Tylenol Exposure Lawsuits

November 30, 2022 General

Health professionals commonly recommend acetaminophen, better known by the popular brand Tylenol, to pregnant women as the only safe pain reliever to take during pregnancy. Recent medical research reveals that using Tylenol during pregnancy can  increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), among other developmental disorders. 

Acetaminophen manufacturers and distributors have an obligation to warn pregnant women of the risks of using their products. You might be eligible to file a Tylenol exposure claim if you or a loved one took the medication during pregnancy and the child developed autism, ADHD, or another developmental disorder. 

Our team at Mass Tort Resource has compiled information about the link between Tylenol and autism and ADHD, the current lawsuits against acetaminophen providers, and the requirements for making a claim. 

Research Links Acetaminophen Exposure to Autism and ADHD

A  consensus statement by 91 clinicians, scientists, and health professionals around the globe summarizes years’ worth of studies showing the risks of using acetaminophen while pregnant. They assert that pregnant women should take caution not to use acetaminophen unless medically necessary and, even then, to use the lowest effective dose for the shortest time possible.

Numerous studies, research papers, and observations of mother-child pairs show an association between prenatal acetaminophen and the following developmental effects:

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • ADHD
  • Decreased attention and executive function
  • Delayed language development
  • Reduced intelligence quotient (IQ)
  • Behavioral issues
  • Early puberty
  • Fertility problems

The research links prolonged exposure, higher doses, and frequency to a higher risk of adverse outcomes. Some studies have also classified acetaminophen as an endocrine disruptor, preventing the proper distribution of hormones and chemicals essential for fetal development. This interference can lead to genital abnormalities and issues with fertility as the child develops later in life. 

A 2019 study by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health examined umbilical cord blood samples for acetaminophen levels and found that the children with the highest levels were around three times more likely to receive a diagnosis of autism or ADHD. 

While Tylenol is still the safest pain reliever and fever reducer for pregnant women, these recent developments suggest doctors should warn pregnant women of the risks and caution them to take acetaminophen as little as possible.

Tylenol Exposure Mass Tort Litigation

In June 2022, attorneys asked the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate 19 pending claims against acetaminophen manufacturers and sellers. The 19 lawsuits are on behalf of individuals diagnosed with autism and ADHD caused by prenatal acetaminophen exposure. The defendants in these cases include Costco, CVS, Walgreens, Safeway, and Walmart. 

The plaintiffs filed the motion to combine discovery efforts and avoid inconsistent rulings. Each case alleges the same or similar damages and involves the same scientific and medical evidence. Additionally, the wrongful conduct is essentially the same in each action: The defendants failed to warn the plaintiffs that using acetaminophen during pregnancy could lead to the risk of ADHD and ASD.

The following are the core claims of civil actions surrounding Tylenol:

  • The plaintiffs bought and used acetaminophen during pregnancy
  • Acetaminophen disrupts fetal development
  • The plaintiffs chose acetaminophen because the defendants market it as safe for pregnant women
  • The defendants knew or should have been aware that acetaminophen could cause ADHD or ASD
  • The defendants failed to warn consumers about the dangers of prenatal use of acetaminophen

In October 2022, the JPML issued an order to centralize 18 pending lawsuits in the Southern District of New York despite the defendants’ arguments against consolidation. After establishing the MDL, the panel included 48 more cases with the same arguments as the initial 18 lawsuits. The plaintiffs’ lawyers predict thousands more cases amid the growing prevalence of ASD and ADHD.

In November 2022, the presiding judge established a structure for the defense counsel committee, known as the Retailers’ Liaison Committee (RLC), consisting of lawyers for the retail companies that are the defendants. 

The plaintiffs also have counsel committees to assist with discovery and depositions into the common issues surrounding the acetaminophen lawsuits, argue motions before the court, and negotiate potential settlements. Among those the court has appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee is the founder of Mass Tort Resource, Patrick Luff.

During the litigation process, each plaintiff will continue to work through their lawyer to meet deadlines and provide evidence of the link between their injuries and acetaminophen manufactured or sold by the defendants. 

Qualifications for a Tylenol Lawsuit

If you believe you’re eligible to add your claim to the Tylenol MDL, contact us at Mass Tort Resource for a free consultation. When filing a civil lawsuit, you will need to provide evidence that exposure to acetaminophen during pregnancy caused autism or ADHD in the child. You may need to provide the following evidence for a lawsuit:

  • Records showing you took Tylenol or an equivalent during pregnancy
  • Receipts of acetaminophen purchases
  • Medical records showing an ADHD or ASD diagnosis
  • Records of medical expenses associated with ADHD or ASD treatment
  • Evidence of lost wages due to caring for a child with ADHD or ASD

Your attorney can assist you with gathering the proper evidence to support your claim and determine whether your case meets the same qualifications as the pending lawsuits in the MDL.

Tylenol Lawsuit Evidence

The Tylenol lawsuits will require extensive discovery into the manufacture, development, marketing, and sale of Tylenol and off-brand equivalents. The plaintiffs will look into whether the defendants had any knowledge of the risks associated with acetaminophen and whether they chose not to warn consumers of the hazards.

Studies on the adverse effects of exposure to acetaminophen in the womb have been available for almost a decade, yet none of the defendants have chosen to give a warning of the potential risks of their products. 

The plaintiffs accuse the defendants, including Walmart, CVS, and more, of marketing their products as safe to use during pregnancy despite the published research on the medication causing neurological damage to children in utero.

Compensation for Tylenol Exposure Injury

While ADHD and ASD are not life-threatening disorders, they cause significant loss of quality of life, including an impact on social skills, learning, and the ability to work. The child’s parents might suffer severe stress while finding treatment options, and they often have to pay costly bills for care associated with the child’s neurological disorder.

A child with autism (ASD) might require extensive therapy, medication, and other types of care. Some children with ASD might never be able to live independently, needing life-long care from their parents or guardians. 

Additionally, parents of children with ASD or ADHD might have to miss work or turn down job opportunities to adequately care for their child. This loss of income could significantly affect their standard of living. 

  • Damages associated with these lawsuits might include the following:
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages or income
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Permanent disability

If you or a loved one has experienced these losses due to ADHD or ASD after taking acetaminophen during pregnancy, you might be entitled to compensation from the defendants listed in the MDL. An experienced mass tort or class action attorney can assess your case and help you determine the right course of action to pursue compensation for your losses.

Find More Information About Filing a Lawsuit for Tylenol Exposure Damages

You might be able to obtain compensation through a mass tort lawsuit if you or a loved one took Tylenol or an equivalent during pregnancy and the child received an ADHD or autism diagnosis. Many lawyers predict a massive increase in claims in the following weeks and months due to the increased prevalence of ADHD and autism disorders in children. 

The injured parties in this MDL purchased Tylenol or other medications with acetaminophen as an active ingredient because they believed it to be the safest pain reliever and fever reducer to take during pregnancy. This is common advice that has been given to pregnant women by doctors and other healthcare professionals for many years. 

Despite the observed risks, acetaminophen is still the safest fever reducer for prenatal use, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stands by its established guidance regarding its use during pregnancy. However, the plaintiffs had no warning that the ingredient is linked to an increased risk of neurological disorders and other fetal development issues despite the numerous published studies on the subject. 

If you believe your claim coincides with the pending lawsuits in the recently established Tylenol MDL, you might be entitled to compensation from the defendants, including Walmart, Target, Rite Aid, Safeway, and CVS. The potential damages the defendants could be responsible for include medical bills, loss of quality of life, pain, and suffering, and lost wages. 

Mass Tort Resource provides the latest news and information regarding ongoing mass tort litigation. To find out more about the Tylenol exposure mass tort litigation that centralizes cases from plaintiffs across the country, call us at 844-664-1267.