All-Women Litigation Team Seeks to Hold Hair Company Accountable for Preying on Women’s Self-Esteem and Natural Desire for Longer, Thicker Hair
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 8, 2018) — Attorneys Julie Braman Kane and Lindsey Lazopoulos Friedman of Coral Gables-based Colson Hicks Eidson and Amy Keller of Chicago-based DiCello Levitt & Casey have filed a class action lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida against Miami-based Monat Global Corp. for fraudulent and deceptive practices in connection with the sale of its Monat Hair Care Products (“Monat Products”).
The suit was filed on behalf of Sue Hoffpauir and a proposed class of similarly-situated purchasers of Monat Products. Hoffpauir purchased the Monat Products because of the company’s representation that the products would encourage hair growth and produce longer, healthier hair; however after using the products, her hair started thinning considerably and became brittle. Essentially, she suffered hair loss, hair damage, scalp irritation and discomfort after using the Monat Products for six months. Although it has been several months since she used the products, her hair remains damaged and parts have not grown back.
According to the lawsuit, an inherent design and/or manufacturing defect in Monat Products has caused significant and embarrassing hair loss and painful scalp irritation to many consumers, and despite knowledge of the defect, Monat failed to disclose or warn consumers. In fact, Monat actively concealed customer’s complaints and methodically filed lawsuits and issued cease and desist letters to people who made public statements about the hair loss caused by the Monat Products, cruelly silencing these women from sharing their stories.
The complaint also asserts that Monat misled consumers and preyed on women’s desire for self-beautification through longer, thicker, more luxuriant hair and engaged in aggressive marketing tactics to lure consumers into purchasing Monat Products, including numerous assertions about the “natural-based” and “safe” nature of its products, which are patently false. According to the complaint, Monat Products use numerous harsh chemicals containing known human allergens while also falsely claiming that its products are sulfate- free and do not include petrochemicals. Beneficial health and efficacy claims, including “clinical results” regarding Monat products are also ubiquitous on Monat’s website and its marketing materials, which falsely boast of “higher proven results than the other leading hair rejuvenations brands.”
Led by the Urdaneta Family, Monat is sold through a multi-level marketing scheme in which the company actively recruits purchasers to become “Market Partners,” who are used to market and sell the products through social media and other marketing channels. The Market Partners recruit additional Market Partners to share in the “down-line” profits generated by their recruits, essentially operating as a pyramid scheme.
“The defendant has known about the defect and has failed to provide an adequate remedy. Instead, they continue to mislead consumers through aggressive marketing tactics, taking advantage of women with a natural desire for longer and fuller hair,” said Kane, who filed the lawsuit along with co-counsel Amy Keller and Lindsey Lazopoulos Friedman. “Many of these affected women have now suffered embarrassing hair loss and painful scalp irritation, impacting their self-esteem and quality of life. We hope this lawsuit, and the others that have been filed around the country, sends a strong message to the defendant and other corporations engaging in deceptive business practices.”
“It’s important to our plaintiff that the women who were affected by Monat’s defective haircare products be able to tell their stories, and be compensated for the devastating losses that they suffered,” said Keller. “We look forward to representing these women, and holding companies like Monat accountable when they prey on women’s self-esteem to sell so-called ‘natural’—but damaging—products.”
Among the violations outlined in the complaint include violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, breach of warranty, breach of contract, negligence and failure to warn, and unjust enrichment.
For more information, call Julie Braman Kane at 305.476.7400.
ABOUT COLSON HICKS EIDSON
The Law Firm of Colson Hicks Eidson is a trial firm with nearly 50 years of experience handling local, national and international litigation, and arbitration. Members of the firm have been involved in some of the country’s most high-profile and landmark cases resulting in impactful and precedential rulings. A mid-size firm with a diverse staff comprised of more than 50 percent women and minorities, Colson Hicks Eidson prides itself on a track record of developing future leaders within the legal profession and its civic and community involvement. Members of the firm have held notable positions serving on the boards of prominent institutions, such as the State University System of Florida and the Florida State Board of Education, and holding high-ranking offices, including President of the 60,000-member American Association for Justice; President of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers; President of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers; President of the Dade County Bar Association; President of the Miami-Dade Florida Association of Women Lawyers; United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; and Chairman of the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission.
ABOUT DiCELLO LEVITT & CASEY LLC
Based in Chicago and Cleveland with a nationwide practice, DiCello Levitt & Casey represents individuals, businesses, institutional investors, and public clients in complex and multidistrict litigation and class action cases. The attorneys have successfully prosecuted and settled numerous high-profile cases, resulting in billions of dollars in recoveries for their clients and other class members. Founders Mark DiCello, Adam Levitt, and James Casey lead a nationally-recognized team of leaders—acknowledged as Super Lawyers and Leading Lawyers by Lawdragon, and AV-Rated by Martindale-Hubbell—who share a collective depth of experience and steadfast commitment to justice. Their tireless advocacy on behalf of their clients is well-known, resulting in numerous appointments to high-profile cases against Equifax, Volkswagen, General Motors, Conagra Brands, and Ford Motor Company. Members of the firm hold prominent positions in the bar, including with the Public Justice Foundation, the American Legal Institute, the American Association for Justice, Class Action Trial Lawyers, the Duke Center for Judicial Studies, National Trial Lawyers, the Economic Club of Chicago, the Chicago Bar Association, and the Ohio Association for Justice.