Discovery Plan Issued for Tylenol Injury Lawsuits in MDL

The U.S. District Judge presiding over all federal Tylenol liver injury lawsuits has issued a preliminary discovery plan for the coordinated pretrial proceedings in the Multidistrict Litigation (MDL).

Earlier this year, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistriction Litigation (JPML) established a Tylenol MDL for all complaints filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide alleging that users suffered liver damage or liver failure following use of Tylenol.

The cases are centralized before U.S. District Judge Lawrence F. Stengel in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to reduce duplicative discovery, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings and to serve the convenience of the witnesses, parties and courts.

Tylenol Autism Lawsuit

Does your child have Austism from Tylenol Exposure?

Side effects of Tylenol may cause autism and ADHD among children exposed during pregnancy. Find out if your family may be eligible for a Tylenol autism or ADHD settlement.

Learn More About this Lawsuit See If You Qualify For Compensation

As the number of Tylenol injury cases in the MDL continues to increase, the organization and structure of the pretrial proceedings are being established. A small group of lawyers have been appointed to serve in leadership roles in the litigation, and Judge Stengel is expected to schedule a tutorial day so that the parties may educate the Court on the science that will be involved in the cases and provide information about the link between Tylenol and liver failure.

On October 1, Judge Stengel issued a Case Management Order (PDF) which establishes the preliminary discovery plan for the Tylenol litigation. While the plan provides no firm dates or projections of when the first Tylenol trials will begin, it lays out the ground rules for generic discovery that applies to all cases, the development of fact sheets to be exchanged between the parties and the coordination of pretrial proceedings with state court actions.

The parties have been ordered to meet within the next 10 days to resolve some existing disputes over the discovery process, including a claim by plaintiff attorneys that Johnson & Johnson has failed to respond adequately to prior discovery requests.

Tylenol Liver Injury Problems

There are currently at least 80 product liability lawsuits pending before Judge Stengel involving claims that side effects of Tylenol caused liver injuries. However, as additional cases are filed throughout the federal court system they will be transferred to the MDL for coordinated pretrial proceedings. It is ultimately expected that hundreds, if not thousands, of cases will be brought alleging that inadequate warnings were provided about the link between Tylenol and liver problems.

Tylenol is one of the most widely used painkiller medications in the United States, which has been used by millions of Americans. The medication contains acetaminophen as the active pharmceutical ingredient, which has been identified in recent years as a leading cause for liver injury in the United States.

The FDA has indicated that acetaminophen may be responsible for more than 50,000 emergency room visits each year, including 25,000 hospitalizations and over 450 deaths annually.

In recent years, efforts have been ramped up to bring the risk of acetaminophen overdose to the public’s attention and to reduce the amount of liver injury cases linked to the popular analgesic, which is also found in other pain killers and a number of cold medications.

Johnson & Johnson lowered the maximum recommended dosage on Tylenol and other acetaminophen-based products from 4,000 mg per day to 3,000 mg per day in 2011 after the FDA announced new limits on acetaminophen levels in prescription painkillers like Vicodin and Percocet. However, the lawsuits allege that the drug maker has withheld important safety information from the public for decades, ignoring the narrow window between the recommended dosage for Extra Strength Tylenol and the risk of liver injury.

Judge Stengel has scheduled a series of status conferences in the Tylenol MDL through the end of the year, and it is expected that a small group of cases will eventually be selected for early trial dates, known as “bellwether” trials. The preparation and outcomes of these cases are designed to help facilitate potential Tylenol settlement agreements or another resolution for the litigation.

0 Comments

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Want your comments reviewed by a lawyer?

To have an attorney review your comments and contact you about a potential case, provide your contact information below. This will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

Leadership Development Committee for Suboxone Dental Injury Lawyers Established in Federal MDL
Leadership Development Committee for Suboxone Dental Injury Lawyers Established in Federal MDL (Posted 2 days ago)

The U.S. District Judge presiding over all Suboxone lawsuits has created a mentorship program to use the litigation to provide some attorneys an opportunity to gain experience in handling complex federal multidistrict litigations.

Gilead Settlement Resolves 2,625 HIV Drug Lawsuits Pending in Federal Courts for $40M
Gilead Settlement Resolves 2,625 HIV Drug Lawsuits Pending in Federal Courts for $40M (Posted 4 days ago)

Gilead says it will pay $40 million to resolve HIV drug lawsuits over Truvada, Atripla, Viread, Stribild and Complera pending in the federal court system, involving claims that the the company sat on safer formulations of the drugs for years to increase profits.