The recent mass tort lawsuit claims that Tylenol consumption by expecting mothers is causing autism in children, along with other potential neurodevelopmental disorders. Knowing more about Tylenol lawsuits may help you determine if you have a valid case.
Background of the Tylenol Lawsuits in Illinois
Recent scientific studies have linked pain reliever acetaminophen to autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other types of neurodevelopmental disorders in children. Acetaminophen, or paracetamol, is a key ingredient in Tylenol and other medications, and parents in the recent Tylenol lawsuit claim that it’s causing developmental problems in children after pregnant mothers consume it.
The primary defendant in these cases is Johnson & Johnson, the makers of Tylenol, but other retailers are also subject to the lawsuit for using acetaminophen in their products.
What Are the Most Common Impacts of Tylenol?
More than 100 parents are part of the lawsuit claiming that Tylenol and other medications are causing certain conditions in their children. One of the most common conditions is autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but others are suing manufacturers for allegedly causing ADHD, hyperactivity, and other types of neurological conditions.
Acetaminophen may contribute to these conditions, and it’s known to cause adverse reactions in some people at higher doses. Some commonly reported reactions include nausea, constipation, and vomiting. Tylenol may also pose a threat to the liver.
If you believe Tylenol or other medication may be behind developmental issues in your children, there are signs to look for that can indicate ASD or ADHD.
The main symptoms of autism include:
- Social difficulties
- Delayed ability to speak
- Unusual changes in mood or emotion
- Neurological disorders such as anxiety and depression
Meanwhile, symptoms of ADHD may include hyperactivity, dangerous risk-taking behaviors, difficulties with organization and focus, and excessive physical movement.
What Are the Allegations in the Tylenol Lawsuits?
The Tylenol autism lawsuit, also called the Acetaminophen autism lawsuit, alleges that drug retailers like Johnson & Johnson were aware of but failed to warn of the potential risks associated with acetaminophen consumption in pregnant mothers.
Manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson must include proper warning labels detailing the risks associated with their products, and the new lawsuit wants to ensure that new warning labels for Tylenol and other pain relief medications include language touching on the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders.
Contamination and Product Tampering
Tylenol is one of the most widely used medications in the world, and a previous incident involving product tampering led its makers to revolutionize product packaging.
In Chicago in 1982, seven victims died after consuming Tylenol products from stores. The perpetrator caused these deaths by poisoning Tylenol capsules with potassium cyanide. Authorities initially believed the product could have experienced contamination during the manufacturing or shipping process, but they eventually discovered that a single suspect was behind the tampering.
Johnson & Johnson responded to the incident by recalling 31 million Tylenol bottles. The company then developed and implemented new tamper-proof bottle designs to prevent future incidents. In addition, it became a federal crime to tamper with medications and all other consumer products.
While Johnson & Johnson was a leader in product packaging improvement in the wake of this incident, new lawsuits are finding this and other companies negligent in their failure to warn.
The new lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and other retailers selling pain relief medications claim that these companies failed to provide proper warnings on their packaging. They allege that these companies were aware of the risks associated with the drug’s consumption and neglected to take proper steps to address them.
While there aren’t many studies linking acetaminophen to autism and other neurodevelopmental issues, the data is beginning to prove a stronger connection between them. One report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that one in 36 children born in the U.S. will receive an autism diagnosis by the age of eight.
Additionally, research has linked acetaminophen use in pregnant women to a lower intelligence quotient (IQ) score in children, along with behavioral problems, such as conduct and emotional issues.
Implications and Consequences of the Tylenol Lawsuits in Illinois
As more parents join the Tylenol autism lawsuit and attempt to recover compensation, drug retailers like Johnson & Johnson face certain consequences for their negligence.
Impact on Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson may need to pay compensation to plaintiffs and update its label to address the risk of autism and ADHD or other neurodevelopmental conditions in unborn children.
The amount of compensation will vary depending on the severity of each child’s condition, among other factors. Specifically, the ASD diagnosis will have a big impact on the settlement reached. The ASD level ranges from one to three, with one being the least severe and three being the most severe diagnosis.
As a result, the projected compensation for ASD Level 1 is $150,000 to $225,000, while plaintiffs stand to recover $250,000 to $500,000 for ASD Level 2 disorders and more than $500,000 for ASD Level 3 disorders.
In addition to Johnson & Johnson, other companies face legal consequences stemming from the Tylenol autism lawsuit, including:
- Rite Aid
- Dollar Tree
Class Action Lawsuits vs. Mass Torts
The recent Tylenol lawsuits are likely to be part of one of the country’s biggest mass tort cases. What is the difference between a mass tort and class action lawsuits, exactly?
Mass torts are cases that involve multiple individual lawsuits and separate settlements. Meanwhile, class action lawsuits involve one representative bringing a single case comprising many plaintiffs who had a similar experience.
Both types of cases involve seeking compensation from a single shared defendant. In the mass tort case against Tylenol and other drug manufacturers and retailers, multiple plaintiffs are filing separate lawsuits to seek total compensation.
Filing a Tylenol Lawsuit
If you believe Tylenol or another company is behind autism or another disorder in your child, you may be able to join the multidistrict litigation (MDL) lawsuit against these brands.
If you’re not sure how to file a class action lawsuit or mass tort, take the following steps to begin filing a Tylenol lawsuit against the liable parties:
Collect Evidence Supporting Your Case
One of the main pieces of evidence you’ll need before filing a Tylenol lawsuit is proof of diagnosis of ASD or another related condition in your child. You may be able to obtain this evidence in the form of medical records collected during pregnancy.
In addition, you must prove that the child’s mother consumed Tylenol or another acetaminophen-containing product while pregnant. You could have receipts for the product or other proof of purchase that might show how long-term exposure to acetaminophen led to the child’s condition.
Consult With a Class Action Attorney
The next step to take is to schedule a consultation with an experienced class action lawyer. An attorney with experience handling drug cases like those involving Tylenol will understand how to build a case and calculate the total amount of compensation you may recover.
A class action attorney should be able to help you determine whether you have a viable case in a free consultation, and never charge up-front costs.
If the attorney decides to take on your case, he or she can begin collecting evidence and putting it together to help you succeed with a lawsuit. This process will involve identifying all damages related to your case, including economic, non-economic, and potentially punitive damages.
Economic damages in these cases could include financial losses resulting from treating ASD or other disorders, such as therapy and medication. You may also suffer non-economic personal losses, including emotional and psychological distress from adjusting to the disorder. If the courts decide that the defendants are liable for gross negligence or wrongdoing, they may also award punitive damages to punish them.
Begin Filing Your Lawsuit
Once you’ve selected an attorney to help you develop a case against Johnson & Johnson or other companies, you may begin filing your lawsuit against the liable parties. Your attorney will then get to work seeking compensation through mass tort litigation.
Proceeding With a Tylenol Lawsuit
If your child has suffered from ASD, ADHD, or another related condition after the child’s mother consumed acetaminophen during pregnancy, you may recover total compensation in a lawsuit against liable retailers. With the help of an attorney, you may be able to prove a connection between Tylenol and the resulting disorders, while also showing how Johnson & Johnson failed to warn of these issues.
However, you must file on time before the statute of limitations runs out, which is two years following the development of the child’s condition or discovery of the condition or its cause. An attorney may work with you to help you file on time and successfully recover compensation.