Tylenol Autism Lawsuit Plaintiffs Propose Pregnancy Warnings

April 17, 2023 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Tylenol Autism Lawsuit Plaintiffs Propose Pregnancy Warnings

Lawyers representing plaintiffs in the ongoing Tylenol autism lawsuits have been requested to provide examples of pregnancy warnings that should have been placed on Tylenol and other acetaminophen products. Tylenol, also known as acetaminophen or paracetamol, is a common over-the-counter painkiller that has been connected to the increased risk of autism and ADHD development among children exposed in utero. 

Major retailers of acetaminophen and manufacturers of these drugs are currently facing a flood of lawsuits filed by parents of children with these developmental disorders that could have been avoided had proper warning labeling been provided. 

If your child has been diagnosed with autism or Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and was exposed to acetaminophen because of maternal Tylenol use during pregnancy, then consider contacting Dolman Law Group about your potential Tylenol lawsuit. 

U.S. District Judge Requests Tylenol Pregnancy Warning Examples From Plaintiff’s Lawyers

Judge Denise Cote, the federal judge overseeing the Tylenol multidistrict litigation, ordered plaintiffs to submit proposed language that could have served as an adequate warning of developmental disorder risk among newborns that can occur when the drug is used during pregnancy. Plaintiffs in the Tylenol autism lawsuits have so far complied and provided the requested language which can be seen in the example below taken from a letter submitted by one of the plaintiff’s lawyers.

Autism/ADHD: Some studies show that frequent use of this product

during pregnancy may increase your child's risk of autism and

attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. If you use this product

during pregnancy to treat your pain and/or fever, use the lowest

effective dose for the shortest possible time and at the lowest

possible frequency.

The example provided by the plaintiffs utilizes existing language taken from European labels of paracetamol which is what acetaminophen is known as in Europe. Specifically, the language taken directly from European paracetamol labels comes from the last sentence-

“-use the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time and at the lowest possible frequency,”

These labels have been present on paracetamol in Europe for years and demonstrate that knowledge of the potential risks and the necessity of labeling Tylenol with similar warnings has existed for quite some time.

The Tylenol autism lawsuit plaintiff’s lawyers stipulated in their letters that the language provided is not the only possible example of adequate warning on Tylenol labeling and that different wording could also potentially be satisfactory.

Plaintiffs Claim Tylenol Pregnancy Label Examples Are Not Required for Claims

Despite complying with the order from Judge Cote for pregnancy warning labeling examples, the Tylenol lawsuit plaintiff’s lawyers state that the examples they provided to the court are not a required part of their claims. In the letter they state

-while Plaintiffs submit this proposed language at the Court's direction and hope it is helpful to the Court, Plaintiffs respectfully point out a critical aspect regarding the law that governs these claims. In almost every state whose courts have considered the question, plaintiffs pursuing failure-to-warn claims need not provide the fact finder with specific, alternative language for the label. … Therefore, by filing this letter, Plaintiffs do not concede that Plaintiffs' proposed label change is a required element of their claims.

Why Are Parents Suing Tylenol Retailers?

The legal controversy surrounding Tylenol stems from the connections found between Tylenol use during pregnancy and the increased risk of children exposed in utero to the drug suffering from developmental disorders such as autism and ADHD. 

Hundreds of families with children suffering from autism and ADHD because of prenatal exposure to acetaminophen have since filed lawsuits against major retailers such as Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, and Costco that sell acetaminophen products. The basis of these lawsuits is not simply the harm that Tylenol caused these families but the fact that the acetaminophen products they sold should have had warning labeling to adequately inform consumers of the risk. 

Product liability law allows plaintiffs such as the families harmed by Tylenol taken during pregnancy to seek compensation from liable companies in personal injury lawsuits. 

The Connection Between Tylenol and Autism and ADHD

Pregnancy is often fraught with many precautions to ensure the health of the baby and mother in their especially vulnerable state. During pregnancy, the use of prescriptions and even over-the-counter drugs must be carefully monitored to avoid any possible harm. Most pain medications are not considered safe for use during pregnancy which is why Tylenol has seen such widespread use by expecting mothers. 

Tylenol has a history of being considered safe during pregnancy. However, studies have shown that there is a very real risk of causing developmental harm to children. In 2021 91 scientists from multiple continents signed a consensus statement urging pregnant women to minimize any use of acetaminophen during pregnancy after review of several studies. 

Results from one NIH funded study in 2019 suggested that acetaminophen exposure in pregnancy linked to higher risk of ADHD and autism. Later in 2021, research published in the European Journal of Epidemiology found that children with prenatal exposure to acetaminophen were 19% more likely to have autism spectrum conditions and 21% more likely to have ADHD symptoms compared to non-exposed children. 

Tylenol Autism and ADHD Multidistrict Litigation

In response to the large number of Tylenol autism lawsuits filed because of autism linked to prenatal Tylenol exposure in several districts, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) created a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) under U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in the Southern District of New York. 

The multidistrict litigation deals with the multiple Tylenol autism lawsuits filed against major retailers that involve common questions of fact and law regarding the labeling of Tylenol and the lack of pregnancy warnings. The multidistrict litigation allows for coordinated pretrial proceedings and discovery that can be more efficiently managed among the claims filed by many plaintiffs. It also allows for plaintiffs from many different districts to have their claims consolidated under one court which is much more convenient and efficient.

Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your Tylenol Autism Lawsuit

If you have a child that suffers from developmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder or ADHD you believe to be caused by prenatal Tylenol exposure then consider contacting Dolman Law Group about your case. Our firm is dedicated to assisting clients harmed by dangerous products and has a long track record of success in getting our clients fair compensation for their damages. 

The ongoing Tylenol multidistrict litigation requires expert assistance to properly navigate which is why we urge potential clients to at least speak to a personal injury lawyer to get the full perspective of their legal situation. Our Tylenol autism lawyers have decades of experience under their belts when it comes to taking on large companies on behalf of injured clients and pride themselves on delivering results. 


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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