Our lawyers are handling Tylenol autism lawsuits not only in Maryland but nationwide.
Recent medical studies have determined using high doses of Tylenol (or generic acetaminophen) during pregnancy may cause an increased risk of having a baby with autism or autism spectrum disorder. The new research regarding the link between Tylenol use during pregnancy and autism has prompted many parents of autistic children to bring product liability lawsuits against manufacturers and retailers of acetaminophen products.
Tylenol autism lawsuits have now been consolidated into a new class action MDL. If this happens and the scientific evidence is deemed admissible, there could eventually be a global settlement to award financial compensation to parents with acetaminophen-related autism.
Our lawyers are accepting new Tylenol autism cases across the country from parents of children diagnosed with autism or autism spectrum disorder following high-level use of Tylenol (or acetaminophen) during pregnancy.
New Evidence Shows Tylenol During Pregnancy Leads to Autism
Tylenol is the iconic brand name for a drug called acetaminophen, one of the world’s most popular and commonly used over-the-counter pain relief medications. Over 95% of the adult population in the United States has used Tylenol or a generic acetaminophen product at some point. It is estimated that around 1/3 of the U.S. population (over 100 million people) uses acetaminophen products on a weekly basis.
Since it was first developed, Tylenol has been viewed as a harmless drug that presents no significant health risks to users. Despite this reputation for being safe, acetaminophen remains a mystery in the world of pharmacology. How acetaminophen reduces fever and alleviates pain has yet to be fully understood.
Manufacturers of Tylenol and acetaminophen products have capitalized on the drug’s safety reputation to market it as the best pain relief option during pregnancy. Tylenol is often marketed as the only genuinely harmless drug for pregnant women, creating a public perception that acetaminophen poses no risk to a fetus.
2021 Article Highlights the Risks of Tylenol During Pregnancy
The recent publication of a new medical article on Tylenol use during pregnancy has drastically changed the perception of this drug. A Consensus Statement from 91 leading medical experts was published in the September 2021 edition of Nature Reviews Endocrinology. The article warned that using acetaminophen in high doses for long durations during pregnancy can increase the risk of having a baby diagnosed with autism.
The Consensus Statement outlined the significant epidemiological research and testing showing an association between prenatal exposure to acetaminophen abnormalities in fetal development, causing higher rates of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. 29 observational studies including over 220,000 mother-child pairs from across the world, were cited in the Consensus Statement.
These articles repeatedly found a causal connection between high acetaminophen use during pregnancy and higher-than-average rates of autism spectrum disorder. As a whole, the studies in these articles found that high-dose use of Tylenol during pregnancy increased a baby’s risk of autism by 20%.
The Consensus Statement strongly recommended that the medical community take precautionary actions to warn about the potential risks of using Tylenol during pregnancy. One of the recommendations included a warning label on all acetaminophen products about use during pregnancy.
This call to action followed more than ten years of scientific research, which included twenty-six epidemiological studies that established positive associations between acetaminophen exposure during pregnancy and ASD or ADHD.
Sixteen of those studies specifically examined dose-response associations, all finding that a higher duration of exposure to acetaminophen correlated with an increased risk. Beyond formal epidemiological studies, a 2020 study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that biomarkers of fetal exposure to acetaminophen through the umbilical cord were linked to a significantly higher risk of childhood ADHD and ASD in a dose-response manner.
The authors noted that the consistent associations between acetaminophen and ADHD or ASD held true across several potential confounders, such as maternal indication, substance use, preterm birth, and child age and sex. The authors concluded that their findings reinforced previous research regarding the association between prenatal and perinatal acetaminophen exposure and neurodevelopmental risks in childhood and called for further investigations.
This Is a Failure to Warn Lawsuit
How did the makers of acetaminophen and Tylenol respond to the Consensus Statement and this new literature? Despite the growing evidence of the ADHD and autism risks associated with acetaminophen use during pregnancy, marketers such as Walmart have failed to warn pregnant women. The label is silent. The warning does not have to say, “Tylenol causes autism.” But it could reflect this concern in the medical community and give women a choice.
It gets worse. Acetaminophen is marketed to pregnant women as the only safe over-the-counter option for pain relief rather than being presented as a potentially harmful substance. This marketing strategy is highly profitable for acetaminophen marketers, as over 65% of pregnant women in the United States take the drug. Many women make this choice based on the representations of marketers like Johnson & Johnson and Walmart that Tylenol is a safe pain reliever for pregnant women, even though the evidence suggests otherwise.
Understand that no one is asking for a Tylenol recall. It may well be that there are instances where Tylenol is worth the risk for a pregnant woman. Let’s say a woman and her doctor believe that avoiding acetaminophen to treat a fever during the early stages of her pregnancy could cause defects in the neural tube that can affect the development of the brain or spinal cord. That is her choice. But should she get that choice and be able to distinguish between that type of situation that might call for acetaminophen versus the need to treat mild low back pain?
Pregnant mothers have the right to make an informed decision about taking Tylenol after carefully considering the risks and benefits associated with its consumption. If they had been made aware of the risks of their unborn children developing ASD and/or ADHD, many mothers would have avoided taking Tylenol entirely or significantly reduced their intake during pregnancy.
Tylenol Autism Class Action Lawsuit
The Consensus Statement and the body of research it relies on have prompted a rising tide of recent Tylenol autism lawsuits against major manufacturers and retailers of Tylenol and generic acetaminophen products. These product liability lawsuits are being filed by parents who allege that using acetaminophen products during pregnancy caused their children to develop autism and other neurologic disorders. They accuse the defendants of negligently failing to warn about this risk.
In October 2022, the Tylenol autism lawsuits in federal courts were consolidated into a new class action MDL in the Southern District of New York. The Tylenol class action MDL was assigned to Judge Denise Cote, one of the most experienced judges in that District. So what does the class action MDL mean? It basically means that all Tylenol autism lawsuits in federal courts across the country will now be transferred to the MDL in New York. Judge Cote will preside over a process of consolidated discovery, after which a handful of sample cases will be sent for jury trials. The results of these test trials often lead to a global settlement.
Why Are There So Few Tylenol Autism Lawsuits as of May 2023?
In spite of the unification of Tylenol autism cases into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) more than six months ago, the count of active cases in this MDL currently stops at a surprisingly low number of 124 as of May 16, 2023.
It raises the question: why hasn’t there been a massive filing of cases in this MDL, considering the serious allegations at hand? The explanation for this relatively small number of cases lies in the calculated decision-making of thousands of potential plaintiffs. These individuals, who have a vested interest in the lawsuit, are exercising strategic patience, holding their cases in abeyance as they keenly observe the unfolding of the Daubert challenges within the MDL. The Daubert standard is a rule of evidence regarding the admissibility of expert witnesses’ testimony, and in this case, it pertains to the scientific evidence that attempts to establish a causal link between Tylenol use and the onset of autism.
By waiting for the results of these Daubert challenges, the potential plaintiffs have tactically positioned themselves to respond flexibly to the outcomes. Should the scientific evidence be deemed insufficient, leading to the dissolution of the MDL, these potential plaintiffs retain the option to pursue their legal recourse in the state court. This strategy serves to preserve their rights to legal remedy without prematurely committing to an uncertain MDL process.
Conversely, if the judge presiding over the MDL rules in favor of the scientific evidence’s admissibility, affirming its relevance and reliability, it’s highly probable that we will witness a significant surge of new cases being filed in the MDL. This would represent a seismic shift in the legal landscape of this issue, as a multitude of plaintiffs enter the arena to collectively seek justice and compensation for their grievances.
Who is Eligible to File a Tylenol Autism Lawsuit?
Women who used Tylenol or a generic acetaminophen product extensively during pregnancy and gave birth to a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder may qualify to file a product liability lawsuit and pursue financial compensation with our law firm.
The causation evidence linking prenatal acetaminophen exposure to autism is still emerging, and more studies are underway. However, the body of research cited in the Consensus Statement could be enough to present admissible evidence in court. If this evidence can survive legal challenges and get presented to juries, plaintiffs in Tylenol autism lawsuits could receive significant financial compensation for their claims.
Potential plaintiffs will have more substantial claims if they show they used high doses of acetaminophen for long periods during pregnancy. An absence of a family history of autism, pregnancy complications, or other potential risk factors for autism and neurological conditions will strengthen a claim.
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Contact Us About Your Tylenol Autism Lawsuit
The national product liability lawyers at Miller & Zois are reviewing Tylenol autism lawsuits for parents of children diagnosed with autism after significant Tylenol or generic acetaminophen use during pregnancy. Contact our Tylenol autism lawyers today at 800-553-8082 or get a no-obligation consultation online.