Dabur India’s two units dismissed as defendants in hair relaxer lawsuit in US

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Dabur India said on Wednesday a U.S. court had dismissed two of its three subsidiaries as defendants in a lawsuit tying the use of hair relaxer products to ovarian and uterine cancers as well as other health issues.

Dermoviva Skin Essentials and Dabur International have been dismissed as defendants “for lack of personal jurisdiction” as neither was involved in manufacturing, marketing, distributing or selling hair relaxer products in the United States, the company said in a late filing on Wednesday.

However, Dabur’s unit Namaste Laboratories continues to be a defendant along with many other industry players such as L’Oreal , Revlon, Luster Products and Avion Industries among others, it added.

About 5,400 cases against several companies, including Dabur’s subsidiaries, were consolidated in multi-district litigation before a U.S. District Court in Illinois, Dabur said last month, after thousands of women, mostly Black women, claimed hair relaxers gave them cancer.

The dismissal, however, comes days after a lawyer representing Dabur and Namaste told Reuters that plaintiffs may not be able to show that Namaste hair relaxer products caused the alleged injuries.

Sales of hair relaxer products by Namaste account for less than 1% of the total consolidated turnover of Dabur India, the parent company said, adding that neither does the lawsuit concern any of its brands nor is Dabur a party to it.

The Vatika shampoo maker also said Namaste denies any liability and has a product liability insurance cover in place for any potential damage and defense cost.

(Reporting by Hritam Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Anil D’Silva)