The multidistrict litigation for the Tylenol autism lawsuits continues to progress, as parents who believe their children’s autism or ADHD is linked to prenatal exposure to acetaminophen have now been tasked with completing a Plaintiff Fact Sheet. This will provide the courts with the pertinent details of individual claims, as they share similar complaints. Parents are seeking compensation in Tylenol autism lawsuits because they believe that makers of acetaminophen were aware of the risks of their products and failed to provide a warning label.
As of March 2023, about 100 Tylenol autism claims have been filed, but the court anticipates that number will grow. To learn more about the requirements for filing a Tylenol autism lawsuit, you should speak with a qualified product liability lawyer. Tylenol autism attorneys will be able to explain the process of filing a product liability claim, establish the connection between your child’s prenatal acetaminophen exposure and your damages, and provide you with an estimate of what your Tylenol autism claim is worth.
Tylenol Autism Lawsuits Are Being Considered as a Multidistrict Litigation
When a large group of people have been injured by the same defective product, it can be consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL). This is a common practice for product liability lawsuits. In this case, plaintiffs allege that their children have developed autism or ADHD as a result of being exposed to acetaminophen in utero. They claim that because makers of Tylenol and other acetaminophen-based pain relief drugs failed to issue a warning label on their products, they should be held liable for damages.
At the end of 2022, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation heard arguments from both sides in regard to whether an MDL was appropriate. The plaintiffs supported an MDL because they could benefit from sharing resources during discovery while holding onto their ability to recover damages that are reflective of their specific losses. Defendants argued that an MDL was unnecessary due to a lack of evidence and they should not be held liable because they followed federal labeling guidelines which should outrank state law.
Despite attempts by Walmart and Johnson & Johnson to have the claims dismissed based on the preemption principle, the JPML ultimately created a Tylenol autism multidistrict litigation. The MDL was then assigned to U.S. District Judge Denise Cote of the Southern District of New York. She has since taken steps to streamline the process, such as assigning leadership roles to attorneys from both sides. Additionally, she has appointed a special master to help coordinate the cases.
Tylenol Autism Judge Requires Plaintiffs to Complete a Fact Sheet
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote has directed plaintiffs to file a Plaintiff Fact Sheet. This is a tool commonly used in multidistrict litigations to compile critical information about individual plaintiffs and expedite the discovery process. Those who have already filed a short-form complaint have 60 days from when it was filed to return their completed Plaintiff Fact Sheet, and new plaintiffs will be expected to provide a completed form 60 days after they officially file their Tylenol autism lawsuit.
Prenatal Acetaminophen Exposure Increases the Risk of ADHD and Autism
The basis of this multidistrict litigation is that acetaminophen-based pain relief drugs may increase the risk of autism and ADHD for children who were exposed in utero. Multiple reputable studies have found that using acetaminophen during pregnancy can cause autism and ADHD, but a factor of 20% and 30%, respectively.
One study of the Boston Birth Cohort measured acetaminophen levels in the umbilical cords of 996 live singleton births and separated the results into different brackets from highest to lowest levels. Researchers then followed up with the children when they were about 9 years old, and the children in the highest bracket had higher rates of autism and ADHD, as compared to the other children in the cohort.
Other studies, such as a 2018 metanalysis published in the American Journal of Epidemiology have reached similar conclusions and advised pregnant women to proceed with caution. Despite these findings, companies like Walmart and Johnson & Johnson have refused to provide warning labels on their products to inform users of the risk. Parents are directly filing Tylenol autism lawsuits to recover compensation to offset the costs of managing their child’s autism or ADHD.
Recovering Damages in a Tylenol Autism Lawsuit
ADHD and autism are both chronic conditions that manifest differently in each person. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a condition characterized by an inability to control or direct attention, which can lead to them missing important detail or deadlines, appearing impatient, and struggling to keep routines. People with autism may have difficulty interpreting social cues, adapting to changes, and communicating.
An ADHD or autism diagnosis can radically alter a child’s ability to learn, communicate, and eventually hold down a job and care for themselves. For example, someone with ADHD may struggle in school despite their intellect, limiting their options for college. With less structure, their grades may suffer, in turn, diminishing their career prospects.
Once they’re in the workforce, they may have trouble showing up on time, prioritizing tasks, and avoiding careless mistakes, which may cost them promotions and even jobs. These persistent issues can take an emotional and financial toll on someone with ADHD. Plaintiffs in the Tylenol autism claims can seek compensation for the financial costs, or economic damages, in addition to the emotional losses, or non-economic damages, that have resulted from their condition.
Examples of Damages in a Tylenol Autism Lawsuit:
- Medical expenses
- Caregiver services
- Job-related losses
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Missed promotions
- Pain and suffering
Demonstrating Liability in a Tylenol Autism/ADHD Lawsuit
To secure compensation for damages, plaintiffs will need to show that acetaminophen makers owed them a duty of care. This is relatively straightforward, as the FDA has a strict set of requirements for drug companies when it comes to advertising risks, so it’s clear that drug companies are supposed to take reasonable care to protect consumers.
Plaintiffs are then tasked with showing that acetaminophen drug manufacturers’ failure to provide a warning label on their products qualifies as a breach of this duty. They then need to demonstrate that because the drug companies failed to provide a warning label on a potentially dangerous product, their child sustained an injury that could have otherwise been avoided.
Finally, plaintiffs need to show that their damages are related to their child’s autism or ADHD. This complex process is best handled by an experienced Tylenol autism lawyer who can provide the legal insight you need to secure a fair settlement. They will manage the administrative side of a product liability claim, create a strategy to establish liability, and negotiate for maximum compensation.