Updates On Tylenol Lawsuits As First Federal Trial Approaches

Tylenol is historically regarded as a safe, non-narcotic, mild pain reliever suitable for a wide range of ailments from oral pain to menstrual cramps. However, as is evident by a recent crop of Tylenol lawsuits, this over-the-counter staple may cause more problems than originally thought – particularly in those who rely on the maximum recommended dose for daily pain relief. Litigants in the Tylenol multi-district litigation (MDL) allege that the drug maker Johnson & Johnson failed to warn of the known risks of Tylenol, despite having full awareness that the drug can cause liver malfunction and death.

Status of Tylenol lawsuits

There are close to 140 Tylenol cases pending in an MDL action docketed before U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence F. Stengel in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. These cases allege violations of civil product liability standards and assert that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn the public of the dangers of the drug.

Just recently, Judge Stengel agreed to delay a procedural step in the MDL process known as the bellwether trial for a period of 90 days. The term “bellwether trial” derives from the ancient agricultural term for the bellwether sheep – or, the bell-laden sheep responsible for leading the flock. Similar in concept, the bellwether trial is one designed to lead the remaining consolidated cases and is tried in a hypothetical manner before a judge a jury.

The non-biding results of the bellwether trial are thought to be an indication of the likely results of the overall MDL, thereby prompting many pharmaceutical companies to consider either forging ahead with an actual trial, or offering to settle with plaintiffs.

In the ongoing Tylenol side effects lawsuits, a revised case management plan was entered on July 23, 2014, directing parties to push back their discovery deadlines to November 1, 2014 from the original deadline of August 1, 2014. The court also pushed back the deadline to December 1, 2014 for parties to select a representative case to assume the role as the bellwether Tylenol lawsuit.

Underlying issues in Tylenol litigation

The main ingredient in Tylenol is acetaminophen, one of the most widely used pain killers in the United States. As many parents are aware, Tylenol is even considered safe for children as young as mere weeks, and is often recommended to alleviate the pains of teething and ear infections in babies. However, an increasing number of patients are experiencing an onslaught of liver-related issues as a result of Tylenol use, and the number of injured users continues to rise.

Allegedly, Tylenol use at or beyond the recommended maximum daily dosage of 3,000mg per day can cause dangerous alterations in the liver cells. More specifically, the small percentage of Tylenol components that are not excreted in the urine are left to linger in the liver, causing the production of a toxic byproduct known as N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine. Too much of this byproduct in the liver can cause acetaminophen overdose, and possibly death.

Contact a Tylenol attorney today

If you or a loved one recently sustained liver damage due to Tylenol use, or any other dangerous side effects linked with the drug, please contact The Sanders Firm for a complimentary case evaluation. Our Tylenol lawyers are well-versed in product liability law, and can help you advance the strongest possible Tylenol injury lawsuit. Resources

  1. CNN, Acetaminophen dosage, https://www.cnn.com/2014/01/15/health/fda-acetaminophen-dosage/
  2. FDA, Acetaminophen and Liver Damage, Q & A for consumers https://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm168830.htm
  3. Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide, Overdoing Acetaminophen, https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/overdoing-acetaminophen.shtml
  4. George Washington University Law Review, Bellwether trials, https://groups.law.gwu.edu/LR/ArticlePDF/76-3-Lahav.pdf