One month after a U.S. District Judge rejected Johnson & Johnson’s motion to dismiss all federal lawsuits claiming that Tylenol causes autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the manufacturer has filed a motion for certification of an interlocutory appeal, which would allow it to ask an appeals court to decide whether the failure to warn claims should be preempted by federal law. If the court rules in favor of Johnson & Johnson, it could prevent injured patients from holding the company accountable for alleged drug-related side effects like autism and ADHD. If you or someone you love developed autism or ADHD after exposure to Tylenol in utero, contact Consumer Safety Watch as soon as possible. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, which you can pursue by filing a Tylenol lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson.
Tylenol (acetaminophen) is a popular over-the-counter pain reliever manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and marketed as a safe and effective treatment for relieving headaches, muscle aches, and backaches, and reducing fevers. Most households in the United States keep Tylenol in the medicine cabinet, and for decades, women have relied on Tylenol to treat headaches and other minor aches and pains during pregnancy, due to the widespread belief that the pain reliever poses minimal risk to the developing fetus. However, emerging research suggests that exposure to Tylenol in pregnancy may increase a child’s risk of later being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), two lifelong developmental disabilities that can affect nearly every aspect of an affected child’s life, possibly into adulthood.
In September 2021, the journal Nature Reviews Endocrinology published a Consensus Statement acknowledging a potential link between prenatal use of acetaminophen and the development of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). “[…] Increasing experimental and epidemiological research suggests that prenatal exposure to APAP might alter fetal development, which could increase the risks of some neurodevelopmental, reproductive and urogenital disorders,” states the Consensus Statement, which is supported by 91 scientists, clinicians, and public health professionals from around the world. “We recommend that pregnant women should be cautioned at the beginning of pregnancy to: forego [acetaminophen] unless its use is medically indicated; consult with a physician or pharmacist if they are uncertain whether use is indicated and before using on a long-term basis; and minimize exposure by using the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time.”
These and similar findings have led to a growing number of lawsuits alleging that acetaminophen (Tylenol) use in pregnancy causes autism and ADHD and that Johnson & Johnson violated state law by failing to warn pregnant women about this potential risk. Tylenol lawsuits are already being filed nationwide by families with children who were diagnosed with autism or ADHD after being exposed to acetaminophen in utero. All acetaminophen autism and ADHD lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system have been centralized before U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in the Southern District of New York for coordinated pretrial proceedings as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL). There are currently more than 100 lawsuits pending in the federal MDL, and that number is expected to swell in the coming months, as more consumers become aware of the potential link between Tylenol and neurodevelopmental disorders like autism and ADHD.
Hoping to avoid liability for Tylenol autism and ADHD claims, Johnson & Johnson in February 2023 filed a motion to dismiss all federal Tylenol lawsuits, claiming that the failure to warn claims are preempted by federal law, which dictates how over-the-counter medications like Tylenol are manufactured and marketed to consumers. As many other drug manufacturers have done in the past, Johnson & Johnson claimed in its motion that federal regulations prevented the manufacturer from adding more stringent drug pregnancy warnings to the Tylenol label, arguing that the failure to warn claims should not be allowed to move forward. Last month, Judge Cote rejected Johnson & Johnson’s motion, stating in her ruling that the company could have included warnings about the possible fetal risks associated with maternal Tylenol use without violating federal law.
In response to Judge Cote’s ruling, Johnson & Johnson filed a motion for certification of an interlocutory appeal, which puts the matter before a higher court for immediate review. Johnson & Johnson states in the motion, filed on May 5, 2023, that if the appeal succeeds, it would result in the dismissal of complaints involving hundreds of other plaintiffs and would effectively end the Tylenol autism and ADHD litigation early on in the proceedings. If you took Tylenol during pregnancy and your child has been diagnosed with autism or ADHD, do not hesitate to speak to an experienced Tylenol injury attorney about your legal options. You may have grounds to file a product liability lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, which may help you recover damages for medical expenses and other losses. Contact Consumer Safety Watch today to find out how we can help.