Week Adjourned: 9.23.16 – SoftSheen, Chicago School, Domino’s

7528500842Top Class Action Lawsuits

Heads up—literally… for anyone who’s used SoftSheen-Carson Optimum Amla Legend No-Mix, No-Lye Relaxer. A defective products class action lawsuit has been filed by two women in the US against L’Oréal alleging the hair relaxer kits causes hair loss and scalp burns. Ouch!

While the advertising claims it helps Afro-Caribbean hair to feel fuller and silkier through the inclusion of amla oil from the Indian amla super fruit, the plaintiffs allege that thousands of women who bought and used the product have suffered distressing injuries including hair loss and breakage, and scalp irritation, blisters and burns.

According to the SoftSheen Relaxer complaint, despite not listing lye as an ingredient, the inclusion of lithium hydroxide can cause damaging effects like those experienced by the women who used the product. Further, it’s also not clear as to whether the product truly is a ‘no-lye’ relaxer as the retail lists sodium hydroxide in the products’ ingredients online.

Dorothy Riles, one of the key plaintiffs behind the lawsuit, claims that when she used the product she was left with bald patches, burns and scabs forcing her to wear a wig.

Another key plaintiff claims that when using the product she immediately experienced scalp irritation and, after washing it out, she saw “significant” hair loss.

The plaintiffs are demanding that L’Oréal is tried by jury and are seeking compensation on the grounds of false advertising, unfair competition, consumer fraud, deceptive business practices, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, unjust enrichment, fraud and negligence.

Top Settlements

Shrinking Credibility at School? A $11.2 million settlement in a consumer fraud class action lawsuit pending against The Chicago School of Psychology has received final approval. The lawsuit was brought by students who alleged they were provided with misleading information regarding the school’s accreditation and their job prospects after completing their courses.

The Chicago School settlement will provide financial recovery for 87 students who are class members. The average payout will be $95,000 per student.

Plaintiff Miranda Joe Truitt and other students filed the complaint in November, 2012 claiming they invested in a worthless education. They wanted to study at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and were encouraged to attend classes at the graduate university’s Los Angeles campus, which was falsely promoted to them as being prestigious and accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).

According to the settlement documents, the plaintiffs were “either negligently lured” to enroll at the Los Angeles campus or were caused to stay “by a series of statements or omissions allegedly made, issued or approved by defendants.” In 2013, Tara Fischer filed a similar class action which was later consolidated with the Truitt’s complaint.

According to Truitt’s complaint, the administration of the Chicago School of Psychology led the Los Angeles campus students to believe that they would get APA approval before their graduation.

The case is Miranda Jo Truit et al v. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, number BC495518, in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles.

Domino’s Pizza drivers got a delivery this week …in the form of a $995,000 award in a wage and hour lawsuit in Georgia. The action was brought against Domino’s franchisees Cowabunga Inc. and Cowabunga Three LLC, by drivers who alleged the franchisees shorted their drivers on vehicle expenses, resulting in the drivers’ pay going below below minimum wage in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The named plaintiff, Chadwick Hines, will receive a $7,500 service award. The final approval of the settlement  ends the lawsuit filed against Cowabunga in 2015. Cowabunga, one of the largest singly owned Domino’s franchises in the U.S.

A total of 565 Cowabunga delivery drivers opted into to the case. The drivers will receive damages from the $995,000 settlement in exchange for waiving their wage and hour claims against Cowabunga. The average award per driver is $1,138.

Well, that’s a wrap for this week. See you at the Bar!