Lawsuit Over Recalled Tylenol, Other Children’s Drugs Filed

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By: Staff Writers | Published: July 12th, 2010

Drug maker Johnson & Johnson now faces a class-action lawsuit over recalled children’s medication, which was filed on behalf of consumers who say that the company botched attempts at compensating customers who paid for the defective drugs. 

Five children’s medication lawsuits were filed by six different consumers last week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Northern Illinois. The lawsuits accuse Johnson & Johnson of fraud and racketeering, saying that the company failed to recall the drugs properly and did not do enough to allow consumers to recover losses. The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status for the Johnson & Johnson lawsuits.

The initial McNeil Healthcare children’s medication recall on April 30 affected 40 different liquid medication products, including Tylenol, Benadryl, Motrin and Zyrtec. McNeil is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

The recall affected 136 million bottles of children’s medications, and resulted in the shutdown of the company’s Ft. Washington, Pennsylvania, plant, and the suspension of the production of all of McNeil’s children medications. Following that recall, the FDA has received nearly 800 complaints, including at least seven reports of deaths associated with the medication. However, the FDA says its investigations so far have not directly linked any of the recalled products to any of the deaths.

According to the complaints, Johnson & Johnson only provided coupons to consumers who purchased recalled drugs. However, since the company has, at least temporarily, discontinued the recalled products, the coupons are discounts on drugs that currently do not exist. In addition, the lawsuits note that by handing out the coupons, Johnson & Johnson assumes consumers would want to purchase their products again at some point in the future, which may not be the case.

The lawsuits also quote allegations by U.S. lawmakers that the company has conducted “phantom recalls” of bad products, by having contractors remove potentially defective products from store shelves without notifying the FDA or consumers that there was a problem. This charge was leveled against the company at a recent hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Edolphus Towns.

Some lawmakers, who have started a congressional investigation into Johnson & Johnson’s drug manufacturing activities, are now pushing for expanded FDA power to force drug recalls to help the agency quickly deal with future drug contamination problems.

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There Are 11 Comments So Far • (Add Your Comments)

  1. My son Jase was almost 10 months and teething, he was 100% healthy and at the 98% in height and weight. I was told to rotate Tylenol and Motrin for fever reducer. On September 23rd 2009 he went down for his usual nap at day care and died. It has taken me till now to go thru his things and I have found 3 bottles of recalled medicine. Autopsy was inconclusive and stated undetermined. After reading pages and pages of comments from other parents about deaths and parents rushing their children to the emergency room due to seizures and almost loosing their children something has to be done. This is complete negligence on their part and they should be held accountable.

  2. Our six year old was given tylenol to reduce his fever. We gave him about three doses. By the time for the fourth dose his fever had sky rocketed to 103.5. He began breaking out in hives all over his body by night. We took hin immediately to the doctor. The doctor said he was having a adverse reaction to the tylenol. I told her he has always taken tylenol; only to find out the next day( from a friend about the recall) that we had purchased this tylenol weeks probably months before the recall and had allowed and freely given this to him. I can’t believe this was on the shelf for us to buy and put in our sons body. He ended up in the ER days later from swelling of his lip. The doctors couldn’t explain why it was happening just his body was having reactions to this days later.
    If children have died from this something must be done. We thank God we didn’t give him that fourth dose who knows how his body could have reacted.

  3. Our son died September 5 2010 at the age of one and just like the young lady in the first comment my case is exactly the same. He started having a high fever and was told to give him the tylenol and motrin in rotation. It would go away and come back and got to 103 at times. Also, he started having little red rash bumps over his chest and nobody knew what it was. Due to his stuffy nose we was also told to give him benadryl. So that was three medicines by tylenol that we was giving him and all three was on the news saying that it was being recalled. Just like you to we had bought them months before we knew of the recall. Maybe around the same time they had the first unknown recall. His preliminary autopsy came back as inconclusive and undetermined. We are awaiting the final autopsy still. Luckily for us the EMT and police took the medicine we was giving him and I pray they ran/run some test on it. God forbid that our son was taken away from us in his sleep because of people being nieve and unaware of their product. I agree if this is the case something must and will be done. The moment we saw it on tv everyone in our house mouth’s dropped and immediately I started researching this. I pray we all find comfort in our loses. God bless you all and he will lead us in the right direction for answers and closure.

  4. My grandaughter’s doctor recommended us giving her a cold strip for congestion, within 3 hours she started having seizures. Has anyone experienced this with their children.

  5. I normally take about 4-6 Benadryl tabs a day due to severre sinus problems and had an earlier report on changes in my liver function. After reading this I will have to see my Primary.
    Thanks for placing this notes.

  6. I had several months of bad stomach and chest pains. thousand $
    in tests and meds. Terrible musty smell. then I found out about
    J ans j recalls. quit Tylenol, Rolaids, and J and J 80 ml Aspirin.
    no more musty smell and pain and mostly recovered.

  7. I was working many years for Johnson & Johnson Department of Finance in Panamá Republic of Panamá and I was dismissed in a injustified manner if you want name of these people contact me for this way. I´m very disgusted because I give my life for this company and I really don´t know what is goin with this issue. Please take this into consideration. I will appreciate your help and very soon answer by this way. Hearing from you as soon as possible.

  8. I still have the bottles..I gave it to my son realized what was up and took him to the hospital with the help of the FAD. They were great..I kept those bottles just in case I needed it tested if became ill..So far so good..So I say kept it around in case it takes awhile to effect the system and years to get it out.Bacteria lives in body fat..so if you feel pain assume you may have an infection. I just have work and studied this stuff for so long, But never did I think Id be holding that spoon to my childs mouth and he was so sick and got sicker and I kept giving it to him 4 months before the recall..Never again Keep you coupon I wont use any thing you make.Your a dirty company.Karma!

  9. Contacted FDA about my upset with 500 Milligram Tylenol in which there was a recall over 2 years ago due to moldy musty taste. I told them there were problems with this close to 6 years ago when I purchased this product at Falk Clinic Pharmacy in Pittsburgh. Told a woman at this pharmacy after I bought this of the funny smell and moldy taste. She said there were no other complaints or recalls and she believed it was safe. FDA told me she should have reported this right away to the proper authorities and they were upset. I continued taking this for years and figured since the Pharmacy did not seem concerned and that I did not get sick or hear of anyone else getting sick that it was probaly ok even though 80 percent of the bottles I had bought had that smell and odor. Back then I had to get sonograms for accelerated kidney and liver levels, fatty tissue they said was the ultimate problem on the Liver, What about the Kidneys. And I have been on Acid Reflux medicine for years and have had urine odor problems , especially then and some now, Any correlation? I asked the FDA what that smell and taste were caused by and they told me a disenfectant to clean wooden pallets. I was quite angry to know that alll those years this chemical was going into my body. Is there possible repurcussions to people later on in life like with Asbestos or Agent Orange which many times caused problems years down the road. This is negligence at least and want to know if I could be part of a class action. Have filed complaint with FDA already . Thankyou

  10. During the time I was having back problem’a, I was taking ” Extra Strenght Tyenol” name brand, it worked very good, but now that this Claasaction suit is telling us its bad for us , I would like to know ,whither it’ll still effect my “Liver” in my old age !!??
    If I’m due compensation from J&J Company let me Know please!
    Sincerely, Albert R .Kayo

  11. By taking this product. my son become afraid of taking meds

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