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Tylenol Autism Lawsuit

Our attorneys are reviewing Tylenol autism lawsuits for parents throughout the country. This new lawsuit has the potential to lead to the largest payout in U.S. mass tort class action history. 

 A Tylenol autism class action lawsuit was certified in October 2022.  Our law firm expects over 100,000 victims will file a Tylenol autism lawsuit.  If successful, the jury payouts and settlement amounts for a Tylenol lawsuit could be high. 

What are the Tylenol autism lawsuits about?  The basis for these new acetaminophen lawsuits is new scientific research suggesting the use of 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 a growing number of product liability lawsuits against manufacturers and retailers by parents of children with autism.

Our lawyers predicted from the beginning that the rising number of Tylenol autism lawsuits would lead to a new class action and settlement amounts would be offered to compensate parents and autistic children. We got the first prediction right and we believe in second will come as well although the time horizon on that will be much longer, obviously. 

The national product liability lawyers at Miller & Zois are currently accepting new Tylenol autism cases from parents of children diagnosed with autism or autism spectrum disorder after significant use of Tylenol (or acetaminophen) during pregnancy.

Contact our law firm today at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.

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. Neither of these requests has much 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 highly unlikely. Motions to dismiss based on federal preemption are routinely filed and dismissed in product liability MDLs. It would be hard to get a class action lawsuit off the ground 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 there is leadership 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, Walmart could have added a warning about use during pregnancy if it wanted. 

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 it 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 warning labels on these products were mandated by the FDA under federal law and, therefore, Walmart was not permitted to change the labels. 

The plaintiffs’ Tylenol attorneys filed a response in opposition to the motion arguing that the FDA regulations expressly permitted Walmart to make a voluntary change to 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 they 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. 

There will be a “Retailer Liaison Committee” (RLC) that will function much like liaison counsel on the plaintiffs’ side and will consist 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.  A large number of these cases alleging Tylenol use during pregnancy led to autism are pending in federal courts around the country.  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 the creation of 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 are seeking 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 first task of the judge 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 on behalf of all other plaintiffs in the MDL. The first monthly status conference was on November 17, 2022. 

New Research Links Tylenol to Autism

Acetaminophen, known mostly 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 in their lives and millions use it regularly for the treatment of various aches and pains. Approximately 20% of the U.S. population uses Tylenol or acetaminophen products on weekly basis.

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 exactly how acetaminophen relieves pain and reduces fever.

Acetaminophen has long been marketed to pregnant women as the safest option for pain and fever relief 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 completely safe for use during pregnancy.

This perception changed drastically last year, however, with the publication of new medical research on the use of Tylenol during pregnancy. In the September 2021 issue of the journal Nature Reviews Endocrinology, a Consensus Statement from a group of 91 leading medical experts warned that the use of 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 from across the world.

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 big 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 precautionary 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.

Tylenol Infographic Tylenol Autism Class Action Lawsuit

The emergence of 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 the use of 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 6 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.

The motion filed with the JPML identified 20 Tylenol autism lawsuits currently pending in various federal districts. All of the cases involve nearly identical factual allegations and legal claims. The timing of the filings also indicates that many more are likely to be filed in the future.

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 autism spectrum disorder, you may qualify to file a product liability lawsuit and pursue financial compensation.

The causation evidence connecting autism to the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy is still emerging at this point and more studies are currently underway. The research highlighted in the Consensus Statement could be enough, however, 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 stronger claims if they can show that they used high doses of Tylenol or acetaminophen products for a prolonged time 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?

Settlement amounts will be driven by the trial value of a Tylenol autism lawsuit.  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 do 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.   

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 originally 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 in the first week of June. The plaintiff, Michelle Maguire, filed the action on behalf of 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 goes on to allege that the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy interferes with fetal brain development which can lead to autism. It then outlines the scientific evidence supporting that fact. 

The next 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 to use during pregnancy, and notes that there was nothing on the warning label to suggest otherwise. When Maguire’s son was 10 years old, he was formally diagnosed with autism and has very limited 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 underlying 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.

Contact Us About Your Tylenol Autism Lawsuit

The national product liability lawyers at Miller & Zois are reviewing Tylenol autism lawsuits on behalf of parents of children who were diagnosed with autism after significant Tylenol or generic acetaminophen use during pregnancy. Contact our Tylenol autism lawyers today at 800-553-8082 or get a no-obligation, free online consultation.

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