Our attorneys are reviewing Tylenol autism lawsuits for parents throughout the country. This new lawsuit, which includes ADHD and ADD claims, can potentially lead to the largest payout in U.S. mass tort class action history.
What is the Tylenol autism lawsuit about? This Tylenol lawsuit is a class action that was certified as an MDL in late 2022. Our law firm expects over 100,000 victims will file a Tylenol autism lawsuit.
The jury payouts and settlement amounts for a Tylenol lawsuit could be high if successful, and these lawsuits, as of November 2023, are going very well for victims.
This page discusses the acetaminophen class action lawsuit and the prospect for victims with autism and ADHD to receive settlement compensation.
Things have changed in the last few months, and the hopes for success have taken some punches in recent months, as we explain below. But it is far from over, as cases will be filed in state courts in 2024.
The Gist of the Tylenol Lawsuits
The basis for these new acetaminophen lawsuits is new scientific research suggesting that the popular pain-killer Tylenol (or generic acetaminophen) during pregnancy may increase the risk of having a baby with autism.
This new evidence linking Tylenol to autism has led to hundreds and soon-to-be thousands of product liability lawsuits against manufacturers and retailers by parents of children with autism.
So, distilling these lawsuits down to their essence, abundant scientific evidence demonstrates a causal connection between prenatal acetaminophen usage and the occurrence of ASD/ADHD in offspring.
Does that mean there should be a Tylenol recall? No. But expectant mothers deserve access to this crucial information, empowering them to make informed healthcare choices for themselves and their unborn children.
February 2024 Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit Update
February 17, 2024: Yesterday, Judge Cote showed a willingness to review a new expert witness put forward in the litigation involving allegations that exposure to acetaminophen during pregnancy causes ADHD. There is a school of thought in the litigation that the ADHD case is easier to make than the autism case.
The judge order both parties present a timeline for submitting briefs on the acceptability on Dr. Roberta Ness’s opinions.
It could be nowhere but it will be interesting to see where this goes.
February 16, 2024: If your child has autism and is six or under, contact our firm if you want to consider a different path to compensation. Baby food lawsuits are gaining new steam this year.
February 14, 2024: Where will state court Tylenol lawsuits be filed? California is a starting point. We also expect new suits in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
January 2024 Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit Update
January 15, 2024: A little over 500 lawsuits are filed in the MDL. Why so few? Fear of exactly what happened – the MDL judge dismissing all these cases. Plaintiffs can now take a shot in state court.
What we are telling victims? Wait and see how it flushes out. If you have a new case, you might want to consider looking at the baby food autism lawsuits. Because the Tylenol lawsuits could pivot to baby food claims. Last week, baby food lawyers sought to certify an MDL class action.
If your child is 6 or under, has autism, and consumed baby food, it is an option for compensation you might want to explore. You can get a free online consultation with us or call 800-553-8082.
December 2023 Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit Update
December 19, 2023: The Tylenol autism lawsuits appear to be over, at least in federal court. Yesterday afternoon, Judge Cote issued her pivotal Opinion and Order on the Daubert challenges. Just as everyone who attended the hearing predicted, Judge Cote ruled completely in favor of the defendants.
She held that the plaintiffs’ scientific evidence of a link between prenatal Tylenol use and autism / ADHD was not reliable enough to be admitted into evidence. This means that all of the Tylenol cases in the MDL and federal courts will get dismissed for lack of evidence. This doesn’t mean the battle is over, however. Plaintiffs will continue pursuing Tylenol autism lawsuits in state courts.
December 8, 2023: The pivotal Daubert hearing was held before Judge Cote yesterday. Almost everyone who observed the hearing came away with a general perception that Judge Cote is leaning towards ruling in favor of the defendants and excluding some, or possibly all, of the plaintiffs’ causation evidence. As a result, everyone involved in the litigation on the plaintiff side is far less optimistic today. It still remains to be seen exactly how Judge Cote will rule.
December 7, 2023: Today is the day that Judge Cote will hold the hearing on the all-important Daubert motions. Barring a successful appeal, the future of the Tylenol autism lawsuits in federal court depends on the outcome of these motions.
If Judge Cote rules that the plaintiffs’ causation evidence is not admissible, the federal litigation will effectively end. But Tylenol lawyers believe in these cases. We would then turn our efforts to state court.
Do we think the judge will gut these cases by ruling against plaintiffs? No. But we will soon see and today’s might provide tea leaves to where the court is going.
December 6, 2023: The Wall Street Journal reports today there have been approximately 34,000 television commercials since May 2022, with an estimated spend of $5.4 million. There has been a nearly sevenfold rise from August to September.
December 4, 2023: In the Tylenol class action lawsuit, a settlement scheduling telephone conference has been arranged for Thursday, January 4, 2024, at 4:30 p.m.
It is a stretch to assume that this means Judge Cote will deny plaintiffs Daubert motions. But it is certainly not a bad sign.
December 1, 2023: All of the energy in this litigation is devoured by the Daubert hearing next week. This will be the seminal event of the Tylenol lawsuits.
November 2023 Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit Update
November 17, 2023: If Judge Cote denies the defendants’ Daubert challenges in the next few months, the number of pending cases in the Tylenol autism MDL is going to spike dramatically. For now, however, another 58 new cases were added over the last month. There are now 441 total cases in the MDL.
November 11, 2023: Oral arguments on the Daubert motions will be on December 7, 2023. There will be three hours of oral arguments but no live witnesses.
November 3, 2023: All briefings for the Daubert motion are complete. There’s a possibility for a hearing in the first week of December, but the real hope is that the judge rules in our favor on the motions without a hearing.
November 1, 2023: We are inching closer to the pivotal Daubert showdown in which Judge Cote will decide what scientific evidence will be admissible regarding the link between Tylenol and autism / ADHD. All 3 rounds of briefing have now been completed, with each side submitting their reply in response briefs 10 days ago. With separate motions being filed for each individual expert witness on each side, the briefs total several thousand pages. Judge Cote will spend the rest of the month reviewing everything, after which she will hold a hearing at which lawyers for both sides will make their case and Judge Cote may elect to hear from some of the experts.
October 2023 Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit Update
October 17, 2023: After growing fairly slowly for the first year, the volume of new cases being added to the Tylenol autism class action MDL has recently started to increase significantly. That trend continued last month as 111 new Tylenol autism lawsuits were added to the MDL. That brings the total number of pending cases up to 383 as we head into the pivotal Daubert hearings.
October 9, 2023: Last week, lawyers for both sides submitted their proposals to Judge Cote for how she should handle the upcoming Daubert hearings during which the admissibility of expert testimony and evidence will be evaluated. The defense proposal recommends that the hearing last an entire week. The plaintiffs, however, are pushing for a much shorter, more focused hearing process. They are also proposing that Judge Cote narrow the scope of the hearing in advance by notifying the parties which experts she wants to hear from. Given Judge Cote’s track record, she will probably opt for the more efficient version proposed by the plaintiffs.
October 4, 2023: A new big study last month found that exposure to paracetamol (acetaminophen) during pregnancy has been linked to potential effects on a child’s brain development. Scientists have conducted studies to explore how paracetamol might influence the development of the human brain in early stages. They used human embryonic stem cells that were turning into brain cells in a lab setting and exposed them to paracetamol at doses typically used by pregnant women for pain relief. By analyzing the genetic and molecular changes in these cells, they found that acetaminophen may affect the opening and closing of certain genes, which in turn could impact how these genes work.
These are the genes important for processes like signaling between brain cells, communication in the nervous system, and determining what type of cells they become. Some of these affected genes are related to brain injuries and the specific pathways that guide brain development. Interestingly, these findings align with genes previously discovered in cord blood samples from babies exposed to paracetamol during pregnancy. This suggests that paracetamol may indeed have a role in affecting how the brain develops in babies exposed to it before birth.
October 2, 2023: The parties jointly notified Judge Cote in a letter this morning that the newly revised versions of the Plaintiff Fact Sheets have been completed and uploaded into the case administration system. The parties also agreed to new authorization forms to be completed and signed by plaintiffs to facilitate the collection of certain medical records.
September 2023 Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit Update
September 18, 2023: As of this week, there are 265 pending cases in the Tylenol autism class action MDL. 3 months ago there were only 136 pending cases in the MDL, so this is a notable increase in the monthly volume over the summer.
September 8, 2023: This spring, Judge Cote sought the FDA’s perspective on whether the warning labels suggested by the plaintiffs should be included on Tylenol and acetaminophen products. As well as these lawsuits are going – and they are going well – if the FDA says there should not be a warning, that could have been game, set, and match because it could have led Judge Cote to dismiss all of the federal Tylenol lawsuits.
That will not happen. The FDA declined to submit a statement of interest. Which means it wants to stay out of it.
This is huge win for Tylenol autism and ADHD victims.
September 1, 2023:In the spring, Judge Cote extended an invitation to the FDA for its input on the acetaminophen warning label that is the crux of every Tylenol autism lawsuit. The aim was to solicit the FDA’s thoughts on the science of this litigation and whether the plaintiffs’ proposed warning is warranted.
The deadline was July 28th. The FDA interestingly asked for additional time to respond. It is unclear why it would want or need more time.
The new deadline is September 15, 2023. With the all-important Daubert motions around the corner, there is a lot of big events next month in the Tylenol lawsuits.
August 2023 Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit Update
August 24, 2023: The immediate future of the Tylenol autism lawsuits right now depends entirely on the outcome of the upcoming Daubert challenges in which Judge Cote will decide whether the scientific evidence linking acetaminophen to autism meets the standards for admissibility in court. The plaintiffs’ expert witnesses are currently being deposed in preparation for this pivotal battle. If Judge Cote rules that the plaintiffs’ scientific evidence is not admissible, the Tylenol lawsuits will all get dismissed (at least those filed in federal courts). On the other hand, if Judge Cote allows the evidence in the defendants will most likely settle the cases rather than risk a massive verdict in a test trial.
August 21, 2023: Last week, Judge Cote granted a request by the defendants to allow them to submit a consolidated brief setting forth their Daubert challenges to the plaintiffs’ expert witnesses. The plaintiffs had opposed the request, insisting that the submission of separate brief’s on each individual expert was necessary in order for the court to properly perform its gatekeeping function. The resolution of the Daubert challenges is a critically important issue in this litigation.
August 14, 2023: Lawyers for both sides in the Tylenol autism MDL recently submitted a joint letter to Judge Cote listing those states where plaintiffs would not be able to claim negligent misrepresentation based on omission. The list included 15 states: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming. Claimants in these states will not be able to pursue negligent misrepresentation claims in the litigation, although this will likely have little impact on the ultimate outcome of their cases.
August 4, 2023: Back in April, J&J’s motion to dismiss these cases alleging acetaminophen link to ASD-ADHD on grounds of preemption was denied. A expected but huge win for plaintiffs. J&J moved for certification of an interlocutory appeal. This means the ruling would be appealed immediately. But J&J’s request for certification of the interlocutory appeal was denied. The company did not demonstrate that all the necessary factors were met for an immediate appeal.
August 1, 2023: Earlier this year, Judge Cote asked the FDA to provide its opinion regarding whether the warning labels proposed by the plaintiffs should be added to Tylenol and acetaminophen products.
Last week, Judge Cote granted the FDA’s request for an extension of the deadline to file the requested statement of interest. The FDA now has until September 15, 2023, to submit their statement. The Daubert motions challenging the admissibility of causation evidence are due just 4 days later.
The position taken by the FDA on this could have a major impact on the outcome of this litigation, which currently rests entirely on how Jude Cote rules on the Daubert challenges.
July 2023 Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit Update
July 18, 2023: Last month was the busiest to date in terms of new cases added to the Tylenol autism class action MDL. 64 new lawsuits alleging prenatal exposure to acetaminophen products caused autism were transferred into the MDL over the last 30-days. That is the highest monthly volume since the class action began and in brings the total number of pending cases up to 200. Thousands of prospective plaintiffs remain camped on the sidelines, however, waiting to see how the MDL Judge rules on the admissibility of the scientific causation evidence.
July 10, 2023: This litigation continues to move quickly over the summer. Pending Judge Cote’s approval, there are new deadlines. The deadline for the defendants’ expert designation is July 21. The deadline for the plaintiffs’ rebuttal expert report is now July 28. Defendants will continue to depose Plaintiffs’ experts. Furthermore, upon their designation on July 21, the Defendants commit to make their experts available for deposition between August 25 and September 12.
June 2023 Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit Update
June 4, 2023: J&J wants to go after the scientists who have concluded that Tylenol causes autism. The company issued nine subpoenas to these scientists. The plaintiffs having moved to quash the subpoena, claims that this tardy and burdensome move demanding nine depositions without adequate notice is not how the litigation process should work.
If history is any indication, Judge Cote will rule quickly on this discovery dispute.
June 1, 2023: Only six new cases were added to the Tylenol autism class action MDL over the last month. So there are 124 filed Tylenol lawsuits. The size of the potential plaintiff field in this litigation is massive, so why has the MDL remained so small?
The reason is that the majority of potential plaintiffs are opting to wait on the sideline to see how the MDL judge rules on the admissibility of the causation evidence. If Judge Cote rules that the plaintiffs’ scientific evidence is not admissible, all MDL cases will be dismissed with no chance to refile. However, plaintiffs who hold off on filing can file their cases in state court if the Daubert doesn’t go their way.
Plaintiffs’ lawyers are particularly tuned to this issue because this is precisely what just happened in the Zantac class action. Lawyers rushed to register with the MDL only to find those cases dismissed by one federal judge who dismissed all of the claims. Plaintiffs who stayed out of federal court can still maintain state court claims. This litigation tactic will work better in the Tylenol lawsuits because the statute of limitations is less of an issue in most cases.
May 2023 Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit Update
May 22, 2023 – The Tylenol autism MDL Judge granted a motion dismissing failure to warn claims against CVS and other retailers in a case governed by Texas law. The dismissal was based on a statute in Texas that creates a safe harbor for over-the-counter drug sellers who use the FDA-approved warning labels. The statute gives retailers who comply with the FDA “monograph” warning labels a rebuttable presumption of immunity from failure to warn claims. The ruling undermines all similar Tylenol autism cases subject to Texas law. (Our Tylenol lawyers are still reviewing Texas claims.) However, the judge also denied an identical motion to dismiss based on a similar law in California.
May 17, 2023 – Target and Walmart are set to face a lawsuit that alleges they neglected to warn that consuming their store-branded acetaminophen during pregnancy may result in children developing autism or ADHD. But CVS Pharmacy has managed to evade a comparable lawsuit.
Makesha Anderson and Crystal Washington, whose cases are part of a larger multidistrict litigation, both contend that the store-branded acetaminophen products sold by these retailers failed to give the necessary warnings. These claims rely on the studies we talk about below that shows a strong link between prenatal exposure to acetaminophen and autism or ADHD in children. Despite Target’s and Walmart’s arguments that compliance with federal laws protects them from state law liability, MDL Judge Denise L. Cote, for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, ruled that California law applies to Anderson’s suit and a 1993 ruling from the state’s high court does not prevent it. However, Washington’s claims fall under Texas law, and Judge Cote ruled they should be dismissed.
May 9, 2023 – J&J filed a motion with the MDL court for an interlocutory appeal of Judge Cote’s denial of their preemption motion. An Interlocutory appeal would allow J&J to get an appellate court’s review of the preemption order before the case continues any further. Generally, appeals are only allowed after a final judgment has been rendered, but interlocutory appeals provide an exception to this rule in certain circumstances. It is unlikely the court will allow an interlocutory appeal which would put the breaks on litigation that the judge clearly intends to push forward quickly.
April 2023 Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit Update
April 21, 2023 – Yesterday, the Tylenol autism MDL Judge issued an Order denying J&J’s motion to dismiss based on the federal preemption doctrine. The plaintiffs in this litigation are claiming that J&J had a duty to warn them about the risks of using Tylenol during pregnancy. J&J’s motion argued that this duty to warn is preempted by federal laws and regulations issued by the FDA governing the labeling on OTC drugs. In denying the motion, Judge Cote held that preemption did not apply because J&J could have added a warning to Tylenol about the risks of in utero exposure without violating any of the applicable federal rules and regulations. Back in November, Judge Cote applied the same legal reasoning in denying a nearly identical preemption motion filed by Walmart regarding the warning labels on its generic acetaminophen.
April 20, 2023 – A federal judge overseeing the Tylenol class action lawsuit by families blaming their children’s autism on prenatal exposure to acetaminophen pain relievers has asked for the government’s opinion on the plaintiffs’ proposed warning. The plaintiffs allege that Walmart, CVS, Johnson and Johnson, and other companies didn’t adequately warn about the risks of acetaminophen during pregnancy. The judge has invited the government to submit its views on whether the plaintiffs’ proposed warning should be added to Tylenol labels, and whether the science warrants the addition of any warning regarding prenatal exposure to acetaminophen and the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
April 13, 2023 – The Tylenol lawsuit does not require victims to offer their version of what the warning on acetaminophen should have been. But it is still an interesting question. Judge Cote asked acetaminophen lawyers in the Tylenol class action lawsuit what they think the warning should be. This is the warning they suggested to Judge Cote:
“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.”
It is not hard to argue this warning is not strong enough. But what is the argument that this is not a correct statement that is helpful to women choosing whether to take Tylenol? If there is the global Tylenol settlement we are expecting, it will almost certainly come with a warning just like this.
March 2023 Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit Update
March 27, 2023 – Judge Cote adopted a new Plaintiff Fact Sheet (PFS) that all new Tylenol autism plaintiffs must complete and submit. At 35 pages, the PFS is considerably longer than most fact sheets we see in product liability MDLs. The PFS requires plaintiffs to provide information on the specific products they used. Still, most of the PFS is devoted to information about the parents’ and child’s medical and genetic history. This section aims to identify plaintiffs with known risk factors or pre-disposition for autism or ADHD.
March 10, 2023 – Case Count
There are now 107 pending cases in the Tylenol class action MDL in New York. That is an increase of 37 since the MDL was created four months ago. This litigation will continue to grow exponentially.
March 7, 2023 – More Motions
Last week, the Tylenol plaintiffs filed a solid opposition to the Motion to Dismiss filed by Johnson & Johnson Consumer (J&J) in February. J&J’s motion argues that the plaintiffs’ failure to warn claims (which are at the heart of the Tylenol autism lawsuits) are barred under the federal preemption doctrine because the FDA regulates the warning label on Tylenol under federal law.
Walmart filed a similar motion to dismiss based on the same preemption argument. Judge Cote wasted little time denying that motion in December, and we expect the same here. J&J will get a chance to file a supplemental memorandum in support of its motion, after which Judge Cote is expected to rule on the motion very quickly.
February 2023 Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit Update
Our law firm is committed to keeping victims informed of news and updates in the Tylenol autism litigation as they happen.
February 25, 2023 – Quick Pace for Litigation
Judge Conte continues to push through the early logistics for the Tylenol autism class action MDL at a breakneck pace. Last week, she issued a new case management order that finalized the rules and protocol for expert witness depositions, which will now get underway. The expert depositions will be significant because, in October 2023, Judge Cote plans to rule whether the scientific causation evidence in the Tylenol autism cases will be admissible. The future of this litigation could depend on the outcome of that decision.
February 3, 2023 – Coordination with State Court Acetaminophen Lawsuits
In addition to the growing number of Tylenol autism lawsuits in the class action MDL in federal court, many of these cases are also pending in state courts (mainly in California) that are not part of the MDL.
MDL Judge Denise Cote recently issued an Order outlining how discovery in the federal court cases in the MDL should be coordinated with ongoing discovery in parallel with the Tylenol autism lawsuit in state courts. The Order gives the state court the option of piggybacking off the consolidated discovery efforts in the MDL for greater efficiency.
February 1, 2023 – Class Action Hearing Today
Lawyers on both sides for the time of retailer defendant discovery on Monday. As you would expect, plaintiffs’ lawyers want to move quickly, and defense lawyers want to slow down. Judge Cote wasted no time setting up a hearing on the dispute for today. The stakes here are not significant – plaintiffs’ lawyers want defendants to identify custodians of records and produce some documents within 30 days, and defendants want more time – but how these disputes resolve sets a tone for the litigation’s pace.
In general, plaintiffs’ attorneys want to move quickly because that gets our clients closer to trial dates, pushing us towards a global settlement. The defendants just want to delay.
January 2023 Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit Update
January 26, 3023 – Tylenol Lawsuit News
The latest news in the Tylenol MDL.
January 20, 2023 – Discovery Plan for MDL Class Action
The judge in the Tylenol autism class action MDL announced a discovery plan focusing on the causation evidence linking prenatal exposure to acetaminophen to autism.
During “Phase One” of the consolidated discovery plan, Johnson & Johnson (the original developer of Tylenol) will produce documents relevant to prenatal acetaminophen exposure risks. Plaintiffs will also get responses to written questions on that topic. This discovery plan aims to start the long process of vetting the scientific evidence before these cases go to trial.
We think the science in these cases is strong, as does every lawyer we have spoken to who has reviewed the medical and scientific literature.
January 11, 2023 – Short Form Lawsuit Approved
In an Order issued on Monday, the judge in the Tylenol autism class action approved a Short Form Complaint for new incoming plaintiffs to use when filing acetaminophen autism and ADHD lawsuits.
This new Tylenol autism lawsuit claim form, combined with an earlier ruling allowing new cases to be filed directly in the MDL, will streamline the process of adding new suits to the class action. We will see a large influx of new filings over the next six months.
January 9, 2023 – New Acetaminophen Lawsuit
A new Tylenol autism lawsuit, Rios, et al. v. CV Pharmacy Inc., et al. (1:22-cv-10046), was filed recently filed against a group of three retail defendants:
- CVS Pharmacy Inc.
- Walgreens Boots Alliance,
- Walmart Inc.
The Tylenol lawsuit claims that the three defendants were involved in developing, labeling, and selling over-the-counter store brands of acetaminophen. The plaintiffs allege using these products during her pregnancy disrupted fetal development and caused her child to have autism.
This acetaminophen suit asserts that the defendants negligently failed to warn the plaintiff (or her doctors) about the risks of acetaminophen use during pregnancy and autism. The case was initially filed in the Northern District of California. But like any case filed in federal court in California, Texas, Illinois, or elsewhere, it was transferred into the Tylenol autism class action lawsuit in New York.
January 1, 2023 – Special Master for Tylenol Lawsuit
Before the holidays, the Tylenol autism MDL judge formally appointed Randi Ellis as the Special Master in charge of the plaintiff census. This means that she will handle the process of collecting key information and data from all of the incoming plaintiffs.
This information will then be used to make decisions in the Tylenol class action lawsuit and identify potential bellwether cases for trial. Ms. Ellis is a frequent participant in mass tort litigation. She was appointed Special Master in various capacities in at least two other mass torts in 2022. Federal judges trust her.
December 2022 Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit Update
December 27, 2022 – More Progress in the Tylenol MDL
The judge in the Tylenol autism class action lawsuit is working towards getting a discovery plan and schedule in place by mid-January.
Earlier this month, the plaintiffs and defendants each submitted proposed discovery plans after being unable to agree on a joint proposal. Last week, Judge Cote issued an Order that she preferred the defendant’s version and directed the parties to work things out before the upcoming status conference in January.
December 17, 2022 – Filing Lawsuits Directly in the Tylenol Class Action
After the most recent monthly status conference in the Tylenol autism class action lawsuit this month, Judge Cote issued an Order allowing future cases to be filed directly in the MDL. This is frequently done in class action MDLs, and it streamlines the process of adding new cases to the MDL.
In January, Judge Cote is expected to approve a Short Form Complaint for use by new incoming cases, which will further expedite the flow of incoming cases.
These two steps should open the door to a flood of new Tylenol autism lawsuits coming into the MDL in 2023.
December 15, 2022 – Tylenol Class Action – How Many Cases Now?
Today, 101 cases were pending in the Tylenol autism class action MDL in the Southern District of New York. When the MDL was established in October, only 18 cases were initially transferred, so 83 new cases were added in the first three months. We predict thousands more will sign up for this lawsuit in 2023.
November 2022 Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit Update
November 29, 2022 – Walmart Wants to Appeal Now
Earlier this month, the Tylenol autism MDL Judge denied a motion to dismiss by Walmart, which argued that the plaintiffs’ claims were barred under the doctrine of federal preemption.
Yesterday, Walmart filed a motion asking Judge Cote to reconsider that ruling and, assuming the ruling remains intact, to certify the decision for an immediate appeal. Both of these requests have little chance of being granted. Judge Cote’s denial of the Walmart motion was prompt, decisive, and supported by a well-reasoned written opinion.
It is hard to find something in Walmart’s reconsideration request that would make the judge change her mind two weeks later. The request for an immediate appeal is also improbable. Motions to dismiss based on federal preemption are routinely filed and dismissed in product liability MDLs. Getting a class action lawsuit off the ground would be problematic if every issue was immediately appealable. The path to justice is long enough as it is.
November 21, 2022 – Tylenol Lawyers Picked
Judge Cote will sign the order next week. But the deal is done, and leadership is in place for the Tylenol class action lawsuit. We are off to the races in this litigation.
November 15, 2022 – Walmart Will Remain in the Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit
The Tylenol autism class action judge wasted no time denying Walmart’s motion to dismiss based on preemption. Judge Denise Cote’s order explains that federal preemption does not apply. The primary reason is that applicable FDA labeling laws allowed Walmart to unilaterally change the label on its Equate-brand acetaminophen to add an additional warning about pregnancy risks.
Judge Cote expressly rejected Walmart’s argument that the FDA regulations prohibited it from changing the warning labels on its generic Tylenol products. She noted that the applicable federal labeling laws are not “exclusive” and do not limit a manufacturer’s obligation to ensure that its label is adequate.
In other words, if it wanted, Walmart could have added a warning about use during pregnancy.
This brings new momentum to the Tylenol class action lawsuit.
November 14, 2022 – Tylenol Attorneys to Be Picked
The status conference in the new Tylenol autism class action MDL will be held before MDL Judge Denise Cote next Thursday, November 17, 2022. This will be a significant event at which Judge Cote is expected to name her selections for the plaintiffs’ leadership committee.
This committee will be comprised of select plaintiffs’ lawyers and will be tasked with making collective decisions on behalf of all plaintiffs in the MDL on issues involving litigation strategy. Judge Cote will also hear from both sides regarding proposed case management plans.
November 13, 2022 – Federal Preemption Motion
Walmart has filed a motion to dismiss the Tylenol autism cases based on federal preemption. It is unlikely to succeed.
The Tylenol class action lawsuit alleges that Walmart violated its duties under state law to warn about the risk of using its Equate-brand acetaminophen products during pregnancy. Walmart’s motion argues that the FDA mandated the warning labels on these products under federal law; therefore, Walmart was not permitted to change the labels.
The plaintiffs’ Tylenol attorneys filed a response opposing the motion arguing that the FDA regulations expressly permitted Walmart to voluntarily change its warning labels concerning the risk of use during pregnancy.
Last Friday, Walmart filed a reply in support of its original motion. Motions to dismiss based on federal preemption are common in drug cases and are rarely successful.
November 8, 2022 – Tylenol Defense Lawyer Team Picked
This week, the judge in the Tylenol autism class action lawsuit approved the proposed structure for the defense counsel committee.
A “Retailer Liaison Committee” (RLC) will function as liaison counsel on the plaintiffs’ side, consisting of selected lawyers for the retail company defendants.
Judge Cote will hold an open application process for the RLC and finalize appointments next week.
November 2022 Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit Update
On October 5, 2022, the JPML certified a class action lawsuit in New York that will house all Tylenol lawsuits filed in any federal court in the U.S.
The JPML held a hearing for oral arguments in St. Louis on whether to consolidate the growing number of Tylenol autism lawsuits into a new Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) class action lawsuit at the end of the month. It wasted no time creating an acetaminophen class action lawsuit. Many of these cases alleging Tylenol use during pregnancy led to autism are pending in federal courts nationwide. This acetaminophen lawsuit could become the largest consolidated lawsuit in the country.
A group of plaintiffs filed a motion asking for MDL consolidation. But all of the defendants (manufacturers and retailers of Tylenol) were sharply opposed to creating a new MDL, arguing you cannot start an MDL without all of the key defendants in the case. The MDL panel pointed out this is not the law.
But why isn’t Tylenol a named defendant yet? There are tactical reasons J&J has not been named as a defendant in any of the lawsuits lawyers seek to consolidate into a Tylenol class action lawsuit. But there is no question that J&J will ultimately be brought into this litigation. It is just a matter of when.
The judge’s first task in the newly established Tylenol autism class action MDL was to appoint a panel of plaintiffs’ lawyers to serve on the plaintiffs’ leadership committee (PLC). The PLC will make joint decisions for all other plaintiffs in the MDL. The first monthly status conference was on November 17, 2022.
New Research Links Tylenol to Autism
Acetaminophen, known chiefly by its popular brand name Tylenol, has been one of the most widely used over-the-counter medications for decades. Almost every adult in the U.S. has probably taken Tylenol at least once, and millions use it regularly to treat various aches and pains. Approximately 20% of the U.S. population uses Tylenol or acetaminophen products weekly. Notably, two-thirds of women take acetaminophen during pregnancy.
Until recently, Tylenol was believed to be completely safe with no known health risks. However, acetaminophen is one of the least understood compounds in medical use. Scientists still do not understand precisely how acetaminophen relieves pain and reduces fever.
Acetaminophen has long been marketed to pregnant women as the safest pain and fever relief option during pregnancy. It has often been marketed as the only safe over-the-counter pain drug during pregnancy. This has contributed to a general public perception that Tylenol is entirely safe for use during pregnancy.
The Consensus Statement on Acetaminophen
However, this perception changed drastically last year with the publication of new medical research on the use of Tylenol during pregnancy. Increasingly, scientists believe that neurotoxic exposures, such as prenatal acetaminophen exposure, explain a trending increase in autism and ADHD diagnoses.
In the September 2021 issue of the journal Nature Reviews Endocrinology, a Consensus Statement from a group of 91 leading medical experts warned that Tylenol or acetaminophen during pregnancy can increase the risk of autism.
The Consensus Statement summarized a growing body of epidemiological research and animal testing indicating that prenatal exposure to acetaminophen can alter fetal development and increase the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. This body of research included 29 observational studies, including over 220,000 mother-child pairs worldwide.
These studies consistently identified a link between the significant use of Tylenol or acetaminophen during pregnancy and higher rates of autism spectrum disorder. Specifically, the studies found that extended Tylenol use during pregnancy increased the baby’s risk of autism by 20%. This study played a significant role in spawning acetaminophen autism lawsuits.
The studies cited in the Consensus Statement also identified a clear correlation between the autism risk level and the duration and amount of acetaminophen usage during pregnancy. In other words, more Tylenol usage during pregnancy generally equated to higher autism rates.
The Consensus Statement concluded by strongly recommending that the medical community and public health agencies take preventive actions to warn about the potential risks of using Tylenol during pregnancy. One of the recommendations included a warning label on all acetaminophen products about use during pregnancy.
A Tylenol Lawsuit Is About Giving Women a Choice
The Tylenol lawsuits filed in the MDL allege negligence, violation of consumer laws, negligent misrepresentation, strict liability, breach of an implied warranty, and a host of other claims. But the real focus of every acetaminophen lawsuit is the failure to warn pregnant women about the potential risks of using acetaminophen and Tylenol during pregnancy.
Letting Women Choose
Despite growing evidence linking the use of acetaminophen to ADHD and autism, manufacturers and marketers have not included any warnings on their labels. Although evidence suggests otherwise, acetaminophen is marketed as the only safe over-the-counter pain relief option for pregnant women.
This lawsuit is about giving pregnant women a choice to make informed decisions about taking Tylenol after weighing the risks and benefits associated with its consumption. The goal is not to recall Tylenol but rather to ensure that pregnant women are appropriately informed so they can make the best choices for themselves and their unborn children.
The current labeling on acetaminophen products advises pregnant women to consult their doctor prior to using the medication. But that is not a real warning. J&J and other drug makers know that approximately 65% of pregnant women use this drug, and it is often recommended by doctors as a preferred option over other pain relievers during pregnancy. A warning would reset the advice that doctors give.
Why the Defendant Don’t Want to Warn?
Why not just add a warning telling women what we know? The answer is money.
Adding an autism warning to Tylenol labels would significantly impact sales as it would create fear and uncertainty among pregnant women.
Are expectant mothers with mild neck pain and muscle aches going to use Tylenol if they know of a risk of a potential link to autism? Even hearing from acetaminophen defenders who say the evidence is inconclusive would be enough to chill sales resulting in a loss of revenue for Tylenol manufacturers.
It goes deeper than just pregnant women. The media coverage of a new warning surrounding an ADHD and autism warning would also damage the brand’s safe reputation and erode consumer trust. This means less profits.
(Of course, if you want to talk about diluting the brand, wait until we start seeing huge verdicts in these lawsuits.)
Tylenol Autism Class Action Lawsuit
This new research has sparked a wave of recent Tylenol autism lawsuits against major manufacturers and retailers of Tylenol and generic acetaminophen products. Plaintiffs in these lawsuits allege that Tylenol or acetaminophen products during pregnancy caused their children to develop autism spectrum disorder. They accuse the defendants of negligently failing to warn about this risk.
The number of Tylenol autism product liability lawsuits filed across the country have started to increase significantly over the last six months. In June, there were enough pending Tylenol autism cases to prompt a group of plaintiffs to file a motion asking the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate all of the cases into a new class action MDL. This motion was granted, and we have an acetaminophen class action lawsuit in New York. (See the updates above.)
So the Tylenol class action lawsuit merges all federal acetaminophen claims into multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Southern District of New York. This means that any pending federal lawsuits across the country, including California, Florida, Texas, and anywhere else, will be transferred to New York for pretrial proceedings.
An MDL class action is a legal procedure designed to streamline the handling of complex cases involving multiple plaintiffs by consolidating them into a single court to avoid duplicative discovery and inconsistent rulings. An MDL aims to promote judicial efficiency and prevent contradictory rulings on similar issues.
Who Can File a Tylenol Autism Lawsuit?
If you used an acetaminophen product such as Tylenol extensively during pregnancy and your child was later diagnosed with ADHD or autism spectrum disorder, you may qualify to file a product liability lawsuit and pursue financial compensation.
The causation evidence connecting autism to using acetaminophen during pregnancy is still emerging, and more studies are underway. The research highlighted in the Consensus Statement could be enough to pass legal thresholds and be presented to a jury in a civil case. If this happens, plaintiffs in Tylenol autism lawsuits could receive significant financial compensation for their claims.
Prospective plaintiffs will have more substantial claims if they show they used high doses of Tylenol or acetaminophen products for a prolonged period during pregnancy. An absence of a family history of autism, pregnancy complications, or other potential risk factors for autism and neurological conditions will strengthen a claim.
What Settlement Amounts Can Tylenol Autism Lawsuit Plaintiffs Expect?
The trial value of a Tylenol autism lawsuit will drive settlement amounts. The average trial value of a successful verdict in a Tylenol autism lawsuit would likely be between $5 million and $10 million.
Keep in mind a few things. First, settlement compensation payouts are only a fraction of the trial value of a case in mass tort cases. And lawyers still cannot project settlement amount or the likelihood that the science in these cases is strong enough to get to a jury – although the science is looking pretty good right now.
But if the science is strong enough and these cases go to a jury, get verdicts, and push J&J to the settlement table, average per person settlement amounts could be in the $300,000 to $600,000 range. Again, we are a long way from this, and we are engaging in pure speculation. But parents understandably want to know what attorneys are projecting when it comes to possible settlement ranges. Because a civil lawsuit is always about money as compensation for harm.
Our Tylenol autism lawyers will continue to monitor and provide updates on the Tylenol autism lawsuits and will revise expected settlement payouts as the litigation develops.
Economic Damages Drive Settlement Payouts in Civil Lawsuits
One reason why there are so many Tylenol autism lawsuit television advertisements and ubiquitous social media targeting for parents of the victim are the economic damages which lawyers often call special damages. Special damages are specific financial losses that can be objectively quantified, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses. If the plaintiff in a lawsuit can prove that they have incurred significant special damages due to the defendant’s actions, this can lead to a higher settlement or damages award.
The economic impact of autism can vary widely depending on various factors, including the severity of the individual’s symptoms and their ability to access effective treatments and interventions. But one study of males with a history of ADHD (a condition often co-occurring with autism) are expected to earn $1.27 million less over their lifetimes than controls without ADHD, potentially retiring with 75% lower net worth. It also found that adolescents with ADHD were over eight times more likely to drop out of high school.
So, bottom line, compensation for children with these conditions may consider not only their current medical expenses but also their future lost earnings and other financial impacts. When you add pain and suffering damages on top of that, you see the settlement and jury award ceiling on these claims is quite high.
Example Tylenol Autism Lawsuit
Maguire v. Walmart Stores, Inc. (3:22-cv-3238) was one of the 47 acetaminophen autism lawsuits that formed the initial group of cases transferred into the new MDL in the Southern District of New York. The Maguire case was initially filed in the Northern District of California on June 2, 2022, and was part of a large group of Tylenol autism cases filed across the country. The plaintiff, Michelle Maguire, filed the action for herself and her son. The retailer of acetaminophen, Walmart, is the only named defendant in the case.
The factual allegations in the Macguire Complaint are separated into two parts. The first part explains claims that acetaminophen has been marketed as “the safest and the only appropriate” pain reliever for pregnant women. This section then alleges that using acetaminophen during pregnancy interferes with fetal brain development, which can lead to autism. It then outlines the scientific evidence supporting that fact.
The following section contains more specific allegations about Maguire’s use of acetaminophen when she was pregnant with her son in 1999. Maguire claims that she took acetaminophen regularly throughout her pregnancy (from March 1999 to November 1999) for pain and headaches. In the third trimester of that pregnancy, Maguire claims that she took acetaminophen “three times a day for pain relief.” Maguire contends that she purchased all of this medication from Walmart.
Maguire claims that she took the acetaminophen based on the assumption that it was safe during pregnancy and notes that there was nothing on the warning label to suggest otherwise. When Maguire’s son was ten years old, he was formally diagnosed with autism and had minimal ability to function normally.
The Complaint has numerous separate causes of action, but the primary tort claim is strict liability based on the alleged failure to warn. This claim is based on the general allegation that Walmart knew (or should have known) about the connection between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and autism, but continued to sell the product without warning labels.