Tylenol Autism Lawsuit (March 2023 Update)

March 20, 2023 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Tylenol Autism Lawsuit (March 2023 Update)

The Tylenol autism lawsuit is attracting national attention. In this article, we will discuss lawsuits relating to the use of acetaminophen while pregnant, commonly known as Tylenol lawsuits, potential settlements relating to these lawsuits, and the science supporting the link between Tylenol and autism, ADHD, and other neurodevelopmental disorders. The Tylenol lawsuit has the potential to be the biggest mass tort in U.S. history.

Tylenol Autism Lawsuit

The makers of Tylenol and generic acetaminophen (also known by its chemical name, Paracetamol) are facing numerous product liability lawsuits. These legal actions allege the makers and retailers negligently failed to warn pregnant women, doctors, and the public about the potential risk involved with using their products during pregnancy.

The use of paracetamol during pregnancy has previously been connected to a 20% to 30% increase in concerns such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), hyperactivity, and other conduct disorders. The link between Tylenol and autism has been studied the most, creating strong arguments that the size of the studies, the consistent methodology, and the studies' designs (described as "robust") have provided solid evidence that paracetamol use during pregnancy leads to an increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorder diagnosis.

A summary of the most important reports is included at the end of this page.

Skip to an important Tylenol Autism Lawsuit update.

Acetaminophen and Autism

Acetaminophen and Autism

In 2021, 91 American and European scientists became alarmed about data showing a consistent association between acetaminophen use by pregnant women and autism or ADHD diagnoses in their children. This group of scientists signed a consensus statement urging pregnant women to minimize their use of acetaminophen during pregnancy.

We will discuss this consensus statement and scientific evidence linking Tylenol to autism and ADHD later in this page. However, the science is becoming clear that regular use of Tylenol (or generic acetaminophen) during pregnancy poses a significant risk to the developing fetus.

Tylenol Autism Lawsuit Guide

The Tylenol Autism Lawsuit

The proposed link between Tylenol use during pregnancy and children born with ASD or other conditions has grown into a nationwide concern. As a result, numerous lawsuits have been filed claiming damages related to the various manufacturers’  and merchants’ failures to warn about the potential problems this over-the-counter medicine can cause.

In October 2022 alone, Tylenol lawyers spent $1.85 million in mass tort advertising to notify potential claimants about their legal rights. This was the third biggest expenditure for any mass tort after mesothelioma and Camp Lejeune injury claims. Families affected by Tylenol-related issues are filing mass tort lawsuits throughout the United States. 

Rather than clogging multiple federal court systems, an ever-growing number of lawsuits have been consolidated in the Southern District of New York before Judge Denise Cote. These consolidated lawsuits are officially known as In Re: Acetaminophen – ASD/ADHD MDL No. 3043 Products Liability Litigation and are informally referred to as the “Tylenol autism lawsuit.”

The Tylenol autism lawsuit encompasses all lawsuits filed in Federal Courts throughout the United States against both manufacturers and retailers of generic acetaminophen products and Tylenol. This form of litigation is called Multi-District Litigation (MDL) because it includes potentially injured parties throughout the country.

Read on to learn how the Tylenol autism lawsuit came to be, the present status of litigation, and what we can expect going forward.

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Tylenol and Autism or ADHD Lawsuit Updates

Our goal is to update this page as often as possible. We will not only provide timely updates on the Tylenol autism ADHD lawsuit, but also we plan to divulge any new scientific developments pertaining to the link between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and autism, along with any coverage this issue earns in the mainstream media.

Be sure to bookmark this page and come back often for the most up-to-date information on the Tylenol autism lawsuit.

March 20, 2023 - Waiting For an Important Decision From the Judge

At this point, the Motion to Dismiss filed by the defendant, Johnson & Johnson, should be fully briefed and ready for Judge Cote to issue her decision. As mentioned below, we expect the judge will deny the motion, and the MDL will continue to move forward with discovery and other pretrial matters. We will report the Judge's ruling once it is issued and continue to keep you informed throughout the pending litigation.

March 13, 2023 - The MDL Grows, and J&J's Motion is Considered

When the Tylenol Autism MDL was created in September 2022, 80 cases were consolidated across the nation. As of the beginning of this month, 107 cases are now included in the litigation.

In February 2023, Johnson & Johnson filed a Motion to Dismiss, claiming they are not responsible for the warning labels on their products because the FDA regulates labeling and federal law preempts their ability to change product labels. The plaintiffs filed a Memorandum in Opposition last week, and J&J has until this week to file any further arguments. We expect Judge Cote to rule on this Motion quickly and deny J&J's Motion to Dismiss just like she rejected Walmart's similar attempt to end the litigation.

March 11, 2023 - Plaintiff's Opposition to Johnson & Johnson's Motion to Dismiss

Counsel for plaintiffs' filed a memorandum in opposition of Johnson & Johnson's motion to dismiss filed in late February.  This is essentially very similar to Walmart's motion to dismiss that argued for preemption which was soundly rejected by Judge Denise Cote back in November.  Johnson & Johnson's motion appears to be better written than Walmart's version but will likely be rejected on similar grounds.  However, plaintiff's memorandum is interesting for several reasons. 

Johnson & Johnson's Internal Documents Contradict Their Public Stance on Tylenol Autism Link

Thus far, only limited discovery has been performed in this MDL.  However, the plaintiffs are already in possession of an internal Johnson & Johnson document from 2014 that directly contradicts their public stance via their own internal public relations and propaganda machine.  In fact, Johnson & Johnson has repeatedly stated they are "unaware of conclusive evidence to support a causal link between use of acetaminophen during pregnancy and the risk of adverse fetal outcomes."  

Contrast the prior statement with internal documents recently uncovered during the early stages of this lawsuit that say quite the opposite.  Following a 2014 study (published in JAMA Psychiatry) that found children born to mothers who used acetaminophen during pregnancy had a much higher risk for developmental disorders, a Johnson & Johnson scientist complimented the strength of this study's design and "the strength and robustness of the association" (acetaminophen to autism).  Further, this same scientist complimented the study's ability to control for confounding factors that could also cause developmental disorders which lends support to the findings.

A second document uncovered during early discovery is even more troubling.  A Johnson & Johnson scientist states that another study has been processed "implicating a causal relationship between acetaminophen use and ADHD like symptoms behaviors."  While Johnson & Johnson's lawyers take the public stance  correlation does not equate to causation, their own internal documents and scientists tell a completely different story.  

Johnson & Johnson Mislead Court About FDA's Stance on Tylenol Autism Link

Plaintiff's memorandum goes on to dissect Johnson & Johnson's assertion the FDA  has rejected the link between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and developmental disorders.  In fact, the FDA has acknowledged a consistent association between prenatal acetaminophen exposure and developmental disorders and noted a dose dependent relationship (which likely indicates causation).  Plaintiff's contend the FDA's failure to act as of date has everything to do with the lack of a pain or fever reducer available to pregnant women and their fear that such women will be deterred from taking acetaminophen when the benefit (reducing maternal fever) would exceed potential risks (developmental disorder).  

In 2016, the FDA's own internal epidemiologists urged the FDA to alert pregnant women that the data displays a potential risk of neurodevelopmental harm to the fetus.  In fact, these epidemiologists requested the FDA share this information with healthcare providers and pregnant women to counter the perception that use of acetaminophen was risk free.

We look forward to more internal Johnson and Johnson documents being uncovered as discovery progresses forward.  It is worth noting the documents discovered during this early stage of discovery already discredit and contradict their public stance.  Further, we anticipate the plaintiff's will prevail by year's end in the Daubert hearings to determine the validity of scientific evidence illustrating a link between in utero acetaminophen exposure to autism and ADHD. 

March 8, 2023 - The Discovery Process Continues

After Judge Cote consolidated state and federal cases for discovery purposes, the MDL parties became responsible to lead the discovery process. As discovery progresses, the parties in the MDL must share the results with all state lawsuit parties that have agreed to the coordination order and signed the MDL protective order.

February 2023 - Procedurally, the Tylenol Autism MDL is Moving Forward

Coordinating the MDL with State Acetaminophen Autism Cases

In late January, Judge Denise Cote entered an order to coordinate the federal Tylenol autism lawsuit MDL with state court acetaminophen autism lawsuits. For judicial efficiency and to avoid redundancy or an unfair burden on third parties, Judge Cote is requiring parties in the MDL to take the lead on discovery matters. 

More than 150,000 individuals are expected to file a Tylenol autism lawsuit over the next two years. Only state courts and parties who have agreed to this coordination order will receive discovery from the Tylenol autism MDL. All plaintiffs' lawyers in state court cases must sign a protective order and agree to coordinated discovery within the Tylenol multidistrict litigation. 

We anticipate at least two hundred more Tylenol autism lawsuits will be added to the MDL by April. The Tylenol class action lawsuit is one of the fastest-growing mass torts in the U.S. Advertising continues to expand for Tylenol autism cases as momentum for this lawsuit continues to grow. 

Johnson & Johnson Files a Motion to Dismiss With a Familiar Theme

Johnson & Johnson filed a motion to dismiss all plaintiff claims, stating they are preempted under federal law. Johnson & Johnson argues it should be immune to any state law failure-to-warn claims because it cannot independently change a drug's warning label without approval from the FDA.

Judge Cote previously rejected Walmart's motion to dismiss based on a similar argument. Johnson & Johnson tried to distinguish its argument from Walmart's by stating Judge Cote arrived at the wrong decision because she didn’t have all the relevant issues at the time.

Johnson & Johnson also asked the Court to dismiss the master complaint filed on behalf of all plaintiffs. They argue the master complaint did not contain sufficient plausibility because the scientific studies that form the basis of the plaintiff's claims fail to show a causal link between the use of acetaminophen and neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder. Johnson & Johnson requested oral arguments concerning its motion to dismiss.

We expect Judge Cote will deny Johnson and Johnson's Motion to Dismiss because it appears to be more of the same argument, and she has already decided that preemption did not apply to this lawsuit.  We also expect similar motions and results involving other acetaminophen manufacturers in the Tylenol MDL. 

While ethical concerns prevent researchers from going much further in researching pregnant women, animal studies consistently demonstrate a delay in fetal brain development with acetaminophen exposure in-utero. After reviewing all 26 epidemiological studies along with the animal studies, we believe plaintiffs will easily establish the causation evidence needed to succeed on the merits of this lawsuit. 

January 2023 - Setting Schedules for the Tylenol Autism Lawsuits

Short-Form Complaints Make it Easier to Join the Tylenol Autism MDL

In many situations, a Master Complaint is filed on behalf of all plaintiffs involved in a large-scale lawsuit to provide broad coverage of the general claims that relate to all plaintiffs. On January 9th, 2023, the presiding judge in the Tylenol autism multidistrict litigation (MDL) approved Short-Form Complaint forms for families filing Tylenol autism lawsuits. 

Short-Form Complaints provide a uniform claim format for new plaintiffs to use when they want to join a large legal proceeding. This makes the process more efficient and manageable and these claim forms help streamline the process of bringing cases into the MDL. 

Plaintiffs with pending MDL cases were required to file a Short-Form Complaint by January 20, 2023. Future plaintiffs wanting to file a Tylenol autism case must complete a short-form complaint within 14 days of bringing their case, regardless of whether it was filed with the MDL or transferred from another district. Joining the Tylenol autism lawsuit MDL just became easier. 

Discovery Begins With a Focus on Causation

Judge Cote also ordered a discovery plan initially focusing solely on causation and whether prenatal acetaminophen exposure causes autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Discovery will require responses to questions concerning the link between in-utero exposure to acetaminophen and ASD or ADHD, along with exchanging certain documents. 

Johnson & Johnson was given one week to designate five records custodians and specify how each individual custodian is relevant to the overall causation issue of whether taking acetaminophen while pregnant increases the risk of autism spectrum disorder or ADHD.

Judge Cote also gave the parties a deadline to propose a phase one discovery schedule and until April 7, 2023, to submit a proposed label change on all products that include acetaminophen as an active ingredient.

December 2022 – Walmart Tries to Leave the Acetaminophen Autism MDL Again, but Litigation Moves Onward

Walmart (one of the many defendants in the acetaminophen autism MDL) filed a motion for the Judge to reconsider her November 14th order denying its preemption defense Motion to Dismiss, which would have removed Walmart from the MDL.  

Walmart had claimed that federal law preempted the plaintiff’s arguments that Walmart failed to warn them against using acetaminophen while pregnant. Now, Walmart is asking Judge Cote for the right to raise the argument in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (interlocutory appeal) or to reconsider her denial of the Motion to Dismiss.

The plaintiffs were given time to file any opposition to Walmart’s requests. The judge’s ruling is crucial to the future of the Tylenol pregnancy lawsuit. If the Second Circuit Appellate Court were to determine that federal law preempts plaintiffs’ claims, “such a decision would likely dispose of all claims inside the MDL (Walmart’s motion).” In other words, this could literally end the Tylenol autism lawsuit before it gets off the ground.

It was highly unlikely Judge Cote would grant Walmart’s motion for reconsideration because there has been no change in the controlling law. Further, we did not believe Judge Cote would certify an interlocutory appeal at this stage. (Spoiler Alert: Judge Cote denied both of Walmart’s requests as we expected)

The Second Circuit might entertain this appeal two to three years down the road, assuming plaintiffs succeed at the expected Daubert hearings. These procedures are conducted by the trial Judge to determine whether an expert’s testimony and current science are admissible. We also expect various motions for summary judgment and likely multiple bellwether trials to set the stage for all remaining cases.

Next Procedural Steps in the Tylenol Autism MDL Lawsuits

All counsel were required to file a proposed short-form complaint that will allow new plaintiffs a streamlined method to file new Tylenol autism lawsuits in this MDL. The court also requested a joint discovery plan from both sides, however, the plaintiffs and defense counsel could not agree on a joint discovery plan.  The defendant’s discovery plan was temporarily accepted, but the judge requested both parties to work together to create a joint plan before January 4, 2023.

Judge Cote also set quick deadlines for plaintiffs to file two proposed master complaints–one against the manufacturers of generic acetaminophen and Tylenol and the other against the retailers. Master short-form complaints are common in mass torts and allow new cases into the MDL by using the specific allegations in an abbreviated complaint. This will allow a large number of Tylenol lawsuits to enter the MDL in the coming months and all plaintiffs with a pending complaint in the MDL must submit a short-form complaint by January 20, 2023.

November 2022 – A Big Month In Favor of Injured Plaintiffs in the Tylenol Autism Lawsuit MDL  

Walmart Filed a Motion to Dismiss in an Attempt to Leave the Tylenol Autism MDL 

Walmart's Motion to Dismiss the cases filed against it was based on the legal theory of federal preemption. Walmart argued that it could not be responsible for failing to warn consumers about acetaminophen because the warning labels were regulated by the FDA, and Walmart could not unilaterally change the labels in any way to include warnings. The plaintiffs’ lawyers disagreed.

Judge Cote Denied Walmart’s Preemption Defense

Walmart’s motion to dismiss was denied and the judge flatly rejected its preemption argument. In the U.S. Supreme Court case of Merck v. Albrecht, the Supreme Court ruled that preemption is ultimately a question of law and must be decided by a judge, not a jury. The Merck court ruled that a defendant can prevail only if they prove they provided full justification to the FDA of a need for a label change, and the FDA informed the defendant they would not approve the labeling change.

Judge Cote’s decision will now impact all acetaminophen autism lawsuits pending in the Southern District of New York. In her order, Judge Cote analyzed two cases related to the defendant’s motion to dismiss; Hatfield et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 22cv9011, and Roberts et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 22cv9012.

In both cases, pregnant women took Walmart’s Equate brand over-the-counter equivalent acetaminophen, which is only sold at Walmart. Both mothers now allege their children have been diagnosed with autism and ADHD due to acetaminophen use during pregnancy. The mothers also claim that Walmart violated State law by failing to warn of the elevated dangers associated with prenatal acetaminophen exposure.

In her ruling, Judge Cote stated that “a manufacturer is responsible for the adequacy of the warnings on its drug label. The regulation of acetaminophen generally and the Pregnancy Warning regulation, in particular, do not alter that responsibility.” 

This was a huge victory for all plaintiffs and the overall acetaminophen or Tylenol autism lawsuit. Acetaminophen autism ADHD lawsuits are no longer subject to a preemption defense by any manufacturer or retailer of generic acetaminophen products.

Judge Names Leadership Team in the Tylenol Autism MDL

Next, the initial status conference in the Tylenol Autism lawsuit occurred on November 19th. Judge Cote appointed leadership in this emerging multidistrict litigation involving lawsuits alleging acetaminophen use during pregnancy causes autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.

Attorneys Mark Lanier of The Lanier Law Firm, Mikel Watts of Watts Guerra, and Ashley Keller of Keller Postman will serve as lead plaintiffs’ counsel and are also members of the plaintiff’s executive committee along with five other lawyers; Zoe Littlepage of Littlepage Booth, Eric Holland, Holland Law Firm, Roger Smith, Beasley Allen, Sean Tracey, Tracey Fox King & Walters, and Ashley Barriere, Keller Postman. Judge Cote also listed ten members of the Tylenol autism class action lawsuit plaintiff’s steering committee.

Media Draws Attention to the Tylenol Autism MDL and the Dangers of Acetaminophen Use By Pregnant Women

Significant media attention continues to increase related to the Tylenol autism ADHD lawsuit as well as the dangers related to the consumption of acetaminophen during pregnancy. USA Today published an article discussing the increased risk posed by Tylenol use during pregnancy which was widely shared on social media.

The USA Today article quoted Roberta Ness, an epidemiologist (former Dean of the University of Texas School for Public Health) who served as an expert witness in the talc powder causing ovarian cancer lawsuits. Ness believes acetaminophen is a cause of both autism and ADHD, which she noted is “very big for an epidemiologist to say.” Further, she believes 1 in 7 children who developed autism may have avoided such diagnoses if the mother had avoided using acetaminophen during pregnancy, leading to the baby’s in-utero exposure to acetaminophen. In this article, Ness estimated that 20% of children diagnosed with either autism or ADHD have in-utero exposure to high levels of acetaminophen. 

“Johnson & Johnson Tylenol Lawsuit”

Lastly, four separate lawsuits have been added to the MDL naming Johnson & Johnson as a defendant. The vast majority of pending lawsuits were filed against acetaminophen retailers and not manufacturers. The floodgate of lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson (parent company of the manufacturer of Tylenol) and the manufacturers of generic acetaminophen products began. These lawsuits claimed that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn of the potential dangers of using acetaminophen during pregnancy.

At this point, commercials began referring to this litigation as “The Johnson & Johnson Tylenol Lawsuit.” This is very similar to the marketing behind the talc powder ovarian cancer mass tort lawsuits. 

At the end of November, counsel for the plaintiffs and defendants sent an agreed-upon list of potential special masters to serve as a mediator in any settlement discussions in these Tylenol autism cases.

October 2022 – The First Acetaminophen or Tylenol Autism Lawsuits Were Consolidated

Approximately 90 acetaminophen autism lawsuits were transferred and consolidated before the Honorable Judge Denise L. Cote (transfer order from JPML on acetaminophen autism lawsuits) in the Southern District of New York.

We expected hundreds, if not thousands, of Tylenol Autism Lawsuits would be filed over the next several months alleging Tylenol/acetaminophen exposure in pregnant women greatly increased autism spectrum diagnosis in their children. 

Vying for Leadership

In MDL situations, the court appoints specific attorneys to act as lead counsel on behalf of the parties. Applications for leadership positions were open until November 14, 2022, and objections to such applications were required by November 16, 2022. The first status hearing was scheduled for November 17, 2022. 

MDL Judge Denise Cote issued an order on October 24, 2022, requesting that plaintiffs’ counsel file a joint letter by November 3, 2022, spelling out a proposed structure for all leadership positions on the acetaminophen autism MDL, including both lead and liaison counsel as well as all members of plaintiffs’ steering committee. 

The success of the Tylenol lawsuit hinges on establishing causation based on strict scientific criteria that plaintiff lawyers must meet. The Court must agree that the most recent scientific studies show a dose-dependent link between prenatal acetaminophen exposure and the incidence of autism spectrum disorder diagnosis, including its severity. The strength of each individual Tylenol lawsuit will depend on the amount of acetaminophen used and the severity of the child’s diagnosis of autism or ADHD.

With hundreds of Tylenol autism lawsuits being filed around the country, the courts and attorneys involved realized the potential for conflicting results and sluggish trial schedules. The need for a consolidated court process became apparent and plaintiffs’ attorneys filed a motion to gather all federal cases in one place.

On September 29, 2022, the Joint Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) heard and granted the plaintiff’s motion to consolidate all acetaminophen lawsuits that had been filed in Federal Court into a single MDL (multidistrict litigation). The purpose of an MDL is to consolidate all cases with a single Judge to promote consistency in discovery, streamline all litigation, and increase the odds of a global settlement.

Tylenol Use is Linked to Autism – Do You Have a Tylenol Autism Claim?

If you believe that you or your child have been exposed to significant amounts of Tylenol or generic acetaminophen in utero and your child has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ADHD, you may have a product liability claim against the manufacturers of generic acetaminophen (Mallinckrodt) or Tylenol (McNeil Consumer Products Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson). However, we are also investigating claims and potential Tylenol and/or acetaminophen lawsuits against retailers such as CVS, Walgreens, Costco, and Walmart.

These claims are often resolved through out-of-court settlements, but these settlements can vary depending on many factors. The amount of fetal exposure to acetaminophen coupled with your child’s clinical presentation and diagnosis will play a large role in determining the potential value of your claim. 

Tylenol Autism Settlements: How Much Can I Recover in a Tylenol and Autism Lawsuit?

While it is too early to determine the full settlement value of a Tylenol acetaminophen autism lawsuit, we can certainly speculate and estimate based on prior mass tort projects. Before rendering our estimates, keep in mind that it is too early to determine how strong the scientific evidence in this MDL will be and the amount of fetal exposure to acetaminophen in your unique circumstances.

Most plaintiff trial lawyers agree we are dealing with strong science behind an ever-growing body of published studies linking autism spectrum disorder to acetaminophen or Tylenol use during pregnancy. However, it will be some time before we know whether the science concerning the impact acetaminophen has on fetal development and developmental disorders is strong enough to reach a jury trial. However, based on the current scientific research conducted, we feel confident about the pending Tylenol lawsuits and those that will be filed over the next few years.

Remember, in a civil case, the burden of proof is not “absolute certainty.” Rather, we must establish that the use of generic acetaminophen or Tylenol during pregnancy makes it “more likely than not” that the baby will be subsequently diagnosed with autism or ADHD.

To prevail in these lawsuits, we must establish through scientific research and evidence that the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy established an increased risk of a child being subsequently diagnosed with a developmental disorder.

Early Projections for Tylenol Autism Settlement Amounts

Keep in mind these are simply early settlement projections for the Tylenol class action lawsuit. We based these projections partly on costs related to the support and treatment that will be required over a lifetime for a child with different levels of autism.

The main factors are the severity of autism spectrum disorder or ADHD and the amount of acetaminophen the mother used while pregnant. The severity of autism is measured in three different grades, where ASD level 1 is the least severe, and ASD level 3 is the most severe form of autism spectrum disorder.

Since we believe settlements will be based on the severity of the autism spectrum disorder diagnosis (ASD), Children with a level one autism diagnosis will most likely receive the lowest value settlements, while level three (ASD level 3) autism cases will have the most significant value.

We base our Tylenol autism settlement projections on our assumption the science is strong enough to survive scientific causation hearings (Daubert hearings) and allow these cases to proceed to settlement or trial.

We project the average jury verdict could be in excess of $2 million for individuals with an autism diagnosis who experience significant autism spectrum symptoms in their most severe form.

For a free legal consultation, call 866-458-3982.

Factors That Will Affect Tylenol Autism Settlement Amounts

Tylenol Autism Settlements

The main factors are the severity of autism spectrum disorder or ADHD and the amount of acetaminophen the mother used while pregnant. The severity of autism is measured in three different grades, where ASD level 1 is the least severe, and ASD level 3 is the most severe form of autism spectrum disorder.

Since we believe settlements will be based on the severity of the autism spectrum disorder diagnosis (ASD), Children with a level one autism diagnosis will most likely receive the lowest value settlements, while level three (ASD level 3) autism cases will have the most significant value.

We also base our Tylenol autism settlement projections on our assumption the science is strong enough to survive scientific causation hearings (Daubert hearings) and allow these cases to proceed to settlement or trial. 

We project the average jury verdict could be in excess of $2 million for individuals with an autism diagnosis who experience significant autism spectrum symptoms in their most severe form. 

For a free legal consultation, call 866-458-3982.

Projected Tylenol Autism ADHD Lawsuit Settlement Amounts

Tylenol Autism ADHD Lawsuit Settlement Amounts

The majority of Tylenol lawsuits will never reach trial. In fact, very few mass tort cases are selected by Court for a bellwether trial. Thus, the vast majority of these claims will eventually settle. After reviewing Tylenol autism lawsuits that have been filed over the past eight months, we are developing early estimates for settlement value.

Our very early projection for settlement value is:

  • $50,000.00 to $225,000.00 for ASD level 1 claims
  • $250,000.00-$500,000.00 for ASD level 2 claims
  • and in excess of $500,000.00 for ASD level 3 claims

Keep in mind these are simply early settlement projections for the Tylenol class action lawsuit. We based these projections partly on costs related to the support and treatment that will be required over a lifetime for a child with different levels of autism.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Level 1: $50,000 – $225,000 Range

Level 1 is the mildest form of autism. It is often referred to as “high-functioning autism” and is defined as a child who often speaks in complete sentences but has difficulty understanding social cues. Further, a child with level 1 autism may have challenges conversing and with organizational and planning skills. Another hallmark of level one autism is difficulty in moving from one task to the next. We believe children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) would fall into a similar range as those with level 1 autism.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Level 2: $225,000 – $500,000 Range

Children with level 2 autism have more obvious communication issues, both verbal and non-verbal. Another hallmark of level 2 autism spectrum disorder is engaging in repetitive behavior. Additionally, children with level 2 autism are challenged by changes in routine and coping with deviating.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Level 3: $500,000+

Children with level 3 autism face many of the same challenges and issues that those with level 1 and level 2 exhibit. However, these similar traits are much more severe in level 3. Level 3 children will often be non-verbal or make use of just a few select words. Further, they will have extreme difficulties in coping with changes to routines. Those with level 3 autism may only seek social contact to meet their immediate needs.

Keep in mind these classifications are not rigid. Every Tylenol autism lawsuit will be valued differently based on not only the classification of autism spectrum disorders but the extent of exposure to generic acetaminophen or Tylenol, along with compounding factors involving both parents and the child in question.

Does Tylenol Cause Autism?

We do NOT believe Tylenol is the primary cause of autism. In fact, autism has a heavy genetic component. Rather, we strongly believe that the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy—specifically in-utero exposure to acetaminophen—greatly increases the probability of a child being subsequently diagnosed with autism or ADHD. 

Autism, ADHD, and other neurodevelopmental disorders predate acetaminophen. However, we subscribe to the growing body of science that demonstrates a causal link between in-utero exposure to acetaminophen and a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in the child that was exposed.

Genetics are known to play a very large role in autism and ADHD. Environmental factors lead to a greater incidence rate, and numerous studies indicate not only an association between the use of acetaminophen and the incidence of autism; but a dose-dependent relationship. In other words, the greater the level of acetaminophen, the higher the incidence rate and severity of autism and ADHD.

Tylenol has long been marketed as a safe over-the-counter drug for pregnant women to utilize as a pain reliever. Recent studies analyzing umbilical cord blood samples illustrated a dose-dependent relationship between acetaminophen and autism. Study after study shows a consistent association between acetaminophen and autism. The vast number of studies all conclude that Tylenol use while pregnant leads to elevated risks of autism and negative neurodevelopmental outcomes for the developing fetus..

It is important to note that Autism rates began to soar in the 1980s after Tylenol replaced aspirin for routine use due to public fear of aspirin-related Reyes Syndrome. It is also important to draw a delineation between those who believe vaccinations cause autism vs. in-utero exposure to acetaminophen. The vaccination autism link has been debunked time and again. However, the science behind whether Tylenol causes autism is significant.

It will be interesting to see what the discovery process, including depositions in the autism class action lawsuit, will reveal about Johnson & Johnson's knowledge concerning the dangers associated with using Tylenol while pregnant. 

How Tylenol Usage During Pregnancy is Connected to Neurodevelopment Disorders Like Autism and ADHD

Tylenol is a common over-the-counter drug used to treat pain and reduce fever. Unfortunately, in some cases, it may be doing more harm than good, and health risks can no longer be ignored. Recent studies indicate that in-utero acetaminophen exposure can impact fetal brain development.

How Prevalent is Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy?

More than 65% of pregnant women in the U.S. turn to acetaminophen as their pain reliever choice during pregnancy. Pregnant women have been told by health professionals, and specifically by their obstetricians, that among the available over-the-counter medications, acetaminophen was safe for consumption. 

However, in 2021, a consensus statement on acetaminophen use during pregnancy was issued by 91 scientists, researchers, and physicians. These health professionals warned against acetaminophen use during pregnancy unless it is medically necessary. They cautioned pregnant women that a growing body of research indicates acetaminophen use may alter fetal brain development and result in neurodevelopmental disorders. More specifically, they warned about using Tylenol regularly during pregnancy.

Based on the studies discussed below, the general recommendation for pregnant women is to avoid extended use of acetaminophen during pregnancy. Basically, pregnant women should only take Tylenol products when necessary, using the lowest possible dosage and for the least amount of time to protect their unborn child. Here's a quick summary of the most relevant and impactful studies supporting the Tylenol autism lawsuit.

Johns Hopkins University Boston Birth Cohort Study (2020)

Based on emerging research on acetaminophen conducted by both Yale University and Johns Hopkins University, this study found a link between mothers who took Tylenol during their pregnancies and the diagnosis of neurodevelopmental conditions, including autism, in their children. There now exist multiple studies (see this analysis of multiple studies on acetaminophen use during pregnancy) illustrating a potential causal link between higher rates of autism and acetaminophen use during pregnancy. 

More specifically, the cord blood samples analyzed in the Johns Hopkins study demonstrated a dose-dependent relationship between Tylenol and autism based on in-utero exposure to acetaminophen. Further acetaminophen use during pregnancy is among the risk factors for a host of other developmental disorders and can also increase a child’s risk for ADHD.

Is Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy Causally Linked to Autism?

Acetaminophen use During Pregnancy

What makes the Johns Hopkins University study significant is the illustration of a dose-dependent relationship between Tylenol or generic acetaminophen use during pregnancy and a subsequent diagnosis of autism or ADHD.  The Johns Hopkins study sheds light on how acetaminophen impacts child development via the presence of the chemical in umbilical cord blood samples.

Umbilical Cord Blood Samples Measured For Acetaminophen

Researchers evaluated umbilical cord blood samples and noted those with a higher concentration of acetaminophen exposure showed a dose-dependent greater incidence of autism. This displayed a quasi-causal link at a minimum between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and developmental disorders. 

The higher the concentrations of acetaminophen in umbilical cord blood samples, the greater the incidence of autism spectrum disorder and ADHD. In fact, babies whose cord blood samples contained the highest amounts of acetaminophen were approximately three times more likely to be diagnosed with autism or ADHD.

Acetaminophen has a short half-life (the amount of time it remains active in the bloodstream). The fact that cord blood samples contained different amounts of acetaminophen tells us little about whether the use of this over-the-counter drug is dangerous in earlier periods of pregnancy (first or second trimester). However, there is scientific evidence that the greater the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy, the greater the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders.

Danish National Birth Cohort Study (2015)

In the Danish National Birth Cohort Study, 64,322 mother-child pairs were analyzed to study the causes of diseases in children and complications sustained by the mother during birth. A number of factors and health conditions were analyzed. The researchers noted an association between prenatal use of acetaminophen and a diagnosis of ADHD.

International Journal of Epidemiology (2016)

In 2016, the International Journal of Epidemiology published a study (this research paper analyzing data from a Spanish birth cohort) entitled Acetaminophen use in pregnancy and neurodevelopment: attention function and autism spectrum symptoms. The authors analyzed a Spanish birth cohort of 2644 mother-child pairs to determine whether prenatal exposure to acetaminophen resulted in adverse neurodevelopmental conditions at age 1 and age 5. The authors concluded that prenatal acetaminophen exposure was associated with a higher rate of autism spectrum disorder symptoms in males and ADHD symptoms in both sexes.

European Journal of Epidemiology (2021)

The European Journal of Epidemiology published a study where researchers analyzed all the data collected from the 2015 Danish Birth Cohort study. (Read this published study analyzing data from the Danish Birth Cohort study). Researchers determined that in-utero acetaminophen exposure was associated with adverse neurodevelopmental conditions, such as a clear increase in a child’s risk for autism and ADHD.

2017 Study Indicates how Acetaminophen Injures the Fetal Brain

The Journal of International Medical Research published a study (how Tylenol impacts fetal brain development) that discussed the likely mechanism for how generic acetaminophen and Tylenol caused autism by impacting fetal brain development.

Scientists believe it may inhibit essential enzymes in brain development like the Cox-2 enzyme. Further, it is also believed to alter or interfere with the firing rate of neurons in the hypothalamus. There is also believed to be a causal link between the use of acetaminophen and inflammatory diseases. This tells scientists that acetaminophen use during pregnancy may result in inflammation of the brain.

Prenatal Exposure To Acetaminophen Linked To ASD & ADHD

The Basis of the Tylenol ADHD Lawsuit

A study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that even moderate use of acetaminophen during pregnancy created an increased risk for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is important to note that Tylenol use during pregnancy was linked to ADHD in every Tylenol autism study. In fact, the link between Tylenol and ADHD slightly outpaces the incident rate of Tylenol and autism in study after study. 

The team at Dolman Law Group is presently handling a large number of Tylenol ADHD claims. We anticipate our legal team will file numerous Tylenol ADHD lawsuits over the coming months.

Medical Community Finally Takes Note of Tylenol Autism Link

It took far too long for health professionals to take notice. The Tylenol autism lawsuit will only serve to draw more attention to an emerging body of research that establishes how acetaminophen use during pregnancy is among the risk factors for adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes.

Autism and Tylenol Use During Pregnancy

Autism and Tylenol Use During Pregnancy

The 2021 consensus statement, referenced earlier that was penned by multiple medical experts and published in Nature Reviews Endocrinology, warned pregnant women that the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy could spike the rates of autism.

In fact, the authors say that “increasing experimental and epidemiological research suggests that prenatal exposure to APAP (Acetaminophen) might alter fetal development, which could increase the risks of some neurodevelopmental, reproductive, and urogenital disorders.”

Based on the new research and existing body of prior scientific evidence, these experts recommend women avoid taking acetaminophen during pregnancy.

Scientific evidence suggests a strong causal link between the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy and a higher risk of your child presenting with or obtaining a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder or ADHD. This discovery has led many families to pursue legal action against the makers of these medical products and the retailers who have earned substantial profits selling these over-the-counter medications without warning of the potential health risk. This is the causal link that must be proven for the Tylenol lawsuit to be successful.

Tylenol Pregnancy Lawsuit - Failure to Warn

At no point have the manufacturers of Tylenol or the generic form of medication offered a disclaimer to pregnant mothers of existing indications (medical literature and clinical studies) that acetaminophen exposure in utero creates a higher risk of your unborn child developing autism spectrum disorder. Tylenol lawsuits allege that manufacturers and retailers knew of the growing scientific research and failed to provide any warning whatsoever. A number of published studies now indicate Tylenol use during pregnancy is causally related to ADHD diagnosis, autism spectrum disorders, and other health risks.

Tylenol and manufacturers of generic acetaminophen are now being accused of promoting their products as safe pain-relief alternatives during pregnancy when in fact, they may be responsible for causing neurological damage to babies in utero. Health professionals warn of the potential link between Tylenol and autism. The health issues or conditions that may be correlated with significant or prolonged prenatal acetaminophen exposure or Tylenol usage during pregnancy include:

Health Issues Associated With Tylenol Usage Can Have a Significant Cost

While these conditions are not life-threatening, some of these issues can significantly impact a person's quality of life and ability to learn, develop social skills, and work. Parents may endure extreme stress while caring for their children impacted by these issues. Additionally, there is often an economic cost for parents of children with these health concerns, especially neurological disorders.

For example, a child with ASD may require therapy, medication, and additional tutoring. In some cases, they may require life-long personal care. Parents may be forced to miss work to take their children for treatment, forfeit job opportunities to care for their children, or substantially reduce their standard of living to afford treatment.

Costs like these may be eligible for compensation in the Tylenol class action lawsuit if we can establish that acetaminophen exposure during pregnancy resulted in a diagnosis of autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Is There One Lawsuit Against Tylenol for Autism Diagnoses or a Tylenol Class Action Lawsuit?

Yes and no. There are a number of lawsuits filed against the retailers who sell acetaminophen or Tylenol, and recently several lawsuits have been filed in Federal Court naming the manufacturers of Tylenol or generic acetaminophen as defendants. The overall strategy will be interesting because retailers are less likely to want to litigate such cases due to damaging publicity. Drug manufacturers, on the other hand, are more inclined to defend the Tylenol autism lawsuits aggressively.

Potential Tylenol ADHD Lawsuits

A 2014 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association involved 64,322 mother-child pairs and found that children with prenatal exposure to acetaminophen showed close to a 30% increase in developmental disorders diagnoses such as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

While the Tylenol autism link has received more media attention of late, we have seen very little attention focused on ADHD diagnosis linked to acetaminophen. The aforementioned 2014 study demonstrated that acetaminophen crosses the placental barrier. Further, the study also found that using acetaminophen in more than one trimester created a greater incidence rate of ADHD or increased the child’s risk of other developmental disorders.

A 2021 study published by the European Journal of Epidemiology found that a child with in-utero acetaminophen exposure was 21% more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. There is a growing body of scientific and epidemiological studies that the use of acetaminophen impacts fetal brain development. It is theorized that acetaminophen disrupts neurodevelopment and, in turn, child development.

We believe the science linking Tylenol to ADHD is very strong and shows a dose-dependent causal relationship.

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The Tylenol Autism Class Action Lawsuit Process in a Multidistrict Context

The product liability claims against Tylenol and other makers of acetaminophen have been consolidated into a multi-district litigation class action lawsuit. This means all Tylenol lawsuits will be heard in one jurisdiction, even if the plaintiffs are located across the U.S., to consolidate court resources. It also allows plaintiffs to share the burden of expenses like court fees.

Tylenol autism lawyers for injured parties must convince a jury that manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson breached their duty of care to consumers by failing to warn them of the risks associated with acetaminophen. We believe manufacturers and retailers were both negligent by ignoring a growing body of scientific evidence illustrating acetaminophen use during pregnancy increases the risk for autism spectrum disorders. Failure to warn is at the heart of the Tylenol pregnancy lawsuit.

Our law firm can assist in accurately calculating the value of your damages in order to make a claim for compensation against acetaminophen or Tylenol drug makers like Mallinckrodt or Johnson and Johnson and retailers such as Walmart and Costco.

Why Should I Choose Dolman Law Group to be my Tylenol Autism Lawyer?

The Dolman Law Group is a nationally recognized law firm that has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for injury victims in serious personal injury, catastrophic injury, and product liability lawsuits. 

Our team has over 130 years of combined personal injury legal experience. Our national product liability lawyers have the financial resources to challenge any sized corporate defendant. We have also played a major role in mesothelioma and Camp Lejeune mass tort claims to protect hundreds of people injured by careless and negligent companies. 

Our law firm has the financial resources to accept a claim of this magnitude and the expertise to handle it effectively. In fact, we have been investigating claims and reviewing Tylenol autism lawsuits for many months gearing up for this project. In fact, we are among the first law firms to begin investigating claims linking acetaminophen exposure of pregnant women to a child who was subsequently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ADHD. We currently represent plaintiffs in over two hundred acetaminophen autism cases.

Dolman Law Group Has the Resources to Handle Your Tylenol Autism Case

The Tylenol autism lawyers of Dolman Law Group are not intimidated by a challenge. You can depend on us to leverage expert witness testimony, collect medical evidence to support your claim, and negotiate strategically to maximize your compensation. We have recovered millions of dollars in damages for clients who were injured by another party's negligence, and we are prepared to do the same for you. We are continuing to investigate medical issues concerning Tylenol use during pregnancy.

As testimonials from former clients will attest, our team goes above and beyond to protect your right to compensation. This includes keeping in close contact with you, thoroughly explaining the implications of your options, and answering any questions you may have. If you have reason to believe that your child's autism or ADHD diagnosis is linked to Tylenol usage, call us today.

We handle each Tylenol lawsuit on a contingency basis and only get paid if we obtain a financial recovery on your behalf. Dolman Law Group offers a free consultation and case review for families with a child who received an autism diagnosis relating to acetaminophen use during pregnancy. If you want more information about a potential Tylenol autism lawsuit, feel free to email me at: [email protected]

For a free legal consultation, call 866-271-9007.

Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your Tylenol Autism Lawsuit

Personal Injury Lawyer
Matt Dolman, Tylenol Autism Attorney

Learning that medicine you thought was harmless could have negatively impacted your child can be overwhelming news. However, you should not let this prevent you from taking action to seek compensation for your damages, including medical bills, emotional distress, and lost wages. The personal injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group are prepared to handle your Tylenol autism lawsuit and support you through every step of the litigation process.

If the makers of Tylenol and other acetaminophen drugs are not willing to compromise on a fair settlement offer, we won't hesitate to take your bad drug lawsuit to trial. Our team of personal injury attorneys will work tirelessly to maximize compensation on your behalf.

If you or your child has been diagnosed with autism, ADHD, or other neurodevelopmental conditions after significant exposure to Tylenol or acetaminophen use while in utero, our lawyers are here to speak with you as soon as possible. We urge you to contact a Tylenol autism lawyer at Dolman Law Group to learn about how much your potential Tylenol autism settlement might be worth and the strength of your case.

You can reach out to us at 866-271-9007 or through our online contact form. We offer free consultations at our numerous office locations or virtual appointments. Our Tylenol attorneys are able to investigate your claim immediately.

The Dolman Law Group works with local counsel in any jurisdiction outside Florida for the purpose of filing lawsuits in jurisdictions wherein we are not licensed. Thus, we will follow each State's ethical rules to ensure a local attorney is involved.

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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 represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 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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