The family of a mother-of-two who fell into a coma and later died after a severe reaction to the hair dye she was using are considering taking legal action against its manufacturer L’Oreal.
A coroner today ruled that the death of Julie McCabe, from Cowling, near Keighley, in November 2012, was an accident, but called on the cosmetic industry to take action in light of her death.
The 38-year-old estate agent lapsed into a coma in October 2011 after using a L’Oreal hair product at her home after a shopping trip with her family. Just over a year later, in November 2012, she died from heart problems relating to a brain injury.
The Inquest into Mrs McCabe’s death heard that she had a black henna tattoo in Dubai in 2007 and her regular reactions to her hair dye increased after this.
Coroner Geoff Fell heard expert evidence which said the tattoos contained massive amounts of Paraphenylenediamine (PPD), the chemical in the hair dye which is thought to have caused her reaction, and that the tattoos increased susceptibility.
Today, returning an accidental death verdict at the Inquest in Skipton, Yorkshire, Mr Fell said he would be writing to the Department of Business Innovation and Skills to ask it to look into increasing public awareness of this danger.
Speaking after the Inquest Mrs McCabe’s husband Russell said, “Julie was a wonderful wife and fantastic mother to our two children. We miss her every single day and her loss has torn our family apart.
“To lose any loved one is devastating enough but to lose someone in these circumstances at such a young age has been too much to bear. We will never recover from this loss. But we hope that some good can come of this tragedy and that people are now more aware of the potential dangers of these sorts of products. Had there been clearer warnings about the severe reactions on the labels it may have prevented this from ever happening.”
The family has now instructed Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK to investigate a potential civil claim against the manufacturer of the hair dye, L’Oreal.
Slater and Gordon Lawyer Carol Hopwood who is representing the family said, “Mrs McCabe could never have expected that a routine part of her beauty regime would have such devastating consequences.
“This tragedy highlights how common products contain potentially lethal chemicals and illustrates how important it is that clear warnings are placed on packaging to alert customers of the risk of serious injury or even death from the use of these products. It also vital that doctors are fully aware of the warning signs, what advice they should give patients and when patient should be referred to hospital.
“I would urge anyone who is using products like this and have had any adverse reactions to stop using them immediately and to speak to a doctor.”
Carol Hopwood is a Senior Personal Injury Lawyer at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.
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