A California products liability case against the manufacturer of a popular hair product came to a close in a settlement with the California Attorney General’s office this week. GIB, LLC is a California-based company that manufactures Brazilian Blowout, a hair salon product that straightens and smoothes otherwise curly hair. According to report in Fox News, Brazilian Blowout has been one of the top choices for many women seeking to straighten their hair quickly and efficiently, without the long process of daily straightening with a flat iron or hair dryer. The Brazilian Blowout solution is applied and, when combined with heat, smoothes and straightens the hair.
Unfortunately, San Diego injury lawyer has learned that the Attorney General’s case has exposed some major health concerns with the product. In particular, because of the chemical formaldehyde contained in Brazilian Blowout, there is a possibility of a carcinogenic effect, which essentially means that the product has the potential to cause cancer. This risk applies to both the person receiving the hair treatment and the hair stylist administering it. It is therefore very important to ensure that consumers have all the facts before they decide whether or not to use it. Formaldehyde emits a gas, which can also cause irritation of the skin, eyes, and lungs.
Among the allegations lodged against GBI by the state was a claim of deceptive advertising stemming from the fact that GBI had labeled its products as “formaldehyde-free” when certain formulations of Brazilian Blowout, in fact, did contain the chemical. As part of their consumer safety lawsuit settlement, GBI has agreed to remove the false claims that the product is formaldehyde-free from the labels and to add a warning regarding the possible cancer-causing effects. In addition to the label changes, GBI will pay $600,000 in civil money penalties for failing to properly warn consumers of the risks of irritation and cancer and for not having the products properly tested prior to marketing them in the United States. Brazilian Blowout had previously been sold in Brazil where labeling requirements are likely different than those imposed in the U.S. The company will also provide literature to salons that use Brazilian Blowout in order to educate them as to all the risks and how to protect against them.
Selling dangerous products is certainly not unheard of in the United States, nor is it illegal in all cases. The manufacture and sale of cigarettes is a prime example of this. However, just as tobacco manufacturers are required to provide information about health risks on their packaging, manufacturers of other potentially dangerous products have a duty to warn consumers that the product could harm them. A failure to properly warn in our area can be the basis for a San Diego products liability lawsuit, even if the government had not taken action. In fact, some California consumers have already joined in a class action lawsuit against the company, and it is possible that more such suits will follow. Consumers in our area who have used Brazilian Blowout should consult a San Diego County personal injury lawyer to see what their rights are and whether they also have a case against GBI.
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