September 29, 2015
from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 12 C 6058 --
Rubé n Castillo, Chief Judge.
Sidney Reid, Alisha Barnett, Dawn Damrow, FRAN PENELL, on
behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated,
Yolanda Loyd Reed, Plaintiffs - Appellees: Marvin A. Miller,
Attorney, Miller Law Llc, Chicago, IL; Peter Safirstein,
Attorney, New York, NY.
TINA MARTIN, Objector, Appellant: Ronald A. Marron, Attorney,
Law Offices of Ronald A. Marron, San Diego, CA; Nancy L.
Hendrickson, Attorney, Hendrickson Law Firm, Chicago, IL;
Charles Benjamin Nutley, Attorney, C. Benjamin Nutley,
Unilever United States, Inc., Conopco, Inc., doing business
as: UNILEVER HOME AND PERSONAL CARE USA, Defendant -
Appellee: Sondra Hemeryck, Attorney, Riley Safer Holmes &
Cancila Llp, Chicago, IL; Neil Lloyd, Attorney, Paula J.
Morency, Attorney, Schiff Hardin Llp, Chicago, IL.
Emballages Knowlton, Incorporated, Defendant - Appellee: Paul
Gamboa, Attorney, Stephanie F. Jones, Attorney, Gordon & Rees
Llp, Chicago, IL: Peter Safirstein, Attorney, New York, NY.
WOOD, Chief Judge, and EASTERBROOK and RIPPLE, Circuit
case arises out of several class actions that were brought
against Unilever United States, Inc. (Unilever USA) to
recover damages from a hair-smoothing product that allegedly
destroyed users' hair and burned their scalps. The lead
case, Reid v. Unilever USA, was brought in the
Northern District of Illinois under the court's diversity
jurisdiction, see 28 U.S.C. § 1332, related actions in
Kentucky and California were later transferred to
Illinois and consolidated with Reid. The cases were
eventually settled, but not to everyone's satisfaction.
Tina Martin, a class member, objected to the settlement on
numerous grounds, which we detail below. We have examined all
of them and conclude that the district court acted well
within its discretion when it approved the settlement. We
therefore affirm its judgment.
class representatives in the three suits had all purchased
Unilever USA's Suave® Professionals Keratin Infusion
30 Day Smoothing Kit (the Smoothing Kit), a hair product that
supposedly would smooth hair and coat it with Keratin, a
protein found naturally in hair. Unfortunately, for some
consumers, the Smoothing Kit was a disaster. Its active
ingredient, thioglycolic acid, is extremely corrosive, and if
left on long enough, can dissolve the hair and burn the
scalp. Asserting claims for breach of warranty, violations of
state consumer fraud and deceptive practices laws, and unjust