In a class action lawsuit, the payouts are determined by the number of people in the lawsuit or by the number of valid claims that were filed. Sometimes, these payouts can reach billions of dollars. Victims and their families need every penny, given the massive lifelong costs of autism and ADHD. These children are usually unable to live independently when they grow up.
So, if you took Tylenol while pregnant and your child is autistic, now is the time to speak with a Tylenol autism lawyer. We’ll provide a brief history and lawsuit update and then detail why beginning a claim review may help.
A Brief Tylenol Lawsuit Update 2023
In 2019, researchers linked Tylenol use among pregnant mothers with autism and ADHD in their children. But the retailers who sold Tylenol and promoted its use among pregnant women didn’t warn their customers about this debilitating side effect.
As more proof appeared, the defendants hid behind legal loopholes to avoid responsibility. But in late 2022 and again in early 2023, Judge Cote overruled a fundamental objection, the preemption doctrine, and allowed the case to proceed.
The preemption doctrine states that once the government says a drug or other product is safe, no one, not even a Tylenol autism victim, can claim otherwise. But the government didn’t know all the facts when it approved this drug in 1955.
Since their procedural objections failed, the defendants attacked the substance of the case, which is the scientific evidence linking Tylenol and autism. As of July 2023, the judge hasn’t ruled on these objections.
Media Coverage and Public Response
Facts presented in court determine the outcome of the lawsuit itself. Public perception determines the motivation, or lack thereof, of the defendants to settle this case. All companies, especially family-friendly pharmacies like Rite Aid and Walmart, dislike lousy publicity. The more bad publicity this case receives, the sooner the defendants want to resolve it.
Public perception about the connection between Tylenol and ADHD or the motives of victims, their attorneys, and the defendants, in this case, should not matter in court. But it does. The law allows jurors to form opinions about a case before a trial. They must simply be willing to re-evaluate those opinions based on the evidence presented.
Evolving Scientific Evidence
Scientific evidence mirrors media reports. Most studies conclude that Tylenol consumption during pregnancy could cause fetal autism and ADHD. Most studies also conclude the risk is minimal. The Tylenol/autism case has progressed despite this underwhelming evidence, primarily because of the nature of these claims. Proper analysis of these studies comes into play as well.
Legally, the plaintiffs don’t claim that Tylenol caused autism or ADHD. The plaintiffs claim the defendants didn’t warn them about a possible serious side-effect. Was the risk high enough to warrant a warning? That’s not a question a plaintiff or defendant can answer. That’s a question only a jury can answer.
Proper evaluation is necessary as well. Evaluating scientific evidence usually means considering the source and the methods.
Usually, the crux of the matter is the research method. Did the study have a large or small effect size? Did researchers use a large sample size or a small one? Did the study show a cause-and-effect relationship, or was the link a coincidence?
Regulatory Agencies’ Response
In the past, regulatory agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, declared a link between Tylenol and autism, but the risk is minimal.
Many people don’t know that the FDA is an industry advocacy group. Industry-paid user fees account for about half of the FDA’s budget. You must view any statement the agency releases must in that context.
In April 2023, Judge Cote asked the FDA to issue an updated statement about the Tylenol autism link. As of July 2023, the FDA remained quiet, choosing not to respond.
Consolidation of Lawsuits and Class Actions
The Federal Judicial Multidistrict Litigation panel often consolidates mass tort cases, like the Tyelnol autism lawsuit, for pretrial purposes. One judge efficiently manages the entire pretrial process. If an individual claim does not settle, it returns to its home jurisdiction for trial.
Such pretrial consolidation is a significant advantage for plaintiffs. Victims from across the country pool their resources together. Furthermore, there’s a case settlement domino effect. When one claim or group of claims settles, the rest follow suit.
Tylenol Lawsuit Update 2023: Defense Issues
We’ve outlined the plaintiffs’ negligence claims in the Tylenol autism lawsuit. But we haven’t looked at the defenses in this case.
Legally, the defendants claim the autism risk was de minimis and therefore didn’t warrant an official warning. Deep-fried potatoes contain acrylamides which could cause cancer. But the danger is so infinitesimally low it doesn’t justify a warning.
There’s also a reliance argument. The manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, said Tylenol was safe. We just passed on the information we received.
The Tylenol Autism Lawsuit 2023 demonstrates that public health and safety decisions must be evidence-based. They cannot be left to retailers, manufacturers, and regulators with financial or political agendas.
But a new approach isn’t enough. If this environment changes tomorrow, the change won’t compensate for dangerous drug exposure victims. Only an attorney can do that.
To learn more about the Tylenol autism lawsuit and assert your legal rights, start your free claim review now.