Tylenol autism lawsuits are being filed nationwide with a new Tylenol Autism class action lawsuit now certified in federal court.
Our lawyers are handling Tylenol lawsuits in all 50 states. The acetaminophen litigation gets bigger every single day.
New Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit
Now in 2023, there is a Tylenol class action lawsuit in New York will house all acetaminophen lawsuits filed in federal court. The hope is a global settlement in which reasonable settlement amounts are offered to the impacted children and families.
Upon first hearing of a connection between Tylenol and Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (“ADHD”) or Autism Spectrum Disorder (“Autism”), you have doubt. Tylenol is ubiquitous in our medicine cabinets and our day-to-day lives. Many lawyers laughed when we said the Tylenol autism lawsuit could be the next big thing.
No one is laughing anymore, and now there is a class action lawsuit to push the Tylenol and autism litigation forward. The new medical research linking autism and acetaminophen is strong. It suggests that in-utero exposure to Tylenol (acetaminophen) may be linked to higher rates of autism and other neurologic disorders.
If your child has autism and you (or for dads, the child’s mother) used Tylenol, generic acetaminophen, Nyquil, Dayquil, or Excedrin, you may be eligible for compensation for your child and your family.
If your child is 17 years old or younger, call our Tylenol autism lawyers today at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation. (Other attorneys are not taking ADHD cases and certain other cases. Our law firm is only accepting autism lawsuits.)
We recently added settlement amount projections if the acetaminophen lawsuits are successful. We have been on this litigation from day one. Whether you are our client on not, bookmark this page and come back for regular Tylenol autism lawsuit news and updates.
Tylenol Lawsuit Updates
Before we get into the substance of the Tylenol autism lawsuits, let’s understand the Tylenol class action lawsuit. If you file a Tylenol lawsuit in federal court in New York, California, Texas, Florida, or any other state, your claim will be transferred for pretrial discovery in the Southern District of New York.
May 22, 2023 – Problem with Texas Tylenol Lawsuits – No Problem with California Claims
Last week, the MDL Judge granted a motion to dismiss a Tylenol autism case filed by CVS and other retail defendants based on a Texas “safe harbor” law. The Texas statute at issue (Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 82.007(a)) mandates that retailers of over the counter drugs like Tylenol cannot be held liable for failure to warn if their warning labels complied with the FDA-approved product labeling and information (the “monographs”). This means that all Tylenol autism claims governed by Texas law could face dismissal. (Our law firm is still taking Texas Tylenol lawsuits.) In the same opinion, Judge Cote denied dismissal of another case based on a similar safe harbor statute in California.
May 17, 2023 – Target & Walmart Lose Preemption Motion
Retailers Target Corp. and Walmart Inc. will need to defend themselves against a lawsuit alleging they did not provide warnings about the potential risk of autism or ADHD in children from prenatal consumption of their store-branded acetaminophen. CVS Pharmacy Inc., however, has managed to avoid a similar lawsuit.
Both Makesha Anderson and Crystal Washington have made these claims as part of a larger multidistrict litigation, arguing that the retailers’ store-branded acetaminophen products did not carry the necessary warnings. They pointed to studies that are the foundation of every acetaminophen autism lawsuit that suggest a link between prenatal exposure to acetaminophen and autism in children. Judge Denise L. Cote, who is overseeing all federal Tylenol lawsuits, dismissed the argument by Target and Walmart that their compliance with federal law absolves them of liability under state law. She ruled that California law applies to Anderson’s suit and is not prohibited by a 1993 ruling from the state’s high court, but the claims by Washington fall under Texas law and should be dismissed.
May 16, 2023 – Thousand of Plaintiffs Wait on the Sidelines
It has been over 6 months since the Tylenol autism cases in federal courts were consolidated into a class action MDL, but as of this week there are still just 124 pending cases in the MDL. So why aren’t hundreds more cases being filed in the MDL? The MDL has remained so small because thousands of prospective plaintiffs are waiting on the sidelines to see how the Daubert challenges play out in the MDL before filing their case. This allows these plaintiffs the opportunity to file their cases in state court if the MDL gets terminated because the judge throws out the scientific evidence linking Tylenol to autism. If the MDL judge rules that the scientific evidence is admissible, we will likely see a flood of cases get filed in the MDL.
May 9, 2023 – J&J Seeks Immediate Appeal
J&J submitted a request to the MDL court for an interlocutory appeal concerning Judge Cote’s rejection of their preemption motion. This type of appeal would enable J&J to obtain an appellate court’s assessment of the preemption order prior to the case progressing. While appeals are generally permitted only after a final judgment, interlocutory appeals serve as an exception in specific situations. The court is unlikely to approve the interlocutory appeal, as it would halt litigation that the judge is evidently determined to expedite. But that outcome is not certain and the court has set a schedule to ensure the issue is fully briefed.
May 1, 2023 – Asking the FDA’s Opinion
A lot of people are asking if it is common to ask the FDA’s opinion in whether a warning would have been appropriate. It is not.
There were two questions the judge asked the FDA (technically, she asked the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York to ask the agency):
- Should the Plaintiffs’ Proposed Warning be added to acetaminophen labels?
- As of today, does science warrant the addition to acetaminophen labels of any warning or advice regarding in utero exposure to acetaminophen and the risk of ASD or ADHD?
Those are big questions and it is hard to image the FDA wanting to put its thumb on the scales of what may end up being one of the biggest mass torts in history. But we will see.
April 21, 2023 – Judge Rejects J&J’s Preemption Motion
Judge Cote issued an Order yesterday denying J&J’s motion to dismiss based on the preemption doctrine. The J&J motion argued that the failure to warn claims asserted by the plaintiffs are preempted by the various federal laws and FDA regulations that govern the labeling of OTC drugs. In her 37 page opinion, Judge Cote starts out by crisply laying out the relevant law on the doctrine of preemption. She then explains that J&J’s preemption argument fails because nothing in the federal rules and regulations actually prevented J&J from adding a warning to Tylenol about the risks of in utero exposure. Judge Cote reached the same conclusion last November when she denied a preemption motion filed by Walmart.
April 20, 2023 – Judge Asks Government to Weigh in on Tylenol Warning Labels
A federal judge has requested the government’s opinion in the Tylenol class action lawsuit. The plaintiffs have proposed a warning that includes the risk of ASD and ADHD with frequent use during pregnancy. Labels for acetaminophen-containing products must comply with monographs that require a general pregnancy warning, but the monograph for acetaminophen contains no additional warning related to pregnancy. The judge wants the government to provide its views on whether the plaintiffs’ proposed warning should be added to acetaminophen labels.
It will be interesting to see if the FDA is willing to offer its opinion. If the FDA does offer an opinion, it may be more than just interesting. Under 21 C.F.R. § 10.85(j):
“An advisory opinion may be used in administrative or court proceedings to illustrate acceptable and unacceptable procedures or standards, but not as a legal requirement.”
But we’ll see if the FDA is willing to put its toe in that vast pool.
April 13, 2023 – What an ADHD Autism Tylenol Warning Would Look Like
Judge Cote asked the Plaintiff what the Tylenol autism/ADHD warning should look like. This is what Tylenol autism lawyers say it should be:
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 hard to conjure up an argument against this acetaminophen warning going on the product today… unless your sole focus is to sell acetaminophen.
April 9, 2023 – Autism
According to recently released data from the CDC, the rate of children in the U.S. diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder has increased in recent years. The new research suggests that 1 out of every 36 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with autism or ASD.
March 31, 2023 – Expert Discovery
The MDL judge in the acetaminophen-ASD-ADHD lawsuit issued an order yesterday regarding expert testimony discovery.
The court ruled that rebuttal expert testimony should be included in the expert discovery schedule, despite objections from the defendants. The plaintiffs had until March 15 to disclose whether they intended to designate an expert in maternal fetal medicine. On March 17, the plaintiffs notified the defendants that they would not submit an affirmative expert report on this subject, but may submit a rebuttal report. The defendants objected, and the matter was brought before the court on Monday. The court ordered that the plaintiffs must disclose by April 4 whether they intend to serve an affirmative expert report on maternal fetal medicine by June 16, and that they may only serve a rebuttal report if they serve an affirmative report.
The history is last month the plaintiffs revealed six areas of general causation. The defendants added an additional area, maternal fetal medicine. The plaintiffs’ lawyers don’t think they need a maternal fetal medicine expert to meet their burden of proof for general causation. But plaintiffs have no clue what the defense expert might say so they want to reserve the right to call a rebuttal expert which is just common sense. It is hard to understand why the defense lawyers objected.
This is a lot of inside baseball most of you are not interested in but the more overarching point is that it is hard to recall an MDL class action that was moving faster than this one.
March 27, 2023 – Fact Sheet Approved
All new and existing plaintiffs in the Tylenol autism class action MDL will now be required to complete a Plaintiff Fact Sheet (PFS) that was recently adopted by Judge Cote last week. The PFS is 35 pages long, so it is more detailed that your typical mass tort fact sheet. The PFS requires basic information such as product names and dates of usage. But most of the PFS is devoted to the genetic and medical history of the plaintiffs (both the child and the parents). This section is particularly focused on identifying those plaintiffs with genetic risk factors for autism or ADHD, which would weaken their claim that that the autism was caused by acetaminophen use during pregnancy.
What is a Plaintiff Fact Sheet? In a MDL class action, PFS is a document that is required by the court to be completed by each individual plaintiff in the litigation. The PFS is a detailed questionnaire that gathers information about the plaintiff’s background, medical history, and other relevant information related to their claim. It is similar to interrogatories.
March 10, 2023 – Number of Lawsuit
As of March 1st there are 107 pending cases in the acetaminophen ADHD/autism class action litigation. There were 80 cases when the class action MDL was created a few months ago.
March 9, 2023 – Same Motion, Different Day
The plaintiffs recently filed a memorandum in opposition to the Motion to Dismiss filed by J&J last month. J&J is seeking dismissal of the Tylenol lawsuits on the grounds that the federal preemption doctrine precludes them. According to J&J, preemption applies because the warning labels on Tylenol are regulated by the FDA and governed by federal law.
The insurramountable problem for J&J is that Judge Cote already rejected the same federal preemption argument when she dismissed Walmart’s motion to dismiss filed back in December. J&J will get to file a supplemental brief in support of its motion next week. If history is a guide, expect Judge Cote to rule quickly.
February 25, 2023 – Quick Moving Litigation
The logistical matters in the early stages of the Tylenol autism class action continue to get finalized swiftly by MDL Judge Denise Conte. Just last week, Judge Conte issued a new Order finalizing the protocol, rules and schedule for depositions and fact discovery of expert witnesses. Those depositions can now begin and they will play a key role in October when Judge Conte plans to rule on the admissibility of the plaintiffs’ causation evidence. That ruling will determine the future of the litigation unless overturned on appeal.
February 11, 2023 – Plaintiff’s Fact Sheet
The parties will submit joint or competing plaintiffs’ fact sheets by February 28, 2023.
What is a fact sheet and what does it mean to you? A plaintiffs’ fact sheet in an MDL class action is basically the biographic history plaintiffs in the litigation must provide. The fact sheet includes information such as the plaintiff’s name, the injury suffered, the defendants, and the legal theories being asserted.
The fact sheets have many purposes, not the least of which is identifying common issues and patterns among the claims. This is important to gain a feel for the scope of the litigation, which is helpful for settlement. This information is also used in selecting “bellwether trial” the first lawsuits to go to trial.
February 3, 2023 – Litigation Grows
The number of Tylenol autism lawsuits pending in the federal courts in the MDL continues to grow. But there are also related cases filed in state courts (particularly in California) that are not included in the MDL class action lawsuit. Last week, Judge Cote sought to increase cooperation between the state and federal court cases by issuing an order outlining a process for coordinated discovery with cases in the state courts. The order gives state court cases the ability to access discovery obtained in the MDL.
January 31, 2022 – Tylenol Class Action Hearing Tomorrow
Yesterday, the parties submitted competing discovery plans. Tomorrow ‘s hearing is to discuss the plans at 3:00 p.m.
Judge Cote moves fasts.
January 20, 2023 – Judge Outlines MDL Discovery Plan
The Tylenol autism class action MDL judge issued an Order last week outlining her initial discovery plan. The plan will focus primarily on fleshing out the scientific evidence establishing the causation link between the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy and autism.
Phase One of the discovery will include document production from Johnson & Johnson (the company that first developed acetaminophen) and interrogatory responses. All of this discovery will focus on the link between Tylenol during pregnancy and autism. The aim is to fully expose the available scientific evidence before the cases go to trial.
January 11, 2023 – Judge Makes It Easier to File an Acetaminophen Lawsuit
Tylenol autism MDL Judge Denise Cote approved a Short Form Complaint this week. All new incoming plaintiffs in the MDL will now use the Short Form Complaint when filing their case.
What does this mean? It means it is easier now to filed a Tylenol lawsuit because you no longer need to include the laundry list of allegation. Instead, you short form lawsuit references the allegations in the master complaint in the class action.
Judge Cote has already permitted direct filing of new cases in the MDL. These two steps combined make the process of filing new Tylenol autism cases much more efficient and should lead to a big spike in new case filings this year.
January 9, 2023 – New Tylenol Autism Lawsuit Transferred from Florida to New York
A new Tylenol autism lawsuit, Smith v. Walmart (0:22-cv-62092) is an example of an acetaminophen suit that was originally filed in federal court in Florida and recently transferred into the class action MDL in New York. The lawsuit names only Walmart as a defendant. The plaintiffs – a mother and her child – allege that Equate, Walmart’s version of Tylenol, was used by the mother while pregnant and this led to the child developing autism.
Again, if you file a Tylenol suit in federal court in California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, or anywhere else in the country, that lawsuit will be transferred to New York for the consolidated litigation that houses all of these claims.
January 1, 2023 – Appointment of Special Master in Tylenol Lawsuit
Randi Ellis has been appointed Census Special Master in the Tylenol autism MDL. This means she will be in charge of developing a system for the coordinated collection of key information and data from all plaintiffs in the litigation, and making that information useable to the parties and the Court. Ms. Ellis is no stranger to mass tort litigation. She has been appointed Special Master is several other MDLs in 2022.
December 26, 2022 – Filing a Lawsuit Directly in the Class Action Lawsuit
Before Christmas, the plaintiffs and defendants submitted separate proposed discovery plans to MDL Judge Denise Cote, after they were unable to agree on a joint plan.
Last week, Judge Cote issued an Order preliminarily adopting the plan drafted by the defendants and urging both parties to collaborate on a joint submission before the January status conference.
December 15, 2022 – Filing a Lawsuit Directly in the Class Action Lawsuit
The judge in the Tylenol autism class action MDL have until the end of this week to file a “master complaint.”
The allegations in the master complaint will apply to all future cases filed or transferred into the MDL. Moving forward, new incoming cases will use a Short Form Complaint (SFC). The MDL judge has given the parties until January 4, 2023, to submit a joint SFC.
December 13, 2022 – Tylenol Class Action Moving Quickly
The Tylenol autism MDL judge is requiring the plaintiffs to file a master complaint by the end of this week, which will apply to all future actions in the MDL. A Short Form Complaint for new incoming lawsuits to the class action will be jointly submitted by January 4, 2023.
This judge is eager to push the ball forward. She has also moved quickly on several motions that will allow us to begin the litigation in earnest. This judge seems to understand that lawyers in major class action lawsuits are fully engaged and do not need endless time to perform tasks.
For example, the judge gave the parties only two weeks from the date of the first hearing to submit proposed orders on some substantial issues like electronic discovery, protection/confidentiality, master complaints, etc. This is how it should be benefits acetaminophen autism and ADHD victims who want to see the cases ripe for settlement as soon as possible.
December 1, 2022 – Walmart Tries Again
Just 2 weeks ago, the Tylenol autism MDL Judge denied Walmart’s motion to dismiss based on federal preemption. Now Walmart is asking Judge Cote to reconsider that ruling based on essentially the same arguments raised in the initial motion.
Moreover, Walmart is also asking Judge Cote to put the claims on hold while Walmart immediately appeals the decision. It is very unlikely that Judge Cote will grant either of these requests.
The court’s denial of Walmart’s preemption motion was supported by a strong, well-reasoned opinion. Walmart’s attorneys are not going to change her mind by simply rephrasing their arguments. The request for an immediate appeal is also a long shot. Motions to dismiss based on preemption get denied in mass tort cases all the time and immediate appeals are never allowed.
November 20, 2022 – Types of Cases in the Tylenol Class Action
We talk most about autism and ADHD. But our law firm considering cases involving:
* Asperger’s Syndrome
*Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
*Pervasive Developmental Disorder
November 19, 2022 – Tylenol Lawyer Advertising Heats Up
Many of the lawyers that were rolling their eyes when we started talking about Tylenol autism lawsuits are now spending big money on television advertising to recruit Tylenol lawsuits. Tylenol lawyers reportedly spent over $1.7 million in mass tort advertising in October 2022, the third largest spend for any mass tort after meso (which does not really count, anyway) and Camp Lejeune.
November 15, 2022 – Walmart’s Motion to Dismiss Is Denied
Tylenol autism MDL Judge Denise Cote issued an Opinion and Order yesterday denying Walmart’s motion which sought dismissal based on the federal preemption doctrine. The decision comes just two months after Walmart filed its motion, which is incredibly fast for resolution of this type of motion in a class action MDL context.
In denying the motion, Judge Cote explained that the applicable FDA labeling laws did not prevent Walmart from voluntarily adding a warning about use during pregnancy to its Equate-brand acetaminophen and, therefore, federal preemption did not apply. Judge Cote emphasized that under the FDA rules, manufacturers still have a duty to enhance their warning labels to ensure they are adequate.
The ruling is not a surprise. But it is generating a lot of excitement.
November 14, 2022 – Walmart Files Motion to Dismiss in Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit
Walmart is seeking dismissal of the Tylenol autism lawsuits against it based on federal preemption. The lawsuits accuse Walmart of negligently failing to warn about the risk of using its Equate-brand acetaminophen products during pregnancy.
In its dismissal motion, Walmart argues that these claims are preempted by federal law because the warnings on the products were regulated by the FDA and could not be unilaterally changed. In their response in opposition, the Tylenol plaintiffs contend that the applicable federal laws and regulations did allow Walmart to voluntarily add a warning to its product labels.
Walmart filed a supplement brief in support of its motion last week. Federal preemption is a common defense in defective drug cases based on failure to warn. The defense is not usually successful.
November 13, 2022 – Initial Status Conference in Tylenol Class Action
In the new Tylenol autism class action lawsuit (Tylenol MDL-3403), Judge Denise Cote will hold the next monthly status conference on Thursday, November 17, 2022, in New York. Judge Cote is expected to make some significant decisions and announcements at this conference.
First and foremost will be her selections for Tylenol lawyers to serve on the plaintiffs’ leadership committee. This committee will confer and make collective decisions on behalf of all plaintiffs in the MDL class action. Judge Cote will also hear from both sides regarding proposals for case management of the Tylenol lawsuit.
The optics and vibe from the first hearing also matters. It will give Tylenol attorneys a first look at how the judge intends to approach the litigation.
November 7, 2022 – Defense Leadership Picked for Tylenol Class Action
In the Tylenol autism class action MDL, Judge Cote approved the proposed structure for the defense lawyer committee. The committee will be called the Retailer Liaison Committee (RLC) and it will make collective decisions for the defense. The RLC will be comprised of lawyers for the defendants, selected by Judge Cote via an open application process. Appointments should be announced next week.
November 4, 2022 – Tylenol Defendants Pay $13 Billion Settlement in Unrelated Litigation
A few of the primary retail defendants in the Tylenol autism lawsuits, CVS, Walmart, and Walgreens, recently announced a proposed settlement that will resolve thousands of opioid lawsuits pending against them. Under the proposed settlement, the 3 companies will pay around $13 billion over the next 10 years to thousands of state and local governments who brought the opioid lawsuits.
Why are we talking about settlement payouts in other litigation with these same defendants? That settlement has parallels to the Tylenol autism lawsuits and underscores why these same retailers are being sued in the acetaminophen lawsuits.
November 2, 2022 – Tylenol Lawyers Coming Out of the Woodwork
Just three months ago, few lawyers were taking Tylenol lawsuits seriously. Now the television commercials are rivaling Camp Lejeune ads. If you have minor children, Facebook knows and is flooding you with acetaminophen lawsuit ads. The Tylenol autism class action lawsuit may become the biggest mass tort in U.S. history.
October 28, 2022 – Picking Class Action Lawyers
This week, the judge in the new Tylenol autism class action lawsuit in the Southern District of New York set a deadline of November 14, 2023, for attorneys to submit applications for appointment to the plaintiffs’ leadership committee (PLC).
In a class action MDL, the PSC makes collective decisions on behalf of all the individual plaintiffs in the litigation. The first monthly status conference in the MDL is scheduled for November 17th, so the judge may make the PLC appointments for the Tylenol lawsuit for autism victims at that conference.
October 5, 2022 – New Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit
We now have a Tylenol class action lawsuit. The new MDL – titled In Re: Acetaminophen – ASD/ADHD MDL No. 3043 – will be in the Southern District of New York under Judge Denise L. Cote. This will be Judge Cote’s 9th MDL class action lawsuit.
More than 80 filed acetaminophen lawsuits will be immediately transferred to Judge Cote
September 30, 2022 – MDL Arguments
Yesterday, the JPML heard oral arguments at a hearing on the motion for consolidation of the growing number of autism cases into a new acetaminophen class action. The number of lawsuits alleging that acetaminophen use during pregnancy caused autism has been steadily growing and there is now a large number pending in federal districts across the country.
In June, a group of plaintiffs filed a request asking for the cases to be consolidated into a new MDL. The defendants, manufacturers, and major retailers of acetaminophen, are strongly opposed to class action consolidation. A panel of JPML judges will now decide.
There is no question the Tylenol autism lawsuits could become one of the biggest mass torts in American history. One member of the JPML, Judge Matthew Kennelly, noted the hearing that this could get “really gigantic.” Feels foreshadowing.
September 27, 2022 – Tylenol Lawsuit Update
There have now been 87 Tylenol lawsuits in seven states against sellers of store-branded pain relievers. The defendants include CVS, Walmart, and Walgreens.
September 11, 2022 – Oral Arguments for Class Action Set
Oral argument before the JPML on the motion to consolidate the acetaminophen autism cases into an MDL class action lawsuit has been set for September 29, 2022, in St. Louis.
The MDL consolidation request has faced opposition from various defendants. But our Tylenol autism lawyers think the odds still favor the MDL class action lawsuit being granted. What is more in doubt is what venue the JPML will select if a new MDL is created. The plaintiffs are pushing for the Northern District of California, while the defendants prefer New Jersey.
August 9, 2022 – Battle for a New Acetaminophen Class Action Lawsuit
Plaintiffs in the acetaminophen autism lawsuits file a Reply in Support of their recent request for consolidation of all Tylenol autism lawsuits into a new MDL class action. The Reply brief contests the legal arguments made by several defendants in their opposition to consolidation. Specifically, the Reply asserts that the number of pending cases and future pending cases are more than adequate to justify an MDL. The Reply also reasserts that the Northern District of California would be the most logical choice of venue for the MDL.
August 2, 2022 – MDL Opposition Brief
The defendants filed briefs in opposition to the motion seeking consolidation of all Tylenol autism lawsuits into a new class action MDL. Each defendant filed its separate opposition, but all four briefs make similar arguments.
First, the opposition briefs point out that the Tylenol autism lawsuits have only been filed against retail defendants and necessary parties (i.e., the actual acetaminophen manufacturers) have been left out.
Second, they contend that there are not enough acetaminophen autism cases pending and that the field of defendants is too large and diverse.
Finally, all the defense oppositions object to the forums suggested by the plaintiffs and argue that if the Tylenol lawsuit is consolidated, the District of New Jersey or the Eastern District of New York would be the more appropriate venues.
Tylenol Autism Lawsuit
Tylenol lawsuits are now being brought against major retailers, Johnson and Johnson, and generic acetaminophen makers claiming that they failed to warn that using the popular drug during pregnancy could lead to autism.
The growing number of Tylenol autism lawsuits has recently prompted a request for the cases to be consolidated into a new MDL Tylenol autism class action lawsuit.
Our firm is currently accepting Tylenol autism lawsuits from parents or guardians of children who were diagnosed with autism or ADHD after significant prenatal exposure to Tylenol or generic acetaminophen. Contact our law firm today at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.
Tylenol Linked to Autism
Tylenol (the brand name for acetaminophen) is one of the most popular and widely used over-the-counter pain medications in the world. Acetaminophen holds a uniquely preeminent place in pharmacology and medicine. Millions of people use Tylenol regularly to relieve headaches, pain, and reduce fevers.
Around 50 million American consumers (roughly 20% of the adult population in the United States) use products containing acetaminophen each week, with more than 25 billion doses being used annually.
At the same time, it is, paradoxically, probably one of the most dangerous and least understood compounds in medical use. Acetaminophen’s mechanism of action remains unclear. Scientists have yet to figure out how acetaminophen relieves pain and reduces fever.
Despite the drug’s unknown mechanism of action, acetaminophen has long been marketed to pregnant women as the safest pain reliever and fever-reducing drug for use during pregnancy. As a result, Tylenol is used by more pregnant women than any other over-the-counter drug.
Baby Food and Autism
We have known that many have linked baby food and autism. Until recently, lawyers generally thought Tylenol lawsuits were not as strong as the baby food claims. But that wisdom has been flipped on its head because it is likely that the Tylenol cases will be much easier to prove. Moreover, women’s medical records are replete with instructions from doctors to take acetaminophen for aches and pains.
Medical Literature on Tylenol and Baby Food
Over the past decade, a growing body of scientific studies has raised increasingly more and greater concerns about the correlation between prenatal acetaminophen exposure and adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes, including autism.
Consensus Statement on Tylenol and Pregnancy
In 2021, the scientific journal Nature Reviews Endocrinology published a Consensus Statement from medical experts warning that the use of Tylenol during pregnancy was not safe and could lead to higher rates of autism. This study was the final straw that led to the avalanche of acetaminophen lawsuits.
JAMA Psychiatry Study
One of the most significant studies, published in the leading scientific journal JAMA Psychiatry in 2020, found that umbilical cord “biomarkers of fetal exposure to acetaminophen were associated with significantly increased risk of childhood [autism] in a dose-response fashion.”
The study’s authors further noted that “[s]ensitivity analyses . . . and subgroup analyses found consistent associations between acetaminophen and [autism] across strata of potential confounders, including maternal indication, substance use, preterm birth, and child age and sex.”
A Johns Hopkins study looked at cord blood samples and measured acetaminophen levels. The results were stunning. The highest levels of acetaminophen found in the cord blood were almost three times as likely to be on the autism spectrum compared to children with the lowest levels in their cord blood. This study has fueled the Tylenol lawsuit more than any other study.
Various studies have found that the use of Tylenol (or acetaminophen) during pregnancy may lead to the development of various neurological disorders, including autism spectrum disorder. Twenty-six separate observational studies have identified positive associations between acetaminophen exposure during pregnancy and autism.
The 16 studies that specifically investigated dose-response identified a dose-response association, meaning an increased duration of exposure to acetaminophen was associated with increased risk.
A research study published in 2018, involved a meta-analysis of seven other studies that included more than 130,000 pairs of mothers and children. The mother-child pairs were monitored for 3 to 11 years, depending on the study. The study determined that children who were exposed to Tylenol for prolonged periods during pregnancy had a 20% higher risk of autism.
Risk of Autism with Tylenol May Be Dose Responsive
The timing, amount, and length of Tylenol use during pregnancy appear to correlate with the risk of autism because other studies have indicated that using small doses of Tylenol during pregnancy does not increase the risk of autism. Based on this new research, many doctors now recommend that women avoid taking acetaminophen during pregnancy unless medically indicated.
At this point, different lawyers have different opinions on how much is enough to make you eligible for a Tylenol lawsuit. Our law firm is requiring that the pregnant mother take at least 8 doses of Tylenol. Other firms has stricter and looser eligibility requirements.
Tylenol Autism Class Action Lawsuit Certified
The new research linking Tylenol use during pregnancy to autism has prompted a growing wave of Tylenol autism lawsuits. Major drug retailers such as CVS and Walgreens and manufacturers of acetaminophen-based drugs are being sued by children and parents alleging that the use of Tylenol during pregnancy caused children to develop autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
On June 10, 2022, the plaintiffs’ lawyers filed a motion with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) seeking to have the Tylenol autism lawsuits consolidated into a new class action MDL. On October 5, 2022, the JPML certified a new class action in the Southern District of New York.
According to the motion filed with the JPML, there are currently about 20 acetaminophen autism lawsuits pending in federal courts across the country.
All the Tylenol lawsuits raise similar factual allegations and assert claims based on failure to warn about the risks of prenatal exposure to Tylenol. Each Tylenol autism lawsuit has been filed within a very short time frame. This tells the JPML panel that many more Tylenol lawsuits are likely going to be filed.
Example Tylenol Lawsuit
One of the 47 Tylenol autism lawsuits that were initially transferred into the new MDL is the case of Springer v. Costco Wholesale Corp. (0:22-cv-1532), which was filed in the District of Minnesota on June 8, 2022. The case was filed by a Minnesota woman, Courtney Springer, on behalf of her minor child. The sole defendant named in the case is Costco, which is where the plaintiff purchased the generic acetaminophen she used during pregnancy.
The Springer Complaint starts with general factual allegations about the development of acetaminophen and how it has been marketed as “the safest, and the only appropriate” pain reliever for pregnant women. These general allegations then move on to lay out the scientific evidence showing that the use of acetaminophen interferes with fetal brain development which can lead to autism.
Next, the Complaint gets more specific and states that Springer purchased Kirkland brand acetaminophen from Costco and regularly used it throughout her pregnancy from October 2016 to May 2017. According to the Complaint, Springer took the Kirkland generic Tylenol “a few times a week” during that time frame. Springer’s acetaminophen lawsuit claims that she took the drug based on the assumption that it was safe to use during pregnancy. Her suit points to what is the core of every Tylenol lawsuit: there was nothing on the warning label to suggesting a possible risk of autism.
Springer’s daughter was eventually born in May 2017. At 18 months old, Springer’s daughter was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
This Tylenol autism lawsuit asserts six separate causes of action: (1) failure to warn, (2) general negligence, (3) breach of express warranty, (4) breach of an implied warranty, (5) negligent misrepresentation, and (6) violation of Minnesota consumer protection laws. The general allegation underlying all of these claims in this Tylenol lawsuit is that Costco knew (or should have known) about the connection between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and autism, but continue to sell its Kirkland brand generic Tylenol without any warnings about that risk.
Tylenol Autism Settlement Amounts or Jury Payouts
The Tylenol autism lawsuits are new. No Tylenol autism case has gone to trial or been settled. Honestly, at this point, no one can say with certainty whether these cases can marshal the scientific proof required for these lawsuits to hold up in court. That being said, the science linking acetaminophen and autism appears very strong. There are also plenty of deep-pocket defendants to pay settlement amounts and jury payouts. So, we can speculate about potential settlement compensation payouts in these cases based on the assumption that they are ultimately successful.
Average Successful Jury Verdict Could Be Over $5 Million
Our attorneys estimate that a successful Tylenol autism lawsuit could have an average jury payout of $5 million. We are talking about lifelong injuries to children. Juries are willing to award a lot of money in those cases because it is the child’s one chance to be compensated for injuries they will carry their entire lives.
Average Settlements Could Reach $500,000
Settlement compensation is different than a jury payout. The average per person settlement of a successful acetaminophen lawsuit will likely be between $200,000 to $500,000. A small handful of cases involving compelling factual circumstances could be worth significantly more.
What Are the Factor That Will Drive Tylenol Settlement Payouts?
Where an individual Tylenol autism lawsuit falls on this settlement value range would depend on several factors. The most significant factor will be the severity of the child’s autism. If the child has severe autism that leaves them unable to function independently the case will have a much higher settlement value. Severely autistic children often require a lifetime of medical care, which would make these cases comparable to serious birth injuries like cerebral palsy.
A second factor that will drive the payout value of a case will be how much acetaminophen the mother used during her pregnancy. To put it very simply, the more Tylenol the mother used during her pregnancy, the stronger the case will be and the higher the potential value. If the mother only used Tylenol occasionally during pregnancy, or for a limited time, juries will be more skeptical of the causal relationship between the Tylenol and the child’s autism.
The final factor that will determine the settlement value of these cases will be whether the child and mother had any known risk factors for autism other than the Tylenol use. Risk factors for autism include pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes or hypertension. Premature birth or delivery complications causing loss of oxygen are also risk factors. A history of autism in the child’s family or parents over the age of 45 is also associated with higher rates of autism. The absence of any of these autism risk factors will make a case much more valuable.
- More on expected settlement amounts in a successful Tylenol lawsuit
Do You Qualify for a Tylenol Autism Lawsuit?
If you used Tylenol or generic acetaminophen during pregnancy at high doses or for extended periods and your child was subsequently diagnosed with autism, you and/or your child may be able to bring a civil lawsuit and seek financial compensation.
Right now, the scientific evidence establishing causation between prenatal exposure to acetaminophen and autism is still emerging. If this evidence of causation is considered strong enough to be presented to a jury in a civil case, however, plaintiffs could receive significant compensation for these cases.
If the Tylenol autism lawsuits are eventually consolidated into a class action MDL (and the causation evidence survives legal challenges), it will be more likely that these cases could be resolved in some type of global settlement.
Autism Drugs at Issue
The non-exclusive list of drugs:
a. Alka-Seltzer PLUS
g. Mucinex MAXIMUM STRENGTH FAST-MAX COLD, FLU & SORE THROAT
h. Mucinex MAXIMUM STRENGTH FAST-MAX COLD & FLU (ALL-IN-ONE)
i. Mucinex MAXIMUM STRENGTH NIGHTSHIFT COLD & FLU
j. Mucinex MAXIMUM STRENGTH NIGHTSHIFT SEVERE COLD & FLU
k. Mucinex MAXIMUM STRENGTH SINUS-MAX PRESSURE, PAIN & COUGH
l. Mucinex MAXIMUM STRENGTH SINUS-MAX SEVERE CONGESTION & PAIN
o. Robitussin Maximum Strength
p. Sinex SEVERE ALL IN ONE SINUS
q. Sudafed Head Congestion + Flu Severe
r. Sudafed Head Congestion + Mucus
s. Sudafed PE Sinus Pressure + Pain
v. Store-brand acetaminophen
This list is NOT exhaustive and any drug containing acetaminophen qualifies.
Which Tylenol Lawsuits Are Our Lawyers Not Taking?
There are certain types of Tylenol autism cases that our firm is currently not accepting.
Adult Tylenol Lawsuits
The biggest category is cases in which the child born with autism has already reached the age of adulthood. It is often heartbreaking when a parent calls looking to find a path to help their adult child and our team has to say we cannot help them. There are two primary reasons why we are not accepting Tylenol autism cases involving adults.
Statute of Limitations Concerns for Adult Tylenol Lawsuits
First, cases involving adult children may present statute of limitations issues. If the pregnancy happened 20 years ago and the child with autism is now an adult, it might simply be too late to file a lawsuit under the applicable state law.
There are strong arguments in many jurisdictions that the Tylenol lawsuit statute of limitations should be extended because victims did not know or have reasons to know of the connection to the autism and their injuries until very recent studies (or television commercials) alerted them to a possible association. But there are also statutes of repose in some jursidictions that may completely bar many claims.
Getting Old Medical Records Often Proves Impossible
The second and more practical reason that we are not pursuing Tylenol autism cases involving adult children is that in most circumstances it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to obtain the medical records necessary to support the case. Our lawyers have learned from experience in other lawsuits we have handled – old medial records often no longer exist.
To support a Tylenol autism lawsuit, plaintiffs will need medical records from their OB/GYN evidencing the Tylenol use. If the pregnancy happened two decades ago, getting those records will be very difficult. One of the primary reasons for this is that the medical practice has since closed. The AMA has identified a number of other challenges for patients attempting to access old medical records.
Children Under Three Years-Old
We are also not accepting Tylenol autism cases if the child was born after March 26, 2020. The reason for this is because the CARES Act, which was passed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, made FDA labeling rules for Tylenol final as of March 2020. Prior to that date, manufacturers and retailers were free to add warning labels to their Tylenol or acetaminophen products.
Once the CARES Act made the FDA labeling rules final, the warning labels for Tylenol and generic acetaminophen were essentially fixed and could not be amended. This means that manufacturers and retailers of Tylenol cannot be held liable for failing to warn about the risks of use during pregnancy after March 20, 2020.
Other Excluding Factors
The following is a list of other facts or circumstances our lawyers have that may exclude prospective Tylenol autism lawsuit.
- If the mother suffered one or more of the following complications during pregnancy:
- gestational diabetes
- gestational hypertension
- an infection and related fever that required mother’s hospitalization.
- If the child was born prior to the 26th week of pregnancy.
- If the child is diagnosed with Down Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, or Tuberous Sclerosis.
- If the mother used illegal drugs, alcohol, or certain prescription drugs during pregnancy.
- If the mother was over 40 or father was over 45 years of age at the time of birth.
- One of the parents has been diagnosed with autism.
Contact Our Lawyers About Your Tylenol Autism Lawsuit
The national product liability lawyers at Miller & Zois are reviewing Tylenol autism lawsuits on behalf of parents and guardians of children who were diagnosed with autism or ADHD after significant prenatal exposure to Tylenol or generic acetaminophen.
Contact our Tylenol autism lawyers today at 800-553-8082 or get a no-obligation, free online consultation.