This case was last updated from PACER on 07/18/2021 at 07:11:46 (UTC).

Hossain v. Unilever United States, Inc.

Case Summary

 

On May 19, 2021, Zebin Hossain (“Plaintiff”), represented by Stephen J. Fearon, Jr. of Squitieri & Fearon, LLP filed a personal injury lawsuit against Unilever United States, Inc. (“Defendant”), seeking compensatory and punitive damages with prejudgment interest for allegedly experiencing hair loss after using TRESemmé shampoo containing a dangerous ingredient called DMDM hydantoin (“DMDM”). This case was filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of New York with Judge Frederic Block and Judge Robert M. Levy presiding

 

In her complaint, the Plaintiff alleged that “DMDM has long been associated with causing hair loss, thinning hair, dermatitis, and other adverse scalp reactions. The TRESemmé Products are marketed to customers—through labelling and other marketing—as containing a formula that will smooth hair, add softness and shine, and prevent frizzing and tangling. According to Defendant, the TRESemmé Products “deeply nourish,” “gently cleanse,” and “repair hair”. Despite knowing the substantial risks associated, Defendant manufactured, marketed, and sold TRESemmé Products containing DMDM even though the risks of using those TRESemmé Products containing DMDM outweighed any potential benefits. Moreover, Defendant delayed reformulating or manufacturing the TRESemmé Products with safer alternatives to DMDM even though doing so was affordable and sensible considering the substantial risks associated.”

 

The Plaintiff further alleged that “Contrary to Defendant’s representations, the TRESemmé Products’ formula contains DMDM, a chemical that causes a substantial proportion of users to experience hair loss, thinning hair, and scalp irritation even when applied properly. DMDM is a “formaldehyde donor” known to slowly leach formaldehyde when combined with water. Formaldehyde is a well-known human carcinogen and allergen shown to cause cancer and other harmful reactions when applied to the skin. DMDM has been used as a preservative in Defendant’s TRESemmé Products for more than a decade; however, the use of DMDM as a preservative is an entirely unnecessary risk because various safer and affordable alternatives exist. Defendant has long known that DMDM can cause hair loss, thinning hair, and scalp irritation.”

 

The Plaintiff also alleged that “users of TRESemmé Products have complained about the products online, including on online retailer sites such as Amazon and on product review websites. Those complaints include claims that the TRESemmé Products cause hair loss, thinning hair, shedding, and other injuries. Defendant knew or should have known about the consumer complaints because, upon information and belief, Defendant either received the complaints directly or regularly monitored online retailers and other online and social media sources where consumers were complaining about the TRESemmé Products’ harmful effects to their hair and scalp, including that the products cause hair loss. And as a result, Plaintiff suffered hair loss after using Defendant’s TRESemmé shampoo.”

 

There are four claims for relief laid down by the Plaintiff. The first and second claims deal with strict product liability regarding manufacturing and design defects because Defendant allegedly manufactured, supplied, promoted, marketed, distributed, designed and/or sold TRESemmé Products containing DMDM. The third and fourth claims deal with strict product liability: failure to provide adequate warning and negligence, respectively. 

 

In her prayer for relief the Plaintiff has requested the court to award Plaintiff compensatory and punitive damages in an amount to be determined by the trier of fact, with pre-judgement interest and such other relief as is just and proper.

 

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    1:21-CV-02833

  • Filing Date:

    05/19/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Product Liability

  • Courthouse:

    New York Eastern District

Judge Details

Referral Judge

Robert M. Levy

Presiding Judge

Frederic Block

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

ZEBIN HOSSAIN

Defendant

UNILEVER UNITED STATES, INC.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

Stephen J. Fearon, Jr.

Attorney at Squitieri & Fearon, LLP

32 East 57Th Street, 12Th Floor

New York, NY 10022

Defendant Attorneys

Reynold Lambert

Attorney at Lowenstein Sandler LLP

One Lowenstein Drive

Roseland, NJ 07068

Gavin J Rooney

Attorney at Lowenstein & Sandler

1251 Avenue Of The Americas

New York, NY 10020

 

Court Documents

#11

(#11) Corporate Disclosure Statement by Unilever United States, Inc. (Rooney, Gavin) (Entered: 07/12/2021)

#10

(#10) ANSWER to #1 Complaint, by Unilever United States, Inc.. (Rooney, Gavin) (Entered: 07/12/2021)

#9

(#9) NOTICE of Appearance by Gavin J Rooney on behalf of Unilever United States, Inc. (notification declined or already on case) (Rooney, Gavin) (Entered: 06/22/2021)

#8

(#8) NOTICE of Appearance by Reynold Lambert on behalf of Unilever United States, Inc. (notification declined or already on case) (Lambert, Reynold) (Entered: 06/22/2021)

7 #1

Transmittal

#7

(#7) First MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer by Unilever United States, Inc.. (Attachments: #1 Transmittal) (Lambert, Reynold) (Entered: 06/08/2021)

#6

(#6) SUMMONS Returned Executed by Zebin Hossain. Unilever United States, Inc. served on 5/21/2021, answer due 6/11/2021. (Fearon, Stephen) (Entered: 06/02/2021)

#5

(#5) This attorney case opening filing has been checked for quality control. See the attachment for corrections that were made, if any. (Bowens, Priscilla) (Entered: 05/20/2021)

#4

(#4) In accordance with Rule 73 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rule 73.1, the parties are notified that if all parties consent a United States magistrate judge of this court is available to conduct all proceedings in this civil action including a (jury or nonjury) trial and to order the entry of a final judgment. Attached to the Notice is a blank copy of the consent form that should be filled out, signed and filed electronically only if all parties wish to consent. The form may also be accessed at the following link: #http://www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/FormsAndFees/Forms/AO085.pdf. You may withhold your consent without adverse substantive consequences. Do NOT return or file the consent unless all parties have signed the consent. (Bowens, Priscilla) (Entered: 05/20/2021)

#3

(#3) Summons Issued as to Unilever United States, Inc.. (Bowens, Priscilla) (Main Document 3 replaced on 5/20/2021) (Bowens, Priscilla). (Entered: 05/20/2021)

#2

(#2) Civil Cover Sheet.. Re Notice: Re: Incomplete Civil Cover Sheet, #1 Complaint, by Zebin Hossain (Fearon, Stephen) (Main Document 2 replaced on 5/20/2021) (Lee, Tiffeny). (Entered: 05/20/2021)

1 #2

Request for Issuance of Summons

1 #1

Civil Cover Sheet

#1

(#1) COMPLAINT against UNILEVER UNITED STATES, INC. filing fee $ 402, receipt number ANYEDC-14486636 Was the Disclosure Statement on Civil Cover Sheet completed -NO,, filed by ZEBIN HOSSAIN. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet, #2 Request for Issuance of Summons) (Fearon, Stephen) (Attachment 1 replaced on 5/20/2021) (Lee, Tiffeny). (Entered: 05/19/2021)

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Docket Entries

  • 07/14/2021
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  • Docket(#12) SCHEDULING ORDER: An initial conference by telephone has been scheduled for August 24, 2021 at 12:45 p.m. before the Honorable Robert M. Levy, United States Magistrate Judge at (888) 684-8852; Access Code #: 6223489. All counsel must be available. Plaintiffs counsel is directed to confirm with defendant's counsel that all necessary participants are aware of this conference. Ordered by Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy on 7/14/2021. (Attachments: #1 IC QUESTIONNAIRE, #2 INDIVIDUAL RULES) (Marino, Janine) (Entered: 07/14/2021)

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  • 07/12/2021
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  • Docket(#11) Corporate Disclosure Statement by Unilever United States, Inc. (Rooney, Gavin) (Entered: 07/12/2021)

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  • 07/12/2021
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  • Docket(#10) ANSWER to #1 Complaint, by Unilever United States, Inc.. (Rooney, Gavin) (Entered: 07/12/2021)

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  • 06/22/2021
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  • Docket(#9) NOTICE of Appearance by Gavin J Rooney on behalf of Unilever United States, Inc. (notification declined or already on case) (Rooney, Gavin) (Entered: 06/22/2021)

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  • 06/22/2021
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  • Docket(#8) NOTICE of Appearance by Reynold Lambert on behalf of Unilever United States, Inc. (notification declined or already on case) (Lambert, Reynold) (Entered: 06/22/2021)

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  • 06/08/2021
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  • DocketORDER granting #7 Motion for Extension of Time to Answer. Unilever United States, Inc. answer due 7/12/2021. Ordered by Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy on 6/8/2021. (Marino, Janine) (Entered: 06/08/2021)

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  • 06/08/2021
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  • Docket(#7) First MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer by Unilever United States, Inc.. (Attachments: #1 Transmittal) (Lambert, Reynold) (Entered: 06/08/2021)

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  • 06/02/2021
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  • Docket(#6) SUMMONS Returned Executed by Zebin Hossain. Unilever United States, Inc. served on 5/21/2021, answer due 6/11/2021. (Fearon, Stephen) (Entered: 06/02/2021)

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  • 05/20/2021
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  • Docket(#5) This attorney case opening filing has been checked for quality control. See the attachment for corrections that were made, if any. (Bowens, Priscilla) (Entered: 05/20/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/20/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#4) In accordance with Rule 73 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rule 73.1, the parties are notified that if all parties consent a United States magistrate judge of this court is available to conduct all proceedings in this civil action including a (jury or nonjury) trial and to order the entry of a final judgment. Attached to the Notice is a blank copy of the consent form that should be filled out, signed and filed electronically only if all parties wish to consent. The form may also be accessed at the following link: #http://www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/FormsAndFees/Forms/AO085.pdf. You may withhold your consent without adverse substantive consequences. Do NOT return or file the consent unless all parties have signed the consent. (Bowens, Priscilla) (Entered: 05/20/2021)

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  • 05/20/2021
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  • Docket(#3) Summons Issued as to Unilever United States, Inc.. (Bowens, Priscilla) (Main Document 3 replaced on 5/20/2021) (Bowens, Priscilla). (Entered: 05/20/2021)

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  • 05/20/2021
  • DocketCase Assigned to Judge Frederic Block and Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy. Please download and review the Individual Practices of the assigned Judges, located on our #website. Attorneys are responsible for providing courtesy copies to judges where their Individual Practices require such. (Bowens, Priscilla) (Entered: 05/20/2021)

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  • 05/20/2021
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  • Docket(#2) Civil Cover Sheet.. Re Notice: Re: Incomplete Civil Cover Sheet, #1 Complaint, by Zebin Hossain (Fearon, Stephen) (Main Document 2 replaced on 5/20/2021) (Lee, Tiffeny). (Entered: 05/20/2021)

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  • 05/20/2021
  • DocketNotice: Re: Incomplete Civil Cover Sheet. The Clerk's Office cannot assign this case without a completed Civil Cover Sheet. All questions *** INCLUDING the CERTIFICATION OF ARBITRATION ELIGIBILITY*** section on the second page needs to be answered. Please resubmit Civil Cover Sheet. (Bowens, Priscilla) (Entered: 05/20/2021)

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  • 05/19/2021
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  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT against UNILEVER UNITED STATES, INC. filing fee $ 402, receipt number ANYEDC-14486636 Was the Disclosure Statement on Civil Cover Sheet completed -NO,, filed by ZEBIN HOSSAIN. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet, #2 Request for Issuance of Summons) (Fearon, Stephen) (Attachment 1 replaced on 5/20/2021) (Lee, Tiffeny). (Entered: 05/19/2021)

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