Tylenol Autism Lawsuit

Legal action is being taken against retailers of Tylenol and generic acetaminophen on behalf of women who used the drug during pregnancy and whose child developed autism spectrum disorder. Contact The Lanier Law Firm for more information or to file a claim.

Millions of people regularly use Tylenol or generic-brand acetaminophen to relieve mild to moderate pain and reduce fever. Acetaminophen has also long been considered the safest over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever medication for pregnant women.

However, dozens of product liability lawsuits have been filed against distributors of Tylenol and generic acetaminophen on behalf of women who used the drug during pregnancy and whose children have developed autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or ASD with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The increase in Tylenol autism lawsuits has prompted a request to consolidate the cases into multidistrict litigation (MDL). The motion was heard on September 29, 2022, by the Judicial Panel of Multidistrict Litigation (JPML). On October 5, 2022, the JPML court created the MDL and assigned Hon. Denise L. Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. An MDL is similar to a class-action lawsuit in that many plaintiffs who share the same criterion are combined to aid them and speed up the process ideally, but the multidistrict litigation groups similar cases to decide in one court rather than putting all plaintiffs together in the same lawsuit.

On November 16, 2022, Judge Cote approved Mark Lanier, Ashley Keller, and Mikal Watts to lead a team of 22 attorneys, including Rachel Lanier, Alex Abston, Sarah Abston, Catherine Heacox, and Cristina Delise, alleging that prenatal acetaminophen use caused autism and ADHD in children. The following day the first hearings against Johnson & Johnson and multiple retailers, including Walmart, were heard. 

Judge Cote issued a ruling and order refusing Walmart’s move to dismiss ADHD and autism cases filed by two families. The retailer has requested an expedited appeal. As of December 2022, this appeal is pending and further claims may be put on hold during deliberation.

If you regularly used Tylenol or acetaminophen (also called paracetamol) during pregnancy and your child developed autism, you may be eligible for compensation from the party responsible. The Lanier Law Firm has extensive experience and success in pharmaceutical liability litigation and is here to fight on your behalf.

Research Linking Tylenol and Autism

Over the past several years, research from high-level institutions, scientists, and health care professionals has revealed that using acetaminophen during pregnancy presents an increased risk of the child developing autism spectrum disorder or ADHD.

Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 2021

In a consensus statement published in Nature Reviews Endocrinology, nearly 100 scientists and medical professionals shared their concerns about pregnant women using Tylenol. The research presented indicates that Tylenol is not safe to take during pregnancy, and that fetal exposure to acetaminophen could lead to a higher chance of the child developing ASD or ADHD.

The studies also suggest a correlation between the amount of acetaminophen used during pregnancy and the likelihood of the child developing a neurodevelopmental disorder.

The group of experts urged clinicians and agencies to change their guidelines for using acetaminophen during pregnancy while more research is conducted on the effects of the drug on fetal development.

Johns Hopkins, 2019

A team at Johns Hopkins analyzed data from the Boston Birth Cohort, a group of mothers and infants who were followed for 20 years after birth. They examined umbilical cord blood for levels of acetaminophen and substances formed by the metabolism of acetaminophen.

Children whose umbilical cord blood contained the highest levels of acetaminophen were approximately three times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than those with the lowest levels. This study relied on direct evidence of Tylenol exposure rather than on maternal self-reporting, which makes the findings more reliable.

American Journal of Epidemiology, 2018

In 2018, the American Journal of Epidemiology published an article reviewing studies on acetaminophen use during pregnancy and its effect on the fetus. The data included over 132,000 pairs of mothers and children. The results concluded that acetaminophen exposure leads to a 20 to 30 percent increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism and ADHD.

Can prenatal use of Tylenol (acetaminophen) cause ADHD or autism?

Acetaminophen is an active ingredient used in several OTC and prescription medicines. Studies show that acetaminophen from the mother’s blood can cross the placenta and enter the baby’s bloodstream.

Acetaminophen is known to change the function of the immune system and the inflammatory response. It may also make cells more sensitive to oxidative stress, which occurs as a result of normal cell metabolism. Researchers believe that these mechanisms could explain how acetaminophen affects fetal brain development.

However, research in this field is still ongoing, and it will likely take years to fully understand the impact that acetaminophen has on a developing baby’s brain. If you are concerned about the use of Tylenol during your pregnancy, speak with your doctor.

Current Tylenol Autism Lawsuits

The emerging research on Tylenol and autism has precipitated an influx of product liability lawsuits against major retailers that carry Tylenol or generic acetaminophen. The lawsuits allege the corporations failed to issue a warning that using the store-brand drug during pregnancy could cause the child to develop autism or ADHD.

In June 2022, a motion was filed asking the JPML to consolidate 19 cases into multidistrict litigation before one judge in order to expedite the proceedings. Since then, more than 30 related actions have been filed.

In September 2022, multidistrict litigation was granted.

In November 2022, the first hearings against Johnson & Johnson and multiple retailers were heard.  The defendants named in the Tylenol autism lawsuits include:

  • Costco Wholesale Corporation
  • CVS Pharmacy, Inc.
  • Rite Aid Corporation
  • Safeway
  • Target Corporation
  • Walgreens Company
  • Walmart Inc.

Randy Hargrove, a Walmart Inc. spokesperson, called out the manufacturers and distributors of the drugs: “We expect suppliers to provide safe and quality products that comply with all applicable laws, including labeling requirements. We’ll respond in court as appropriate.” Walmart Inc. does not manufacture the drug.

As of December 2022, Walmart has filed a request for an expedited appeal after a ruling and order refused their request to dismiss two of the cases.

Who can file a Tylenol autism lawsuit?

You may be eligible to file a Tylenol autism claim and pursue compensation if you used Tylenol or acetaminophen during your pregnancy and your child was subsequently diagnosed with ASD or ASD and ADHD.

However, additional information may be needed from you to prove and support your claim:

  • Why was Tylenol or acetaminophen used?
  • Was Tylenol or acetaminophen used during the second and third trimesters, and how frequently?
  • What was the dose taken?
  • How was the baby delivered (c-section, vaginal birth, etc.)?
  • Did the childbirth result in a loss of oxygen?
  • Did the childbirth result in any type of injury to the child?
  • Is the child regularly taking medication for autism spectrum disorder?
  • Does the child have an IEP, 504, or other accommodation for any condition other than autism?
  • Has either parent been diagnosed with autism?

Factors That May Disqualify Someone from Filing a
Tylenol Autism Lawsuit

  • No diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder or ASD in addition to ADHD
  • Mother ingested fewer than 10 doses of Tylenol or generic acetaminophen during pregnancy
  • Mother suffered from any of the following: gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, or any type of infection or fever during pregnancy that required hospitalization
  • Mother used any type of SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, typically used as antidepressants) during pregnancy
  • Mother was over the age of 39 at the time of giving birth
  • Mother consumed alcohol, tobacco, or any illegal drug during pregnancy
  • Mother has a previous child that was diagnosed with autism and did not use Tylenol or acetaminophen during that pregnancy
  • Mother gave birth before 26 weeks of pregnancy
  • Child was born before 2005 (are over 18) or after March 26, 2020 (are under 3)
  • Pregnancy and/or childbirth occurred in Michigan
  • Child has been diagnosed with any of the following: Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, Tourette syndrome, or tuberous sclerosis

How much is the Tylenol autism lawsuit worth?

Pharmaceutical and product liability claims are often resolved through settlement. Since the Tylenol autism lawsuit is ongoing as of December 2022, it is difficult to predict the compensation that will be awarded to the plaintiffs. We will keep this space updated as litigation develops.

Contact The Lanier Law
Firm Today

The pharmaceutical liability lawyers at The Lanier Law Firm are currently investigating Tylenol autism claims filed by parents of children who have developed autism spectrum disorder or ASD and ADHD after the mother’s use of Tylenol (or acetaminophen) while pregnant.

Our law firm specializes in pharmaceutical liability and has an impressive success rate of winning compensation for our clients who have been harmed by major companies. Below are just a few examples:

  • Merck – The Lanier Law Firm recovered billions in compensation from settlements
    and verdicts from the manufacturer of Vioxx. This nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
    drug doubled consumers’ risk of heart attacks and strokes.
  • CVS Health Corporation, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., and Walmart Inc. – These
    retail companies were found liable for recklessly dispensing opioids and enabling
    the epidemic in two Ohio counties; $650 million was awarded to the counties.
  • McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health, Inc., AmerisourceBergen Corporation, and
    Johnson & Johnson – A $1.85 billion settlement was reached with opioid
    manufacturers and distributors to cope with the epidemic of opioid use.
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Our expert lawyers will verify your eligibility, gather evidence, assess damages, and file a claim for compensation. We will guide you through the process and keep you informed every step of the way. The Tylenol autism litigation is still new, but we are prepared.

We have over 30 years of litigation experience and an immeasurable amount of passion and commitment to seeking justice for our clients. We will ensure you are properly represented and awarded the compensation you deserve.

Contact The Lanier Law Firm today for a free case evaluation.

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