In a relief to FMCG major Dabur, two of its foreign subsidiaries, Dabur International and Dermoviva Skin Essentials, have been removed as a defendant in multiple lawsuits filed in a US court over allegations that their hair-relaxer products caused ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and other related health issues.
However, lawsuits filed against its third international subsidiary Namaste Laboratories LLC, would continue before the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, according to a statement from Dabur on Wednesday.
Dabur International and Dermoviva were removed and got relief in the multiple suits due to lack of jurisdiction as they have not either manufactured, marketed, distributed or sold hair relaxer products in the US, it added.
Three foreign subsidiaries of Dabur India -- Namaste Laboratories LLC, Dermoviva Skin Essentials Inc and Dabur International Ltd -- were facing approximately 5,400 cases in the federal and state courts in the US, which was later consolidated to the Northern District of Illinois, the company had last month disclosed in a regulatory filing.
"We wish to inform that Dabur and Dermoviva have been dismissed as defendants in federal cases, which were consolidated as a Multi-District Litigation, before the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, for lack of personal jurisdiction as neither Dabur nor Dermoviva manufactured, marketed, distributed or sold hair relaxer products in the US," said Dabur India on Wednesday.
Hence, now only Namaste remains as a defendant in these cases along with many other industry players such as L'Oreal, SoftSheen/Carson, Luster Products Inc, Avlon Industries, Inc. PDC Brands (Parfums de Coeur, Ltd), Revlon etc, Dabur added.
The Homegrown FMCG and Ayurvedic products maker further stated that this lawsuit does not concern any Dabur brand or product and said the sale of hair relaxer products by Namaste contributed less than one per cent of the total consolidated turnover.
"We would like to reiterate that Namaste is confident in the safety of its products and believes that these lawsuits have no legal merits hence denies any liability and has retained counsel to defend it in these lawsuits as these allegations are based on unsubstantiated and incomplete study published in the journal of the National Institute of Health, which study has already been held to be redundant by the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association in the European Union," said Dabur.
Moreover, Namaste has product liability insurance cover in place for any potential damages/claims and defence costs, it added.
Certain consumers using hair relaxer products had complained alleging that some industry players had sold products that contain certain chemicals.
Using these hair relaxer products has caused ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and other health issues in the users, Dabur had informed earlier.
According to the latest report, Dabur India has 27 subsidiary companies, which contributed to 26.60 per cent of the consolidated revenue from operations in FY 2022-23.
Its revenue from international business was at Rs 2,867 crore, recording a growth of 11.1 per cent in constant currency terms in FY23.
Dabur India has manufacturing facilities at eight international locations, according to its latest annual report.