Brazilian Blowout Solution
In addition to being marketed as good for the hair, the Brazilian Blowout has been marketed and labeled as “formaldehyde free,” giving salon professionals and their clients a false sense of security. In reality, tests performed by the Oregon OSHA found that these products have on average 8% formaldehyde – almost 100 times the amount allowed to be classified as “formaldehyde free.”
Baron & Budd shareholder Laura Baughman, along with Elizabeth Pritzker of Pritzker Law, was appointed as class counsel for a nationwide class of consumers and hair stylists who were exposed to formaldehyde during applications of Brazilian Blowout.
In December 2013, the court approved a settlement which resolved the federal class action and seven class actions filed in California state court. This settlement represents roughly 73 percent of the net profits that the manufacturer of Brazilian Blowout earned from the sale of the products during the class period. It funded claims by consumers and hair stylists for partial reimbursement of monies paid for Brazilian Blowouts and purchase of the Brazilian Blowout solution as well as reimbursement of medical expenses for short-term, transient injuries. Class members will retain the right to sue for any permanent injuries, including cancer.
Baron & Budd took and defended most of the fact and expert witness depositions in the case, and along with federal court co-counsel, successfully briefed motions to dismiss and a motion for certification. Baron & Budd initially filed suit in federal court, IN RE BRAZILIAN BLOWOUT LITIGATION, Case No.: 2:10-cv-8452-JFW-MAN, in the United States District Court, Central District of California. That court certified a national class and appointed Baron & Budd as class counsel in a published opinion, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40158 (April 12, 2011). Baughman was later appointed as co-lead class counsel of a class certified for settlement purposes in state court in IN RE GIB, LLC CASES, Case No. J.C.C.P. 4657, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles.
The suit alleges that GIB, LLC, which imports, distributes and sells Brazilian Blowout, misled salons and consumers about the presence of the harmful chemical formaldehyde and engaged in deceptive marketing and advertising practices to sell its products. The class was certified in April 2011 and Baron & Budd was appointed as class counsel, which means that Baron & Budd now represents everyone who falls within the class definition, which is any hair stylist throughout the country who has purchased the Brazilian Blowout products and does not choose to “opt out” of the case. Laura Baughman, a Baron & Budd shareholder, is leading the charge.