A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the family of a three-month old boy who allegedly died after receiving Concentrated Tylenol Infant Drops that were contaminated with bacteria.
The complaint was filed by the parents of Markus Cherry in Illinois against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, McNeil PPC.
According to the lawsuit, Markus Cherry died in April 2010 after receiving Tylenol (acetaminophen) to alleviate discomfort from vaccination shots. Later that same month, a massive Tylenol recall was issued and production of the medication was shut down due to bacterial contamination and a number of safety problems.
Cherry’s parents blame the child’s death on the recalled Tylenol, which they say Johnson & Johnson tried to quietly remove from the market weeks before the official announcement, as part of what many have referred to as a “phantom recall.”
According to FDA investigators, Johnson & Johnson on several occasions hired people to go into pharmacies and stores to purchase every package of drugs that it wanted to recall due to manufacturing problems, removing the drug from store shelves without announcing an official recall or notifying the FDA, doctors or consumers.
Internal e-mails indicated that Johnson & Johnson executives congratulated each other on keeping the recalls out of the media. However, there were no efforts to warn people who had already purchased the drugs that there might be a problem.
Johnson & Johnson has defended itself by saying the so-called stealth recalls never involved products that were a health risk to consumers
National attention was focused on Johnson & Johnson’s OTC drugs after an April 2010 recall of Tylenol, Benadryl and Motrin, which affected affected 136 million bottles of children’s medications. That recall resulted in the shutdown of the company’s Ft. Washington, Pennsylvania, plant and the suspension of the production of all children medications manufactured by their McNeil subsidiary. Inspectors found a number of problems at the facility that included poor quality control measures, and inadequate and sometimes disjointed tracking and responses to consumer complaints.
Outside the scope of the recall, Johnson & Johnson also faces a number of Tylenol lawsuits filed on behalf of individuals who allege that the drug maker has failed to adequately warn about the risk of liver damage, liver necrosis and liver failure from side effects of acetaminophen, the active pharmaceutical ingredient in the medication.