Many women rely on Tylenol or other generic acetaminophen-based drugs for over-the-counter pain relief during pregnancy. Multiple studies have emerged that claim exposure to high levels of Tylenol or acetaminophen in utero can cause children to develop autism or ADHD. Parents are now bringing product liability lawsuits against the makers of these drugs who failed to add warning labels to the products alerting consumers to this risk.
If you are considering filing a Tylenol autism lawsuit, you may have questions about the process of choosing the best product liability lawyer to negotiate your claim. Our team is available to discuss the services we offer and evaluate your claim in a free consultation with one of our Tylenol autism lawyers.
Exposure to Tylenol in Utero is Associated with Autism and ADHD
A 2018 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found evidence that Tylenol causes autism and ADHD. Based on data collected from over 130,000 mother-child pairs, researchers found that the children who had been repeatedly exposed to Tylenol while in the womb had a 20% high chance of having autism, and a 30% higher chance of having Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition that is conceptualized on a spectrum, as it presents differently in each person. Common characteristics typically include difficulty with communication or socialization, learning differences, and a tendency toward repetitive behavior. ADHD, or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, is a mental condition that makes it difficult for a person to regulate their attention, which can lead to impulsiveness and other issues. Both conditions can have a long-term impact on a child’s lifestyle, ability to learn, emotional health, and career prospects.
Parents Sue Tylenol Makers in Product Liability Lawsuits
The makers of Tylenol and acetaminophen pain relief drugs, including major retailers like Walmart, are named in these product liability lawsuits. Plaintiffs say that had they received the proper warning from drug makers, they could have avoided incurring the damages they are seeking as a result of their children’s autism and ADHD.
The product liability lawsuits are currently being evaluated as a multidistrict litigation and have survived a preemption challenge from high-profile defendant Walmart. Efforts by Walmart to have these claims dismissed have been unsuccessful thus far, although they have appealed this decision.
Qualified Tylenol Autism Attorneys Specialize in Product Liability Claims
Product liability claims require a specialized skill set that not all personal injury lawyers have. Meeting the burden of proof for product liability claims is more difficult as the criteria for these types of claims are more stringent. Product liability claims are distinct in that the defendant’s negligence must have occurred within one of three categories.
Either the makers created a design that was defective, manufactured the product in such a way that it became dangerous, or failed to provide a warning label that informed customers of the risks associated with using the product. Product liability lawyers must be prepared to launch their own investigation of the defective product, analyze technical medical records, and potentially deal with the press, as many product liability claims have to potential to be mass tort claims.
Mass Tort and Trial Experience Are Necessary
When your claim is part of a mass tort issue affecting many plaintiffs, it is important to secure a product liability lawyer who has handled these types of claims. They should be prepared to coordinate with the representatives of the other plaintiffs and other participants if the claims are consolidated into a multidistrict litigation, as the Tylenol autism lawsuits have been.
Additionally, mass tort claims have the potential to go to trial. When a maker of a product has been accused of negligence, they may refuse to settle because they believe that their products are safe, or because they think that they can overpower plaintiffs with fewer individual resources. Your product liability lawyer should be willing to take your claim to trial. In fact, their firm should be able to point to previous trial experience. Otherwise, that indicates that they regularly settle for what the insurance company is willing to offer, which is usually the lowest amount they are obligated to provide.
Consider the Size of the Personal Injury Firm
The type and quality of attention you receive from a personal injury law firm are significantly influenced by its size. Smaller firms often tout their ability to offer individualized attention. The trade-off is that they may lack the capacity to take on a large volume of claims.
Large firms, on the other hand, might be better equipped to handle a more complex claim or keep up with the demands of many claims at once. However, you are less likely to receive the dedicated time and attention your claim deserves.
A mid-sized firm will be able to offer the benefits of both. Their staff will be large enough to have team members who specialize in certain areas of personal injury law, like product liability, and have the resources to take on a mass tort claim. At the same time, you will still reap the benefit of personalized attention. You should be able to reach your personal injury lawyer with your concerns rather than constantly being passed around.
Choose a Personal Injury Law Firm With a Reputation for Excellence
At the minimum, the Tylenol autism lawyer you choose should be in good standing with their State Bar. You can learn more about a personal injury lawyer’s reputation by investigating what their peers and their clients say about them. Look for awards given for client satisfaction or awards bestowed by other personal injury lawyers. Additionally, many personal injury lawyers will provide access to client testimonials, so you can hear what clients thought of their experience in their own words.
Another important metric to measure a personal injury lawyer by is their case results. Look for consistency, rather than just a few large settlements. A solid personal injury lawyer tries to maximize compensation for every client, whether or not they have a flashy case that will likely secure a large settlement. Your personal injury lawyer should willingly provide you with access to their record of settling claims.
Recovering Damages in a Tylenol Autism Claim
The purpose of filing a personal injury claim is to allow an injured party the opportunity to demonstrate why they believe they should be reimbursed for damages caused by a negligent party. These damages may be economic or non-economic.
Plaintiffs may sustain economic damages while seeking care for their children, and their autistic children may suffer financial consequences as they move into the workforce. Economic damages can help compensate for these monetary costs.
Non-economic damages can also accumulate. Your child may struggle in school, have behavioral difficulties, or have sensory issues that impact their quality of life. You may have to forfeit your career or lifestyle to be their caregiver. Non-economic damages provide compensation for intangible and emotional losses like these.
Examples of Damages in a Tylenol Autism Lawsuit:
- Medical bills
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Job-related losses
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Missed promotions
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
Seek an Experienced Tylenol Autism Lawyer
With the right team by your side, you can increase your chances of recovering the compensation you need to offset your damages. The support needs of children with autism will differ on a case-by-case basis. Similarly, the value of the damages you receive compensation for will differ based on the extent of your losses.
If your child has been diagnosed with autism or ADHD and you regularly used Tylenol while pregnant, you should consider contacting a qualified personal injury attorney about how to proceed. A personal injury lawyer will be able to offer legal insight, help you determine if your claim may be worthy of compensation, and protect your right to seek compensation.