sell their products, albeit with a warning label.
HIS Hair Clinic
We are pleased to read that this tortuous journey is over for the customers, some of whom have been through a terrible ordeal. As the lawyers put it when arguing for the settlement to be approved: “While plaintiff’s case is compelling, litigation of this magnitude and complexity is difficult, expensive and time consuming, weighing in favor of settlement approval.” We should all be concerned at the alacrity with which this product was misrepresented and at how the known serious problems were swept under the rug. But most of all we should be worried by the total lack of protection for consumers from companies willing to take these simple steps.
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