Hair Straightener Lawsuit Updates
Diandra "Fu" Debrosse Zimmermann
Susan Barfield (00:06):
Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining another Case Works stream. Super excited to be joined by a great group of attorneys today. We’re going to be talking all things L’Oreal hair straightener litigation. Today, we are joined by Darren Miller and Rachal Rojas of D. Miller & Associates. We’re also joined by Mark DiCello and Fu Diandra Debrosse Zimmermann with DiCello Levitt.
Thank you guys for joining and all the insights and updates that you’re going to be providing. Why don’t-
Darren Miller (00:39):
Thanks for having us, Susan.
Susan Barfield (00:40):
Yeah, for sure. Why don’t we start off, if you guys will just share a little bit, a brief overview of your background and what brought you into personal injury and mass tort law? Why don’t we start, Darren, with you and then Rachal and then Mark and Fu. We can kind of go around the around the horn.
Darren Miller (01:00):
Thank you, Susan. Appreciate you putting this together this afternoon. Hi, I’m Attorney Darren Miller. I’ve been practicing for 22 years, mainly in personal injury and then the last 10 years adding mass torts to the inventory of things that we like to try and do. There’s just so many different projects out there, like this one that we’re going to be getting into, that are just so significant. So this has really piqued my interest, and I’m really glad to be involved in this particular project.
Susan Barfield (01:30):
Rachal Rojas (01:33):
Again, thank you, Susan, for having us. I’m Rachal Rojas. I’m with D. Miller & Associates. My entire practice has been working in pharmaceutical and device litigation and also just general products liability. One of the things I like about this area of law is that we are able to defend people that have been injured by products and medicine and devices that are supposed to be helping them or enhancing their lives and, unbeknownst to them, it’s hurting them. So I really just have this desire to help people who’ve been injured by the negligence of others.
Susan Barfield (02:15):
Yeah. Thank you, Rachal. Mark, share a little bit about your background.
Mark DiCello (02:19):
So, Mark DiCello from DiCello Levitt. Sometimes I think I’ve been put on this Earth to help Diandra DeBrosse Zimmermann attain the stature to which she is entitled, and that journey started over 20 years ago. I’m a career trial lawyer. I love what we do. I really focused on injury work, mass torts for my entire career. We have a firm that is in five cities, and we have quite a few lawyers now.
What’s never changed is the idea that we have to find a way to help people, and really help them. When you’re looking at cases like this, you’re really looking at a lot of people that have been harmed and some of them more than others. But we really do believe that, with joining people together and having a lot of claims, we defeat some of the intention of tort reform and some of those things that have happened to try to really protect the corporate world at the expense of our clients.
We’ve all, as injury lawyers and trial lawyers, we’ve heard the criticism of mass torts and these other things. But the truth is there is no other way to help some of these people than to bring all these claims together, and there’s no other way to pressure industry to actually take people seriously and, in this case, these particular plaintiffs seriously. There’s no other way than to aggregate the claim, put together, which will happen, a great leadership team, and then go get justice for people that otherwise would literally be left to die because they want straight hair.
We’re doing this now. We’re in other cases as well, but we take this really, really seriously because this is really, for so many people, the only shot they have. So we’re honored to do it.
Susan Barfield (04:31):
Yeah. Well, Mark, we’re grateful for you to be here today. Thank you for that. Fu, if you would give us a little bit about your background?
Diandra “Fu” Debrosse Zimmermann (04:39):
Sure. Thanks for having me. Thanks for having DiCello Levitt on. As you said, my name’s Diandra DeBrosse Zimmermann. Everybody calls me Fu. I’m a partner at DiCello Levitt, and Mark and I co-chair the mass tort practice. So I have to listen to his foolishness on a daily basis, but it’s worth it.
I grew up a child of immigrants. My family was very active in their own countries about social justice issues as lawyers, as doctors, as writers. So my passion comes from my family in a sense that you have an obligation to make things right. I’m a plaintiff trial lawyer as well, primarily a products lawyer, secondarily a civil rights lawyer, and have worked on cases involving device, drugs, chemical contamination pretty early in my career.
I’m headed to 20 years, which is very bizarre. So, as Mark said, we really, at DiCello Levitt, reject this mass model in the sense that you’re not looking at the individual rights. Mass tort cases, the hair relaxer case, the paraquat case, all these cases are about people, people who have been devastated or killed, forever altered by wrongful corporate practices and putting money over lives. So that is what drives me and our firm every single day.
We are very focused, obviously, have driven the hair relaxer litigation against not just L’Oreal, but a number of other defendants. We represent currently thousands of women. We will get them justice. That’s not a question. We’re not naive about the complexities of these cases, but Mark and Adam have built a firm with highly specialized people who work diligently with other firms and experts to make sure that the women who’ve been impacted have some modicum of justice.
I say modicum because if you can’t have children or you’re dead, I don’t know what real justice is. But we do the best we can to make someone accountable for what they’ve been through.
Susan Barfield (06:47):
Well, you said focused and driven, but what I hear from each of you is your passion. So thank you again for being here. I wanted to, Darren, wanted to find out from you, why is hair straightening products for this particular litigation so important to you and your firm?
Darren Miller (07:08):
Great question, Susan. As you know, we’ve got Boy Scouts litigation, opioids, 55,000 other cases that we get involved in. Obviously, it’s a very personal type of a situation. But this is one of the first times that this thing has really kind of hit home. When I say hit home, I mean from when I was five years old, I can remember being around the house and seeing my mother taking care of my sisters’ hair and relaxing it and what are we going to do this weekend and always putting all these heavy chemicals into their bodies.
To now to think that my sisters, my cousins, my mother who came down with cancer a few years back, that a company could be responsible for this is outrageous to me because at the source of these issues is always one thing. It’s corporate greed. The fact that these companies, as I’m sure our teammates will let us know, that they knew about these things and didn’t tell anyone and now just keep raking in the money, we’re going to keep going with this, is absolutely outrageous. We’ve got to change the mindset of these companies.
I feel honored to stand in front to bring these things, to create change so that people can feel safe inducing it and putting products into their bodies. That’s the first and foremost with regards to why this is important to me.
Susan Barfield (08:54):
Yeah. When it hits home, again, I can hear your passion about wanting to get behind and help more women. Rachal, really to get things rolling, can you tell us a little bit about the products involved in the case and how did the issue with hair straightener get even brought into the courtroom?
Rachal Rojas (09:16):
Well, so there’s been a number of historical studies, but I think very recently there’s a lot of attention to an October 2022, so just last month or I guess two months ago since October, study from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the findings of a 10-year study that found a relationship between women who developed uterine cancer and hair straightening products. This study evaluated about 34,000 women in the United States over the course of a decade.
The study found that the risk more than doubled among women who reported frequent use of chemical straighteners compared to those who didn’t use those products. Very shortly after, DiCello Levitt and Ben Crump Law filed, I believe, the first case in the nation against L’Oreal for their plaintiff, Jenny Mitchell. Since then, there have been other cases filed throughout the country against L’Oreal and some other defendants as well.
Susan Barfield (10:39):
You mentioned Jenny Mitchell. Mark or Fu, would you give us a little background about who Jenny Mitchell is and maybe share a little bit about what is the problem with this product and the estimated impact of these defective products?
Diandra “Fu” Debrosse Zimmermann (10:55):
Sure. Jenny Mitchell was the first woman to come forward and file her case with Ben Crump Law and our firm. Really, an extraordinary person. She’s served our country. She’s a former service member, one of six. She used the products since she was about nine or 10 years old, which when we talk about the products, we’ll talk for Just For Me and specific kits marketed targeted towards Black and brown children very specifically.
At the age of 30, she received a uterine cancer diagnosis and underwent a hysterectomy. Sometimes we say that in passing, “Someone had a hysterectomy,” but the impact is actually quite tremendous. Aside from not being able to have children, obviously, your morphology shifts. Your hormones shifts. There’s a reason, as creatures, that we go through menopause at a certain age when your body is right for that process. So physiologically, she was impacted. Emotionally, she was impacted partially because of the hormones, partially because of the impact of everything she had gone through.
Upon seeing the study, came forward … Sorry, someone called and that cut me off. We’re talking about a number of products. The evolution of the products are important themselves. The unifying factor are the types, the categories. There are categories of chemicals. When you look at the history, anhydride evolved into formaldehyde and evolved into quite a few categories of products, as I said, including [inaudible 00:12:41], the one specifically that we’ve delineated in the complaint itself, DHP and a number of other chemicals.
Not only do many of these products have known carcinogens and have [inaudible 00:12:55], but it’s also the manner in which the chemicals interact with one another. How did we get here? How did we get to the uterine cancer study? I will tell you that in addition to what exists, underlying a lot of the current studies that we have is the Sister Study, which was the first of its kind comprehensive study collecting data on women of color that really had not occurred before.
I say all that to say that the science is strong as it relates to the endocrine-disrupting effects of these specific chemicals that are involved in the formulation of some of the products where we’re seeking damages against those specific defendants. So it’s complicated because we’re talking about problematic chemicals, but it’s simple in that [inaudible 00:13:43] chemicals. They impact hormones, and these are hormone-based cancers.
It’s simple in that they were distinctly aware of the impact of these chemicals and chose to place them in the products to sell them to women of color, Black and brown women, and to market specifically towards children. So that’s simple.
Susan Barfield (14:04):
Fu, quick question about the estimated impact of these defective products. Has anyone stated, “We think that there’s this number of people that could have been impacted?”
Diandra “Fu” Debrosse Zimmermann (14:17):
When you say impacted, we have to be careful about that because what do we know? What are we prepared to advance and prove in these cases? That is primarily uterine cancer and ovarian cancer. I say that because there are many other conditions that those of us who’ve dedicated our life to this work know are problematic. The question is what can we prove today?
So a lot of the reason we do this work is hopefully my daughters will work with Mark’s daughters and advance the product cases that we can’t advance now in the future. Right now, the emphasis is on uterine and ovarian cancer. How many of those women are out there? Many. We believe it to be thousands of Black and brown women who systematically used hair relaxer who have uterine and ovarian cancer.
Susan Barfield (15:10):
Okay, thank you for that. Rachal, as far as you had mentioned earlier, L’Oreal being one of the offenders, who exactly is liable?
Rachal Rojas (15:23):
Well, in referencing the DiCello Levitt Mitchell complaint, they have named L’Oreal, Softsheen-Carson, Strength of Nature, Dabur International Ltd. doing business as Dabur USA Inc., and Namaste Laboratories. Additionally, there are other defendants in other filings against the cosmetic giant, Revlon, Optimum Care, Dark & Lovely, Just For Me, and Motions.
Susan Barfield (16:08):
Okay. One of the things, Fu, you mentioned earlier, uterine ovarian cancer, and as far as the criteria, how do you see the criteria changing? You mentioned there’s a lot of other reported injuries. What can we expect or do you expect in the future?
Diandra “Fu” Debrosse Zimmermann (16:30):
So I think the future as we talk about criteria and I think what we collectively call responsible representation, anchoring the claims of our clients with the strongest claims because, God willing, at some point, this will be centralized. We will have bellwethers. We will get our day in court, and we will be proposing a whitepaper to help people with criteria as well, focusing on uterine and ovarian cancer as we sift through the levels involving fibroids.
I know a lot of people have fibroid cases, and those are not really the cases to be filed primarily, but really those cancer cases as leading the litigation in light of the pending studies in our analysis at this time. So you definitely want exposure. You want someone who’s systematically used the product. This is one of those cases where, as Darren said, that’s not a concern.
I mean folks have done this from nine, 10 years old to 35 on a schedule. Some folks have standing appointments every three weeks or every four weeks. So, of course, you need exposure. People have to identify their products. There are going to be multiple products. That’s why some of the cases are going to have to be multiple defendants. A child began with Just For Me. As they age, they may have used a Revlon product for a number of years. Then they used a L’Oreal product.
Side note on the intake criteria, Revlon is in bankruptcy, and that is something that is being addressed at this time because, obviously, that’s a different pathway and different issues. And then definitely someone with an ovarian and uterine cancer diagnosis is definitely something that you’d want to have. I think we would all agree that diagnosis alone is more than enough injury to the individual.
Of course, as part of that, you will see as, a matter of course, the vast majority of cases that there are some fibroids that are precursors to the cancers themselves. But you’re really focused on those cancers.
Susan Barfield (18:44):
Okay. Mark, as far as the existing plaintiffs go, how far back do the timelines reach or how far back do the injuries go?
Mark DiCello (18:56):
Well, the injuries go, I mean, look, there’s always statutes of limitation, statutes of repose that we have to deal with state to state. So the injuries go back as far as the products are on the market. I think that that’s a criteria question that is going to vary from state to state based on the product’s lawsuits. Remember, too, this is not a medical device. It’s not a drug. This is something that this is an aesthetic product.
So I think some people are looking at some of the medical statutes of repose. I think some people are looking at this like they do other products, maybe incorrectly, but I don’t want to give a … I think the lawyers watching this are smart, but you got to look at your state law. So that’s what I would do, given the nature of these cases. I’m a single father with two daughters and the thought that … By the way, as a single father, I actually buy their products, sometimes much to my horror. But I have to do it.
If I ever came across information that something I bought for them could hurt them, I’m looking at any way possible to hold whoever it was accountable under any state statute. If there’s a statute of repose, I’m looking at fraud exceptions. If there’s whatever it is, these are kids. Some of these little girls were given a ticket to cancer as children. So, to me, just be creative. Do whatever you have to do for these people.
Diandra “Fu” Debrosse Zimmermann (20:48):
I agree. I would say that the criteria, like I think all good cases, is evolving and the firms on this presentation, along with other great firms that are diligently putting resources towards protecting the women we represent, will continue to provide additional guidance. But like Mark said, it’s state to state, but looking for those cancers, looking for exposure and really being diligent about the kind of cases that you’re signing, making sure you’re not giving people false hope, honestly, signing up people who necessarily don’t have a claim.
Mark DiCello (21:27):
I think that that’s important because we’re at the beginning of this litigation for a lot of people. So when you’re speaking to these women, a couple of things, I hope you have people in your firm that are female that can speak with them about this. I think that’s important. I think just to have compassion for them because it’s really, again, having a 20-year-old and a 17-year-old, if I had to take them to an oncologist, it would kill me, and I couldn’t imagine what it would do to them.
Susan Barfield (22:02):
Yeah, for sure. I mean having women being able to talk to other women, it just allows for them to be more comfortable and to be able to share their experience and what they’re going through. Rachal, something that Mark just mentioned, I wanted to talk about the failure to warn. Failure to warn implies the manufacturer was aware of a health risk. Are you aware of whether there’s any evidence that’s come forward to support this claim yet?
Rachal Rojas (22:31):
No. Actually, the defendants may have already answered the Mitchell complaint. But a L’Oreal spokesperson has denied any knowledge of the product being defective or dangerous. In fact, they recently made a statement to the Post on behalf of L’Oreal, who owns the Softsheen-Carson brand, and the company said, quote, it, “is confident in the safety of our products and believe the recent lawsuits filed against us have lo no legal merit.”
I think that probably through the litigation process though, we are going to find out what the defendants knew, when they knew it, and when they should have known it to support the failure to warn claim.
Diandra “Fu” Debrosse Zimmermann (23:29):
Let me speak to that a little bit. If you look at the body of our complaint, when you look at product cases, cosmetic cases, drug cases, the question is what science exists? If you look at a lot of the studies cited that deal with endocrine disruption and the prevalence of endocrine disruption among communities of color, specifically as it relates to the chemicals that are in these products, we’re looking forward to those depositions. Clearly, a entire body of literature around some of the chemicals that are in these composite products.
You also have to remember, as Mark said, this is a cosmetic product, different labeling requirement, different requirements as it regards to what exactly has to be reported. So not every single chemical is actually reported in your hair relaxer, which is most disturbing. But they are placing the chemicals in the hair relaxer, not an elf. Mark laughs because I often talk about elves at our office. They were aware because it was in the public sphere that these scientific studies existed.
What’s also important from a failure to warn space is we’re talking about a mega company, not just L’Oreal, which is a French company, many companies that have entire research and development, R&D divisions. So they are distinctly aware of scientists and have scientists on staff. A lot of the basis for the failure to warn claim is in the complaint and detailed.
As I like to say, common sense still exists even as lawyers. So we’re looking forward to taking depositions where biologists and other scientists say they were unaware of the existence of an entire body of work that involves the impact on the endocrine system of some of these chemicals.
Mark DiCello (25:27):
Yeah. We have no doubt the spokesman doesn’t know what the hell’s going on.
Darren Miller (25:31):
Mark DiCello (25:34):
So they were telling the truth. But ignorance is bliss, but it’s not a defense.
Susan Barfield (25:38):
Darren Miller (25:39):
Susan, it would be so refreshing sometime for one of these companies to come forward and just say, “You know what? We screwed up. We take responsibility for things that have happened in the past that were wrong. But hey, we’re working towards fixing these things,” instead of forcing us to beat them into submission and then finally coming out to say, “Okay. While we’re not going to accept responsibility, we’re going to pay you all this money because you’re forcing us to.”
I mean that is what we’re trying to change, Susan. We want to change the culture in America from a corporate perspective with regards to being responsible to citizens, letting us know that things are safe and, when they’re not safe, letting us know what’s going on before people get sick and they die. I mean is that really that difficult for us to wrap our arms around?
Susan Barfield (26:34):
Oh, goodness, yes. That would be a change in the industry, for sure. One thing, I was listening to Fu talk about the science and the evolution of this case. I mean, Mark, what’s the status of this case? I mean have bellwethers been tried? Is there an MDL? What exactly?
Mark DiCello (26:55):
Hold up. Hold up. There will be a JPML in mid-January.
Susan Barfield (27:02):
Mark DiCello (27:03):
Probably we’ll have some meaningful updates end of January, beginning of February. There Is discovery happening now. We are retaining experts. By we, I want to be very clear, you folks. So we are-
Diandra “Fu” Debrosse Zimmermann (27:23):
That was funny. He’s very funny sometimes.
Mark DiCello (27:28):
No. We’re doing that work because cases are filed, and there are discovery schedules, so that’s happening. But to say things that would imply that we’re not going to be consolidated, I think we have to wait for that ruling. I think the odds are this will be a consolidated action, and then everything that we’ve done will be brought into that. And then we’ll have discovery schedules and all of that stuff that you’re familiar with.
Susan Barfield (27:59):
This is, Mark, for you or Fu, what is DiCello Levitt, what are the steps that you’re taking to approach this tort? You talked about having women on the phone. What other steps are you guys taking?
Diandra “Fu” Debrosse Zimmermann (28:12):
I mean part of it is our culture. We don’t see this as mass cases. This is a case that has to be worked up. I think that goes to people’s intake criteria, from the manner in which you bring the client, to making sure that they have exposure, to making sure that they have the disease state, to explaining the process to them. These are complicated cases. They involve general causation, which we have experts retained, specific causation as to the individual client.
There are a lot of moving parts, a lot of defendants, a lot of disease states. The war has begun in this case. Some of the defendants have answered. So we do what we do with every single case, to be quite honest with you, make sure that the science is shored up, make sure that we have the right plaintiffs for the case, make sure that we’re working with great firms, like the firm on here, who can help sustain the litigation.
Like Mark said, we’re not presumptive. We don’t know what federal judges do when they get together. We have asked to centralize the cases in a certain jurisdiction and, when that happens, we’ll be working together. But there is a lot of moving parts and, especially for purposes of this, a lot of responsibility of law firms across the country to be careful in their filing of cases because if there is a MDL, those will be the cases that are part of bellwether selection.
If there are crappy cases in the bellwether pool, there will be crappy cases that go to trial, and that will hurt so many people who have strong cases. So our approach is to approach the case diligently with respect for our clients and to work with other firms in the same space to do so.
Susan Barfield (30:00):
Darren Miller (30:01):
Susan, that is one of the primary reasons why we’ve been fortunate enough to team up with DiCello Levitt and, of course, Fu. These cases are important. They’re important. You’re dealing with a class of people, women of color, that traditionally have been underrepresented and certain things have, quite frankly, not gone in their favor, shall we say.
But again, it’s very important that we have the best in the business working together on this. While I feel extremely confident in what I can do and what we’ve done in the past, I love having this 800-pound gorilla on our team to make sure that this case goes the right way for each and every one of our clients.
Susan Barfield (30:48):
Mark DiCello (30:50):
Thank you, Darren, for referring to us as gorillas because Fu does that on the daily.
Diandra “Fu” Debrosse Zimmermann (30:57):
We’re laughing because I call Mark and Adam my gorillas, that is a true story, because they are very protective. They’re very good partners.
Mark DiCello (31:06):
Let me say this to the lawyers handling these cases. We’ve segmented it. Like any big project, when you look at it, it looks really, really daunting. So we have a client services piece. It’s very client centric. When you’re in the beginning of a litigation, you have to inform the clients that the science is subject to change. What I mean by that is science doesn’t change, but the results may point to someone’s case being better or might be an exposure issue.
So we’re keenly aware that some of these people that are sharing some of the most intimate things with us in their lives are going to then get a phone call saying, “Look, because this happened and because of your particular pathology, you might not have a case.” So, with the client service piece, you really have to be sensitive to them and understand that unlike, say, a hip case where you get the IDR and it’s the wrong hip, you say, “Look, I’m sorry, it’s not the PUSR. It’s not this. It’s a hip that we can’t pursue.”
It’s a different conversation with someone who’s undergone some of these procedures. So there’s that piece. I think it requires more client contact and sensitivity, and I think you have to embrace that if you’re getting involved in this litigation. Then, of course, there’s just the heavy litigation side. So you have to kind of merge those two at a point with the clients to give them the information they need to be secure in trusting the case with you.
Susan Barfield (32:47):
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Darren, what is your team focused on at this time?
Darren Miller (32:57):
Our team is focused right now on educating the public to know of these. I just can’t tell you how damaging it is to me, for example, to see that some of these companies and see these products and how dangerous they are and know that they’ve been in my own household in my bathroom, that my sister and my mother have been using for years religiously on a very, very consistent basis, and this is happening all over the country.
So it’s our job to let people know this is what’s going on. Here’s what you need to be aware of. This is what the companies have not been telling you. So we need to address this. We need to get on top of it. Let’s find out what’s going on. If these guys are ultimately responsible, let’s figure the path to make them pay. So that’s what we’re doing, mobilizing, getting involved, because so many people, “Yeah, maybe I’ve been using it for so long, I don’t want to get involved.” They have the wrong information.
It’s our job to let them know, no, no, no, no, let’s get on them. We will help you. We will assist you. We will do the heavy lifting. Let us help you with this problem, and we will take it all the way home for you.
Susan Barfield (34:13):
Well, yeah, I mean there’s strength in numbers, for sure. Mark or Fu, based on your experience with class action and mass tort lawsuits, what specifically about this case really stands out for you?
Diandra “Fu” Debrosse Zimmermann (34:29):
Obviously, it’s a case of great import. I think what stands out, we’re talking about a lot of products. This is not the only product directed towards communities of color that have had tremendous impact. We’ve had talc. We’ve had many others. I think a number of things stand out. Number one, this has been and continues to be, in the MDL world, some of the most diverse group of lawyers working on the case, which has been a personal focus of mine in the MDL world for a long time.
I think the second piece really is the impact the litigation has already had. After the filing of this lawsuit, within a number of days, certain products involving phthalates were taking off the shelves. Some of our friends in the scientific community have let us know that research dollars already being issues.
Tons of people, academics who have looked at these issues, including my good friend, Dr. Wendy Greene, who is the architect of the CROWN Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of hair, is watching the culmination of her academic life’s work come to fruition in a very palpable way that involves recognizing the exposure to these women and children and, hopefully, reaching a point where they’re accountable.
So it’s a really important case for a lot of reasons. It impacts a lot of people. It also is the culmination of science and communities of color that had been long overdue, which over the last 20 years, there had been a push for parity in scientific research, which obviously drives our ability as trial lawyers to get accountability. So it’s a case that will be seminal for many, many reasons.
We have a long fight ahead of us, but obviously it’s very personal to us. It has great impact. For that reason, even more so, although we feel this way about all of our cases, we want to be diligent and make sure we’re advancing the case in the proper way.
Mark DiCello (36:34):
There’s a humanity question, discussion, whatever you want to call it, that you get with this case. That is, I mean it begs the question. Culturally, we’re emphasizing, and Fu mentioned this with what you just said, but culturally this was not necessary. It just wasn’t necessary. This is an issue where you want to make yourself conform to a notion of beauty and what’s the price? Your life? Your fertility? So it does, I think, start a lot of conversations that responsible parents should have with their children.
This is a horrible, horrible event, but it does start the conversation, especially with women. What are you being asked to be, and at what price are you being asked to be that? I mean I have insight only as a dad, but it’s a conversation that has to happen over and over again because this price is insane. It’s just insane. By the way, you tell Darren when I knew him when he had long, straight hair. It would never be worth it. You are still beautiful. But no, as men, we don’t have those conversations. We just don’t.
As women, the history, at least from my daughters, they always talk about being ignored and what they have to go through. So look, I’m hearing that and I think everybody has an opportunity to now have that discussion. So if that helps.
Susan Barfield (38:23):
For sure. I think it goes back, Darren mentioned about his team is really focused on education. I know one thing, Darren, your firm and team is great at is just the messaging, the messaging that you’re getting out to the public and part of the education. Rachal, I wanted to find out and have you speak a little bit about some of the ways that your team is spreading the awareness about this case.
Rachal Rojas (38:49):
Well, I think we’re spreading it just like we do many of our torts. Actually, Darren has done something just with regards to just education. A lot of it is, like he said, people need to know. He did a video today and sent it out to all our staff, not just our mass tort department, everybody, the personal injury department, and said, “Hey, this is what’s going on. You should be aware. If you’re using these products, that these are dangerous and they’re causing people to develop cancer.”
I think that is where the dialogue starts, where people know. Also, I think our firm is really great at using our social media to get the messaging out and to reach people who are not necessarily Googling L’Oreal lawsuit or they’re finding this content a little bit more organically. And again, no matter who this reaches, it starts the conversation about these products that could be dangerous, and it gets people talking.
I think that’s one of the ways that we work on getting that message out through our website, through our social media, through Darren. He speaks at a lot of places. Just information, we need to get the information out there.
Susan Barfield (40:16):
Yeah, for sure. Last question. This has been fantastic, Fu. Thank you for joining us even in between flights.
Diandra “Fu” Debrosse Zimmermann (40:25):
Thank you. Thank you.
Susan Barfield (40:26):
You have provided a wealth of knowledge and answered lots of questions. I guess, Darren, I’m just really interested if attorneys that are listening, if they have more questions and want to get involved, what do you suggest that they do?
Darren Miller (40:40):
Look, this is a different type of case because, again … And it’s a different type of case from the perspective of you know people that have been affected by this. There’s just no question. You know people that have been affected by it. The question’s what are we going to do about it? I’m telling you, I was planning on kind of standing on the sidelines on this particular case. I really was.
But then as my partner, Ben Crump, is embarrassing me by filing the first lawsuit with you guys, I’m like, “Okay, I have to get involved. I have to learn more about it.” And then as I start to learn more about what’s going on, oh my God, these products were in my house. They’re in my home. If they’re in my home and I’m supposed to be Mr. Education, what about everybody else who doesn’t even stand a chance? They don’t know about these things.
So we’re going to get the information out there. We’re teaching people. We’re getting people involved. What I’m doing a little bit differently here, and you’re going to help me with this, Susan, you don’t even know it yet, is contacting all my friends, my attorneys, “Hey, all your old clients, all your friends that you did that bumper to bumper, that little rear end case, contact that young lady. Let them know about what’s going on. Let them know to get involved. We will help them.”
You can do it yourself. That’s great if you want to. But there’s strength in numbers, guys. Let us do it with our team here if you want us to. Let us help you get the message out, protect your particular clients, evaluate your case, and get you involved. I’m taking this thing head on. I’m not going to be embarrassed by you guys taking all the accolades and not getting some for myself. This is important.
I’ve got two young girls. One of them’s 19. The other one is 16. They use these products. My wife goes to the hairdresser every weekend. I’m going there myself very soon because, “Hey, ladies. Hey, do y’all know what’s going on out here?” Because you need to educate yourselves. You need to understand what the situation is. So we’re letting everyone know what’s going on. My plan is to spread the word everywhere, get the information out to everyone, and then let them make their decisions.
So attorneys who want help with this, our partners, we will give them the information. We will let them know what’s going on. But the smart play is to get together with other folks that you can trust who know exactly what they’re doing to help you figure out what’s the best way to help the biggest group of people. That’s the easiest way I can suggest that.
Susan Barfield (43:22):
Well, we greatly appreciate you bringing awareness to all these communities, Darren and Fu and Mark and Rachal. Thank you all for joining today. Again, this has been such great information. I’ve learned more today than I have in a while. I mean this has been great. So we really appreciate you guys joining us and sharing this information. Of course, for all the attorneys that are listening, those that want to learn more, they’ll have your contact information and they can reach out.
Darren Miller (43:51):
Susan, I’m sorry. I have to rudely interrupt you. I want to thank you because, look, Mark and I and Fu, we were going to do this anyway, along with Rachal. We were going to do this anyway, but we were going to do this privately. But when you guys contacted me, “Hey, Darren, why don’t we talk about this?” Now we can get that word out. We can spread it out there. We can disseminate the information.
So thank you for putting this together because this is going to help us kind of sharpen our pencil a little bit better and make that message get out there just even faster.
Susan Barfield (44:20):
Fantastic. Well, good. Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate everyone’s time and joining us today, and we’ll talk soon.
Mark DiCello (44:29):
Darren Miller (44:29):
Rachal Rojas (44:30):
Darren Miller (44:30):