Johnson & Johnson (J&J) announced on February 8 that it is opposing the proposed consolidation of all federal Tylenol lawsuits as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation. The drug company maintains that it has provided adequate warnings for years about the potential risk of liver damage associated with acetaminophen, and that any product liability claims pending against J&J will depend largely on the evidence provided in individual cases. J&J currently faces at least 33 lawsuits filed in federal courts throughout the United States, on behalf of individuals who claim that the acetaminophen ingredient in Tylenol caused them to suffer severe liver failure or liver damage. If you took Tylenol and have since experienced liver toxicity or another serious side effect, contact our knowledgeable attorneys at Atkins & Markoff for legal help.
MOTION TO CENTRALIZE TYLENOL LAWSUITS FILED
On January 17, a group of plaintiffs filed a motion to centralize federal Tylenol litigation as part of an MDL, which would transfer cases pending in U.S. District Courts to one judge for coordinated handling during pretrial proceedings. If the cases were consolidated in an MDL, the litigation would be handled in a manner similar to how a Tylenol class action lawsuit would be managed. However in its response last week, Johnson & Johnson argued that the formation of a Tylenol MDL is not warranted or justified, claiming that Tylenol’s warning label has provided consumers adequate information since at least 2005 about the potential risk of liver damage caused by acetaminophen overdose. The company also challenges the consolidation of the Tylenol lawsuits on the basis that the outcome of the cases will depend on the individual facts of each case, such as how much Tylenol plaintiffs took and whether they had any other health problems that could have caused liver failure.
J&J ACCUSED OF PROVIDING INADEQUATE TYLENOL WARNINGS
In many of the Tylenol lawsuits, plaintiffs allege that Johnson & Johnson provided inaccurate and misleading warnings about the risk of liver damage associated with its popular pain reliever. Many plaintiffs also contend that they overdosed on Tylenol and suffered liver failure or liver damage after using the recommended daily dose of the over-the-counter medication. In July 2011, J&J’s McNeil subsidiary announced that it was lowering the maximum recommended dosage of Tylenol and other acetaminophen-containing medications from 4,000 mg per day to 3,000 mg per day. This action came after the FDA established new limits on acetaminophen levels in widely used prescription painkillers like Percocet and Vicodin.
CONTACT OUR ATTORNEYS FOR LEGAL HELP
According to the FDA, acetaminophen overdose – either intentional or accidental – is the leading cause of liver failure in the United States, resulting in more than 50,000 emergency room visits, 25,000 hospitalizations and over 450 deaths every year. As more information about the potential adverse effects of acetaminophen and Tylenol use comes to light, and as lawyers nationwide investigate more cases of liver damage and liver failure allegedly linked to Tylenol, the size of the Tylenol litigation is expected to increase. If you have suffered a major side effect like liver failure or liver damage, and you believe J&J’s Tylenol pain reliever to be the cause, consult our reputable lawyers at Atkins & Markoff today to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a lawsuit against Tylenol maker Johnson & Johnson, in order to pursue financial compensation for your injuries and medical expenses.