Johnson & Johnson Request for Dismissal of Tylenol Autism Lawsuit Denied

April 24, 2023 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Johnson & Johnson Request for Dismissal of Tylenol Autism Lawsuit Denied

The pharmaceutical giant, Johnson & Johnson has had their motion to dismiss a product liability lawsuit against them regarding Tylenol causing autism spectrum disorder denied. Judge Denise Cote, who is overseeing the multidistrict litigation (MDL), filed an order on April 20th, 2023 denying the motion. 

The Tylenol manufacturer and several retailers are facing serious legal repercussions after studies revealed that Tylenol (acetaminophen) could increase the risk of developmental disorders such as autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder among children exposed prenatally.

Johnson & Johnson attempted to deflect this litigation on the basis of preemption. The Tylenol autism lawsuit defendants claimed that the Tylenol lawsuits filed against them on the basis of state failure to warn laws should be dismissed since they would come into conflict with FDA labeling laws.

What is Preemption and its Relevance to the Tylenol Autism Lawsuits?

Preemption is a term that has appeared several times now in the ongoing Tylenol autism lawsuits. It is a legal doctrine that involves the priority of federal law over state laws. Essentially, the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution dictates that in issues where state and federal laws come into conflict and cannot both be followed then federal law preempts or takes precedence over state or local laws. 

With the litigation against Johnson & Johnson, the defendants claimed that the FDA’s regulations regarding proper labeling of drugs stopped them from changing Tylenol’s labeling to include a warning for use during pregnancy without their approval. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is a federal agency that Johnson & Johnson reasoned would give their regulations preemption over the state laws regarding claims filed over failure to warn.

Denial of Johnson & Johnson’s Motion to Dismiss Tylenol Autism Lawsuits

This is not the first time a defendant in a Tylenol autism lawsuit has attempted to have a lawsuit of this kind dismissed this way. Walmart is a defendant in several other lawsuits regarding their own brand of acetaminophen over-the-counter drugs and attempted to use a very similar strategy that was dismissed in December of 2022 by Judge Cote as well. 

Both Johnson & Johnson used similar reasoning although they utilized different language when attempting to get the lawsuits dismissed. However, Judge Cote would reject the motion on the grounds that there is no federal law concerning preemption or otherwise that precludes or precluded Johnson & Johnson from adding a warning regarding risks associated with taking Tylenol while pregnant

While this was expected it nonetheless demonstrates that the defendants in these Tylenol autism lawsuits will leave no stone unturned and will not hold anything back in their defense. This is why those considering taking legal action because of their child’s developmental disorders should consider contacting an experienced Tylenol lawsuit lawyer before making any serious decisions regarding their case. 

Contact Dolman Law Group For Help With Your Tylenol Autism Lawsuit

If your child has been diagnosed with a developmental disorder such as autism or ADHD that you believe was caused by Tylenol or other acetaminophen-containing drugs used during pregnancy then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group about your case. Dolman Law is a nationally recognized personal injury law firm specializing in product liability lawsuits involving defective drugs

Our personal injury lawyers have successfully assisted clients with getting compensation for injuries caused by defective prescription and over-the-counter drugs so that they can get their life back on track and ensure that those responsible see consequences. Consider contacting our firm about scheduling a free no-obligation consultation to better find out how we can assist you. 


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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