Plaintiffs Offer Suggestion for Warning Label in Tylenol Autism Lawsuits

Plaintiffs Offer Suggestion for Warning Label in Tylenol Autism Lawsuits
Plaintiffs Offer Suggestion for Warning Label in Tylenol Autism Lawsuits

Women who use acetaminophen-based drugs like Tylenol may be inadvertently increasing their child’s risk for autism and ADHD, according to multiple research studies. The drug manufacturers who make Tylenol and other acetaminophen-based pain-relief drugs may be held liable for their failure to warn consumers about this risk. 

The families of the affected children are now pursuing product liability lawsuits against drug manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson and Walmart for compensation for their damages. This group of Tylenol autism lawsuits has since been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation overseen by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, who has asked plaintiffs to draft an additional warning label that they believe would have fulfilled the drug manufacturer’s duty to consumers. 

As the multidistrict litigation progresses, plaintiffs will need to provide a persuasive case for compensation, which is best represented by an experienced product liability attorney. If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD or autism after prenatal exposure to acetaminophen, it is in your best interest to consult a skilled personal injury lawyer to see if your claim qualifies for compensation.

New Suggestion For Tylenol Label Includes Warning to Pregnant Women

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote has recently requested that plaintiffs provide an example of what warning label they believe would have been appropriate for the drug companies to issue. The plaintiffs' representatives submitted the following recommendation for a new warning label:

“Autism/ADHD: Some studies show that frequent use of this product during pregnancy may increase your child’s risk of autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. If you use this product during pregnancy to treat your pain and/or fever, use the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time and at the lowest possible frequency.” 

The plaintiffs have supported their warning label language by saying that European versions of similar drugs have the same warning to use the minimum amount possible during pregnancy. They do note that other comparable language would have also fulfilled the manufacturers’ legal obligation to warn consumers about significant potential side effects.

Acetaminophen-Based Drugs Taken During Pregnancy Are Linked to Autism

Many expectant mothers look to acetaminophen-based drugs like Tylenol for mild pain relief during pregnancy. Unfortunately, it appears that acetaminophen is not as harmless as doctors have thought for decades. Emerging studies have found evidence that babies that are exposed to acetaminophen in utero are at a substantially higher risk of developing autism and ADHD.

Autism (ASD) is associated with sensory issues, challenges in learning, and difficulty socializing. Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder may struggle to maintain focus and avoid interrupting or emotional outbursts. These chronic conditions are not listed as potential side effects of taking acetaminophen while pregnant, despite the evidence showing a 30% greater risk of ADHD and a 20% greater risk of autism.

Parents Purse Compensation in Tyneol Autism Multidistrict Litigation

Parents of children with autism or ADHD are now making product liability claims based on this research. They allege that drug manufacturers were negligent for their failure to warn parents about the potential risk of autism and ADHD associated with a child being exposed to acetaminophen in the womb. Dozens of plaintiffs filed claims alleging similar injuries based on this negligence, which resulted in the claims being consolidated into a Tylenol autism multidistrict litigation.

Tylenol Autism Claims Make Progress as Judge Attempts to Streamline the Process

Due to the number of claims, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote appointed Tylenol autism attorneys to leadership roles to expedite communication. As the number of Tylenol autism claims grows, Judge Cote has attempted to wrangle the growing number of claims into a more manageable situation. One of her first actions was to appoint a Special master to help her oversee the management of the claims.

Additionally, Judge Cote has facilitated the administrative process of filing a claim. Instead of requiring longer, more detailed paperwork for new plaintiffs, she allowed plaintiffs to file Short-form complaints as they joined the MDL. Parents can now directly file their claims with the multidistrict litigation instead of waiting for them to be processed through their local jurisdictions and transferred to the Southern District of New York. Judge Cote has also directed plaintiffs, both current and future, to fill out a fact sheet with the most relevant details of their cases to facilitate the claims process.

Defendants Continue to Object to Tylenol Autism Claims on the Basis of Preemption

Defendants have made multiple attempts to get the Tylenol autism claims dismissed. For example, Walmart argued that they followed federal regulations of warning labels, which preempt state standards, therefore they should not be held accountable for not providing accurate warning labels. Lawyers for Walmart plan to appeal Judge Cote’s rejection of this argument. More recently, lawyers for Johnson & Johnson, the makers of Tylenol, made a second attempt to get the claims dismissed based on the preemption principle and a lack of evidence to support a causal relationship. This effort has not been successful.

Recovering Damages in a Tylenol Autism Lawsuit

No cure exists for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or autism, which means that children with these conditions will likely experience academic, financial, and emotional consequences throughout their lives. Compensatory damages can help account for both the short-term and long-term damages that result from conditions like ADHD and autism by providing families with financial relief. These damages may be economic, referring to monetary losses, or non-economic, to compensate for emotional losses related to their child’s diagnosis.

Examples of Damages in a Tylenol Autism Lawsuit

  • Medical bills
    • Medication 
    • Therapy
  • Job-related losses
    • Lost wages
    • Missed promotions
    • Reduced earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

In order to have the best chance of maximizing your compensation, you should make an effort to find the best Tylenol autism attorney available to represent your interests. A quality Tylenol autism attorney will be able to determine if your claim qualifies, assess the value of your damages, and leverage their expertise and resources to secure a fair settlement on your behalf.

 

Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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