By Diana Novak Jones
       Nov 13 (Reuters) - A federal judge on Monday allowed the
majority of claims to move forward in sprawling litigation that
claims chemical hair relaxer products made by L'Oreal USA,
Revlon and others cause cancer and other injuries.
    Illinois-based U.S. District Judge Mary Rowland denied most
of the companies’ arguments in their motion to dismiss the
complaint in the multidistrict litigation over the products. The
litigation includes more than 8,000 lawsuits. 
    The judge said the plaintiffs had put forward sufficient
facts to support their allegations accusing the companies of
negligence, defective design of the products and failure to warn
customers of the risks. 
    Of the 15 counts in the complaint, Rowland dismissed three
entirely and a portion of a fourth, finding the plaintiffs had
not done enough to bolster their claims that the companies
committed fraud.
    The products, which include chemicals to permanently
straighten textured hair, are typically marketed to women of
color. The first lawsuits hit court dockets after the October
2022 publication of a National Institutes of Health study that
found women who used the products multiple times a year were
more than twice as likely to develop uterine cancer.
    Representatives for L’Oreal           and Revlon did not
immediately respond to requests for comment.
    In a statement posted online after the first lawsuits were
filed, L'Oreal said it was "confident in the safety of our
products and believe the recent lawsuits filed against us have
no legal merit."
    A Revlon representative previously told Reuters the company
did not “believe the science supports a link between chemical
hair straighteners or relaxers and cancer.”
    Several smaller cosmetics companies are named in the
lawsuits, including some based in India. 
        Jennifer Hoekstra, one of the lead attorneys for the
consumers, said on Monday the ruling backs their argument that
the products and the companies' instructions for using them
caused cancer.

 (Reporting by Diana Jones; editing by Leigh Jones and Lincoln
Feast.)