Product Liability Claims Increasing
One thing we all think about more and more is our appearance. We all want to look and feel good. In order to do so we place our trust in cosmetics in order to achieve the look we want. One of the more popular ways to achieve a better look or even just to make a change is the home hair dye kit.
But what happens when things go wrong? This is something Tina Littlewood from Catterick North Yorkshire has had to endure after placing her trust in one of the biggest names in the home hair dye industry. Tina like many other woman out there has been home dying her hair for the majority of her life. Tina chose one of the more popular bands and the brand she trusts to do the job well Clairol Nice ‘N’ Easy.
Tina followed the instructions as always and had carried out a patch test. After no reaction she proceeded to apply the product to her hair. Shortly after Tina experienced a severe allergic reaction of which she is still recovering from today. Tina says her face swelled up to the size of a rugby ball. She says: ‘It was so terrifying that at one point I thought “This is it its over I’m going to die because of a hair colour”’. She feared she would be left blind or worse.
Although this case has hit the headlines it is not a one off. Michael Lewin Solicitors is seeing a number of cases just like this with customers buying products and placing their trust in the manufactures with sometime horrifying results. One such Claimant is Ms Ward who also suffered a severe allergic reaction whilst using the Clairol Nice ‘N’ Easy home hair dye kit. Ms Ward had also carried out a patch test to which there was no adverse reaction. Much like with Tina Littlewood the reaction only came when she applied the product to her hair with devastating results.
Although we have to accept that when these products are manufactured some people will be susceptible to an allergic reaction to the chemicals used and no amount of testing can cover for this hence the reason for patch testing. However why has the past test in both of these cases not resulted in any reaction? And what are the manufactures doing about the growing number of complaints they receive from customers who have such reactions.
Our investigations are at the early stages in this matter and as yet we are unable to answer these questions. However we do not need to look far before we see what has happened in very similar products of other big brands such as Johnson & Johnson’s Piz Buin sun cream product. This product received a lot of media attention and also appeared on the BBC’s ‘Watchdog’ following mass complaints from customers who suffered adverse skin reactions and the backlash of which forced the manufacturers to change the ingredients within the product. It shows that even the biggest names still get things wrong.
Many of the product liability claims against such companies are at the early stages as people are mostly unaware of the possibility of making a claim for personal injury as a result of an allergic reaction to a product. For example Mrs Kincaid another one of Michael Lewin’s clients only thought to approach us about an injury she sustained from a Boots Sultan self tanning cream when she received a letter from Boots recalling the product over a year after she had purchased it. Boots had obtained records of who had purchased the product from their advantage cards and was able to contact Mrs Kincaid to inform her of the recall. It was only at this time that Mrs Kincaid knew of the breathing difficulties she experienced after using the product and the horrific memory of being rushed to hospital after only one application that she realised that this product was clearly dangerous and contacted us to pursue the matter further. Mrs Kincaid did not have to wait long before Boots made a settlement offer.
But what of those who did not purchase the product on their Boots advantage card and may still have the product in their homes waiting to be used? It is my opinion that these manufacturers need to carry out testing of their products on a wider proportion of people in order to identify the problems before the product hits the mass market. I also believe they should react quicker to those early complaints rather than waiting like Johnson and Johnson did before the matter is publicised on programme like Watchdog before any action is taken.
We can only wait and see what action the manufactures behind the Clairol Nice ‘N’ Easy will take in the coming months. Customers need to be more aware that when they suffer at the hands of these companies in the way many others have they need to be asking for more than just their money back.
If you’ve had a similar allergic reaction and you think the manufacturers may be at fault give Michael Lewin Solicitors a call on 0844 499 9302 to see if you qualify for compensation.