An MDL judge in Pennsylvania overseeing the McNeil recall multidistrict litigation (MDL Docket No. 2190) dismissed with prejudice national class action lawsuit filed for consumers who bought various Johnson & Johnson/McNeil Consumer Healthcare drugs that were recalled after their Fort Washington, Pennsylvania plant at which they were manufactured was closed down for quality failings. The recalled products were largely over-the-counter drug drugs such as Tylenol, Benadryl, Rolaids, St. Joseph Aspirin, Zyrtec, Pepcid, Motrin, Sudafed, Sinutab and Simply Sleep. Also recalled were the prescription drugs Topamax, Risperdal, and generic risperidone.
Yep, McNeil did something bad, and a lawsuit was filed. There was just one problem: none of the class action plaintiffs actually suffered an injury. In fact, no one really got hurt. The court said that “No named plaintiff either has been refused a refund for a product that was recalled or alleged that a non-recalled product is defective as to them….As a result, no named plaintiff has suffered an injury traceable to the conduct of the defendants sufficient to confer standing on the plaintiffs and subject matter jurisdiction on the Court.”
Annoyingly to me anyway, the plaintiffs sought the costs of driving to stores to purchase the products and time spent pursuing refunds. C’mon folks. We have some minor injuries without a lawsuit.
I understand the need for these consumer class action cases. But they always leave me with a bad feeling in my stomach.