Acetaminophen Lawyers To Meet With Judge Presiding Over ADHD and Autism Lawsuits at Initial Conference Nov. 17

Judge has set a deadline of November 14, 2022 for acetaminopen lawyers seeking leadership positions in the litigation to submit applications for Co-Lead and Liaison Counsel

  • U.S. JPML recently established a federal acetaminophen MDL for all lawsuits over the active ingredient in Tylenol causing autism and ADHD
  • Judge has scheduled an initial status conference on November 17, 2022
  • Acetaminophen lawyers seeking leadership positions must submit applications by Nov. 14, 2022
  • LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LATEST ACETAMINOPHEN LAWSUIT UPDATES

Following an order issued earlier this month to centralize all acetaminophen autism and ADHD lawsuits as part of a multidistrict litigation, or MDL, an initial status conference has been scheduled for lawyers on both sides to meet with the U.S. District Judge presiding over the claims on November 17.

Each of the lawsuits raise similar allegations, indicating that the use of Tylenol or other pain medications containing acetaminophen during pregnancy caused children to develop autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or both. The claims involve similar questions of fact and law for the court to determine, about whether the makers and retailers of the drugs should have warned about the risks associated with the medications they sold.

While there are currently only about 70 complaints filed against retailers of generic pain medications containing acetaminophen, including Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Costco and other companies, it is widely expected that the size and scope of the litigation will increase dramatically in the coming weeks and months, and will likely include several thousand Tylenol autism lawsuits that will eventually be brought against Johnson & Johnson for it’s role in causing the widespread use of acetaminophen during pregnancy.

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Earlier this month, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) issued an order centralizing the acetaminophen litigation before Senior U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in the Southern District of New York for pretrial proceedings.

In an order (PDF) issued on October 21, Judge Cote announced that an initial status conference will be held on November 17. All acetaminophen lawyers who wish to attend the conference must file a letter notifying the court by November 10, and should file a proposed case management plan on the MDL docket by that same date.

“Each party represented by counsel shall appear at the initial conference through the attorney who will have primary responsibility for the party’s interest in this litigation,” Judge Cote wrote. “Any counsel who intends to seek a leadership position must attend the initial conference.”

In a follow-up order (PDF) issued on October 24, Judge Cote further detailed what will be required for the initial status conference.

By November 1, lawyers must each submit one status letter on behalf of all plaintiffs, and another on behalf of all defendants, which describes the nature of the actions, all existing deadlines, a description of any outstanding and adjudicated motions, whether a single consolidated complaint or multiple consolidated complaints can or should be filed in the MDL, a description of any discovery which has taken place or is needed to engage in meaningful settlement negotiations, and other information pertinent to the litigation.

By November 3, Judge Cote wants plaintiffs to file a joint letter detailing a proposed structure for plaintiff acetaminophen lawyers who will serve in leadership positions during the litigation, including lead and liaison counsel, a plaintiffs’ steering committee and any other committees which they feel will be necessary.

Judge Cote anticipates the applications for appointments for leadership positions will be due by November 14, with any objections to those applications due by November 16.

These attorneys will take certain actions during the MDL proceedings that benefit all cases, including conducting discovery and depositions into common issues that impact all claims, arguing motions before the court and potentially negotiating acetaminophen settlements that establish a framework to resolve all claims. However, each individual plaintiff will still maintain their own acetaminophen lawyer to meet various deadlines and establish a link between their specific injuries and the the pain medication, as well as negotiate any potential individual acetaminophen lawsuit payout.

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Acetaminophen ADHD, Autism Risks

The litigation comes in the wake of recent studies highlighting the risk that prenatal exposure to Tylenol increases the autism and ADHD risks.

In October 2019, a study published in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry found children with the highest levels of acetaminophen metabolites in their blood at birth had the highest risk of the developmental disorders.

According to additional research published in the European Journal of Epidemiology in June 2021, children exposed to Tylenol during pregnancy were 19% more likely to have autism spectrum disorders and 21% more likely to have ADHD symptoms compared to non-exposed children.

Due to the potential acetaminophen pregnancy risks, researchers from Columbia University warned that doctors should re-evaluate the role of the pain medication for pregnant women in 2020, after finding that prenatal exposure may lead to impaired neurodevelopment in the fetus.

As Tylenol lawyers continue to investigate and review potential claims for families throughout the U.S. over the rest of 2022 and 2023, it is widely expected that the litigation will increase dramatically in size and scope. Therefore, it is likely Judge Cote will establish a “bellwether” process, where small groups of representative claims involving autism and ADHD are prepared for early trial dates against different defendants to help gauge how juries will respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation.

Following the coordinated pretrial proceedings in the Tylenol autism/ADHD MDL, if the parties fail to negotiate settlements to resolve large numbers of claims, each individual lawsuit may later be remanded back to the different U.S. District Courts nationwide where they were originally filed for future trial dates.

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3 Comments

  • SharronNovember 18, 2022 at 8:38 pm

    I think I would be a hinderence. I took Tylenol, myself, while pregnant. My children are not either autistic or ADDD. My granddaughter's little one sleeps to long, talks too fast and is ticked off when you don't understand him. If that's the problem I hope they go bankrupt! My oldest saw his doctor yesterday and he told him to use Tylenol and not advil. Sharron Perdue

  • ShaniquaNovember 17, 2022 at 7:49 am

    This is by far the saddest to even try to explain. I myself took Tylenol/ acetaminophen daily while pregnant with my baby boy. Ive been seeing the same OBGYN for all three of my pregnancies .It has always been told to me by my doctors that it was safe to take Tylenol while pregnant and that it wouldn’t do any harm to my unborn baby. Because of the headaches and back pains I had to choice but to ta[Show More]This is by far the saddest to even try to explain. I myself took Tylenol/ acetaminophen daily while pregnant with my baby boy. Ive been seeing the same OBGYN for all three of my pregnancies .It has always been told to me by my doctors that it was safe to take Tylenol while pregnant and that it wouldn’t do any harm to my unborn baby. Because of the headaches and back pains I had to choice but to take what i was told was safe and as a result I do have a 2 and a half autistic son. He was recently diagnosed. I had no issues with my pregnancy at all. My husband or I have no history of Autism on either side of the family. How can this be? I truly believe that Tylenol played a role in my child developing ASD. This is something we will have to deal with for the rest of our lives!!!!! Please hold these big billion dollar companies Liable for their actions. This isn’t fair to us moms. We didn’t get the opportunity to say whether or not we wanted to take a risk in taking something that could increase the risk of ASD in our u born child. The question is why weren’t this information disclosed to the drs and or many pregnant women.

  • ShawnaOctober 30, 2022 at 12:02 am

    I have always suffered from headaches. During my last two pregnancies, they got worse. My doctor told me that the only thing I could "safely" take was Tylenol. Both of my children from those pregnancies were diagnosed with ADHD/ADD combo. They have both struggled so much even while taking medication that they both dropped out of school bc they could not retain what was taught and would not have gr[Show More]I have always suffered from headaches. During my last two pregnancies, they got worse. My doctor told me that the only thing I could "safely" take was Tylenol. Both of my children from those pregnancies were diagnosed with ADHD/ADD combo. They have both struggled so much even while taking medication that they both dropped out of school bc they could not retain what was taught and would not have graduated until they were in their 20's.

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