Brazilian Blowout Settles Suit
Way back in April 2011, we told you about the legal catastrophe that popular hair-straightening product Brazilian Blowout created for itself when it decided to market itself as “formaldehyde-free” when that wasn’t exactly true. And now it’s nearly final, as of Monday the company, after much government inquiry and an onslaught of health complaints has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit for a whopping $4.5 million.
Brazilian Blowout’s troubles began in 2010, when regulators in Canada and Oregon started issuing warnings about the brand’s products after stylists started complaining about nosebleeds, breathing problems and eye irritation. The treatment (about $300 a pop) was found to emit formaldehyde gas despite it’s marketing claims… and the legal drama started to unfold.
According to a New York Times article, this latest settlement would provide consumers who contend that they were harmed by the product with a $35 payment for each treatment (up to three total), and would reimburse stylists $75 for each bottle of the product that they purchased. In addition Brazilian Blowout can no longer make the false claim that it’s product is “formaldehyde free” and must dole out more detailed instructions on how to use the product safely. Good news for you curly-haired gals who simply refuse to give up the “miracle” of a straight, glossy mane.
2012 is looking to be an expensive year for the North Hollywood-based brand, as Brazilian Blowout previously agreed to pay $600,000 in fees and penalties in another settlement with the California attorney generals office earlier this year. As formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, that settlement also included the necessity to warn consumers that the Brazilian Blowout product emits formaldehyde gas. The brand is also being investigated for its false formadehyde-free marketing plan by the F.D.A.
“They can still sell the product as long as they market it appropriately,” lawyer for the plaintiff, Elizabeth Pritzker said. “Our major concern is that people simply know what it is that they are buying.”