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Policy: Law

Settlement of $10.25M reached in Suave Keratin Smoothing Kit class action

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Law,Legal Newsline

CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) – A settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit against Suave for its Keratin Infusion 30-Day Smoothing Kit in the amount of $10.25 million.

“After more than a year and a half of arm’s length and hard fought negotiations and two separate mediation sessions conducted with the assistance of Hon. Wayne R. Andersen (Ret.), the parties entered into a settlement agreement on February 7, 2014,” the June 11 motion for final approval of settlement states.

Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse in Chicago

Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse in Chicago

In exchange for dismissal of the three pending putative class actions and the releases, the defendants – which include Unilever United States Inc., LEK Inc., and Conopco Inc. – have agreed to provide $10.25 million to Dahl Administration LLC for the establishment of two separate settlement funds, consisting of a reimbursement fund of $250,000 and an injury fund of $10 million.

The reimbursement fund will be available to any member of the settlement class who is seeking compensation, in the form of a one-time payment of $10 per person, for the purchase of the smoothing kit.

The injury fund will seek to compensate any member of the defined settlement class who suffered bodily injury to his or her scalp as a result of using the smoothing kit, and did not timely request exclusion from the settlement class, according to the settlement.

Class members who suffered smoothing kit injuries may submit a claim for reimbursement ranging from $40 to $25,000, depending on the extent of their injuries and proof of their treatment expenses.

The named plaintiff, Sidney Reid, will receive a $10,000 incentive award and named plaintiffs Alisha Barnett, Dawn Damrow and Fran Pennel will receive incentive awards of $7,500 each.

Class counsel has requested attorneys’ fees in the amount of one-third of the total common fund made available to class members.

The lawsuit was first filed in August 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, after class members claims the defendants’ smoothing kit caused them to suffer hair loss and/or scalp injuries.

The plaintiffs claimed Unilever made false and misleading statements about the safety of the Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion 30-Day Smoothing Kit, which was recalled in May 2012.

The plaintiffs are represented by Lori A. Fanning and Andrew Szot of Miller Law LLC; Peter Safirstein and Elizabeth S. Metcalf of Morgan & Morgan PC; Christopher S. Polaszek of Morgan & Morgan PA; and Jana Eisinger of the Law Office of Jana Eisinger PLLC.

The defendants are represented by Sondra A. Hemeryck and Paul J. Morency of Schiff Hardin LLP.

The case was assigned to District Judge Ruben Castillo.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois case number: 1:12-cv-06058

From Legal Newsline: Kyla Asbury can be reached at classactions@legalnewsline.com.

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