Researchers have linked Tylenol with autism. But the lawsuit doesn’t claim all pregnant women taking acetaminophen will have autistic children. Instead, as outlined below, the suit states that extended exposure to acetaminophen while pregnant increased the risk of autism, and no one properly warned families about that risk.
Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, is a common pain reliever in many over-the-counter drugs, including Dristan, NyQuil, Excedrin and Alka-Seltzer Plus. These drugs address many common pregnancy-related issues, such as body pain, nausea, trouble breathing and trouble sleeping.
About 65% of pregnant women take over-the-counter drugs which contain acetaminophen. These women could be eligible to join the Tylenol/autism lawsuit and receive a share of a future settlement.
Who is At Risk
Beginning in the late 1800s, aspirin became the go-to medicine for the symptoms mentioned above. But in many cases, aspirin had side effects. Frequently, the side effects were worse than the symptoms that caused the pregnant mother to take aspirin in the first place.
Additionally, doctors weren’t sure how aspirin worked. They just knew it worked. Therefore, the effects of this drug on vulnerable unborn babies were uncertain.
Tylenol and related products gave these women another pain reliever with fewer mild or moderate side effects. However, acetaminophen had a dark side.
As mentioned, the drug increases the risk of childhood autism. As early as 2010, the defendants in this lawsuit knew about the elevated risk. But they didn’t warn consumers about the danger. The increased risk, combined with the failure to warn customers of that risk, is the legal basis of the Tylenol/autism lawsuit.
Women who took Tylenol while pregnant and gave birth to autistic children aren’t always eligible for a share of a settlement. An attorney can evaluate a claim and determine if it’s worth it to join the Tylenol/autism lawsuit.
For example, many of these claims have statute of limitations issues. Additionally, some states have a statute of repose, which makes it very difficult to bring defective product-related injury claims.
The Link Between Tylenol and Autism
No one is sure why Tylenol increases the risk of autism or what causes it. Doctors believe it’s a combination of genetic and other factors. Therefore, not every pregnant woman who took Tylenol will give birth to an autistic child.
The dosage amount is a primary factor. Mothers who took lots of acetaminophen are at higher risk than women who took Tylenol occasionally. Thus, women in that first category may receive a larger share of a future settlement.
In short, many studies confirm the Tylenol/autism link. Yet, the drug’s maker, Rite Aid, Safeway, and the other current defendants in the Tylenol lawsuit didn’t sufficiently warn mothers. Instead, store workers continued to encourage pregnant women to take Tylenol.
In 1955, Johnson & Johnson purchased the lab that introduced Tylenol. Although J&J is not currently a party to this lawsuit, the company could later be added as a plaintiff.
Because of all this evidence, it might seem like the Tylenol/autism lawsuit is simply a matter of filing paperwork. However, the issues in this case are far more complex. This complexity underscores the need for a personal injury lawyer well-versed in mass tort claims.
We mentioned some legal hurdles above. Other obstacles exist as well. Federal courts have merged all current and future Tylenol/autism into a single district court. Senior U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, who presides over the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, will rule on pretrial motions, oversee discovery, and conduct bellwether trials.
The rise of remote conference technology has made such consolidation a little easier for victims/plaintiffs. But they cannot FaceTime all meetings and hearings. So, your lawyer must have the resources to stand up for your interests in what may be a distant location.
Lack of proof might be a more significant legal hurdle in the Tylenol/autism lawsuit. This argument is usually the most common defense in mass tort claims. For every researcher who states that Tylenol causes autism, another usually says there is no link or the connection isn’t strong enough to merit a firm warning.
What Should I Do If I Took Tylenol While Pregnant?
At Action Matters, we believe that knowledge is power. So, we always encourage possible victims to research the issues and learn more about their legal options. Many online resources are available.
Refrain from relying on news stories and social media posts for information. These sources are often poorly researched and often only present one side of the story. On the other hand, a national autism nonprofit group is an excellent source of information.
Usually, a consultation with a Board Certified Autism Professional (BCAP) is step two. Autism is a brain disorder that causes social and other impairments. BACPs can easily distinguish between autism and anxiety or another emotional issue.
Finally, if you repeatedly took Tylenol during pregnancy and a doctor determines that your child is autistic, contact a lawyer and ask about joining the Tylenol/autism lawsuit. Your lawyer can take it from there.
Lifelong medical bills associated with autism could total millions of dollars. Additionally, for families of autistic children, every day is more of a struggle than it would otherwise be. These victims need and deserve compensation for these economic and non-economic losses. If you think joining this lawsuit might be the right move for your family, reach out to us now.