Pregnancy can be painful. For years, doctors, TV ads, and large retailers encouraged pregnant women to take acetaminophen-based products, like Tylenol, Alka-Seltzer Plus, and Nyquil, to deal with physical pain, digestive issues, sleeplessness, and other mild pregnancy-related symptoms.

Recent studies show that this advice may have been misguided. Studies suggest Tylenol and other products may enhance the risk of birth defects like autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

One Tylenol pill isn’t likely to cause autism. However, researchers say disability risks may increase if pregnant women take lots of acetaminophens.

If a doctor says a 5-year-old child is autistic, the economic expenses for the family could exceed $1 million. Most of that amount is due to medical costs and parental lost wages. In addition, as autistic children enter adulthood, they often must overcome additional employment and social hurdles. So, the costs keep piling up.

Tylenol autism lawsuit sign-up is often a long process. Filing a petition is just the beginning.

At Action Matters, we tell families what they need to know about complex issues, like how to file a Tylenol claim for autism. Posts like this one, which outline the civil process, give these families even more data. So, when they partner with lawyers, these families know the pros and cons that are part of the lawsuit process.

Tylenol Autism Claim Eligibility

In a nutshell, women who regularly took Tylenol or a similar product while pregnant may be eligible to join the Tylenol lawsuit if their children are, or might be, autistic.

It’s common for pregnant women to take Tylenol during their first and/or third trimesters. During the first trimester, they may struggle to adjust to pregnancy. Symptoms like morning sickness are much more common in these months. During the third trimester, pregnancy-associated discomfort often gets much worse. This can be especially true if the pregnancy has been difficult.

Proof of regular Tylenol use usually includes purchase receipts and doctor visits. In addition, store video may indicate that the mother visited the pharmacy and an employee advised using acetaminophen.

How much use is “regular” use? The studies are mixed. Generally, those who had a bottle of Tylenol in their medicine cabinet during pregnancy and had to replace it at least once, more likely than not, constantly used Tylenol for purposes of this lawsuit.

In addition to Tylenol, Alka-Seltzer Plus and Nyquil, here are some other over-the-counter drugs with acetaminophen:

  • Aspirin-Free Singlet,
  • Sinutab,
  • Sudafed,
  • Theraflu,
  • Actifed,
  • Anacin,
  • Dimetapp,
  • Dristan,
  • Midol,
  • Panadol,
  • Robitussin,
  • Benadryl.
  • Cepacol,
  • Contac,
  • Coricidin,
  • Dayquil,
  • Saint Joseph,
  • Triaminic,
  • Vicks,
  • Zicam.

Generic versions of these products usually have the same ingredients, including acetaminophen, as the national brands. In addition, many prescription drugs, such as Lortab, Percocet, Phenaphen, Sedapap, and Tapanol, also contain acetaminophen.

Strictly speaking, the plaintiffs didn’t file a Tylenol claim because acetaminophen caused their children’s autism. Instead, these plaintiffs argue that the defendants, which as of February 2023 are mostly drug retailers, failed to warn them about the increased risk of autism. Future lawsuits may add other defendants, such as doctors who gave improper advice. These matters may also add Johnson & Johnson, which makes Tylenol and many other acetaminophen drugs.

Families with physical loss may get a future share of a Tylenol/autism settlement. Damages could be for anything from a single autism screening to full-time at-home care for an autistic child.

The more losses the family had, the higher their share of a future Tylenol/autism lawsuit settlement is likely to be. This formula also applies to noneconomic losses but not to punitive damages. More information on the types of compensation available is listed below.

Compensation Available

All families who suffered any actual damages may get money for their economic losses, such as medical bills, and non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering. As the name implies, these damages “compensate” victims for their losses. The law allows plaintiffs to collect damages so they can be in the same position they were in before the injury occurred.

Truthfully, no amount of money from a Tylenol claim for autism can do that. However, it can help. Additionally, financial compensation is the only remedy a court can award in these cases.

The exact amount of regular damages usually depends on the facts of the case, mainly the amount of Tylenol used and the severity of the autism diagnosis. Families with high economic losses are also entitled to high non-economic damages for things like emotional distress. Families that had low economic losses may get fewer damages.

Punitive damages may be available in these matters as well. These additional damages punish defendants for their reckless conduct and force them to change how they do business.

Filing a Tylenol Autism Claim

In late 2022, federal courts merged existing and future Tylenol/autism lawsuits into the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. This multi-district litigation (MDL) court could hurt plaintiffs in the short term. However, it may help them in the long run.

In the short term, plaintiffs don’t need to go to New York to file their lawsuits. When a local court gets a petition, it must forward it to New York. So, at the early stage, MDL creates an extra step.

Incidentally, lawyers have access to PACER, the Public Access to Court Electronic Records. This means a plaintiff’s legal team can review and file documents in their case 24/7/365.

In the long term, MDLs help plaintiffs. A single judge or magistrate rules on all pretrial motions, oversees all discovery, and supervises most settlement talks. This pretrial efficiency helps speed these complicated matters through the system.

Additionally, momentum tends to build for a broad settlement when a few cases settle. Eventually, most MDL cases settle when the defendants agree to create a large victim compensation fund. This outcome likely wouldn’t happen if courts handled these lawsuits one by one.

The MDL process also includes bellwether trials. After about a half-dozen of these trials, both sides usually know the strength of their cases. So, most MDL claims settle after bellwether trials are at least mostly over.

The original state’s law applies in a bellwether trial. Each state has different rules about key matters, such as the definition of negligence and the amount of compensation available. A lawyer can walk you through these items.

The federal court system is complex, and judges can become impatient with people, including lawyers, who don’t know all the rules. So, if you believe you have a case and might want to file a lawsuit, contact us today and start the Tylenol autism lawsuit sign-up process.