N. Carolina plaintiff files Tylenol products liability claim in Phila. federal court

By Jon Campisi | Mar 11, 2013

A North Carolina woman joins the growing list of plaintiffs suing drugmakers McNeil

PPC and Johnson & Johnson over allegations that the defendants failed to warn users that Tylenol and Tylenol PM could lead to acute liver failure.

Attorneys Laurence S. Berman and Michael M. Weinkowitz, of the Philadelphia firm Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman, filed suit March 8 at the federal court in Philadelphia on behalf of Krista Elaine Bolick, who claims her liver failed as a result of her ingestion of the popular pain reliever.

Like others that have recently been filed over similar allegations, the latest lawsuit claims that the active ingredient in Tylenol, acetaminophen, has led to consumers suffering from liver damage and acute liver failure.

The suit states that Bolick purchased the Tylenol product in or about March 2010, taking it the “appropriate times and in appropriate amounts for therapeutic purposes and within the recommended daily doses for the product,” but that she ended up having to get emergency room care in the spring of that year for acute liver failure.

“The potential for acetaminophen-induced liver damage and failure have been well documented and well known to the Defendants for many years prior to the incident involving Plaintiff,” the lawsuit states.

Nevertheless, the suit states, the defendants continued to enter the drug into the stream of commerce.

The complaint claims that the pain reliever is defectively designed, and that the drug companies failed to properly market, manufacture, distribute and supply and sell Tylenol to the consuming public.

The defendants also over-promoted the Tylenol products, including over-promoting its safety and efficacy, as well as failing to warn, properly label and place adequate warnings and instructions on Tylenol bottles, the complaint alleges.

The lawsuit also accuses the defendants of failing to market a “feasible alternative design” that was in existence that was capable of preventing the plaintiff’s injuries.

“Defendants’ conduct, as described above, was extreme and outrageous,” the complaint reads. “Defendants risked the lives of the consumers and users of their products, including Plaintiff, with knowledge of the safety and efficacy problems and suppressed this knowledge from the general public.

“Defendants made the conscious decisions not to redesign, re-label, warn or inform the unsuspecting consuming public.”

The lawsuit contains counts of strict liability, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, breach of implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, negligent failure to warn, negligent design defect, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, breach of express warranty, fraud, fraudulent concealment, and violations of consumer protection laws.

The plaintiff seeks more than $150,000 in compensatory damages, punitive damages, damages for pain and suffering, interest, attorneys’ fees and costs.

The complaint is the latest in a growing number of complaints against the makers of Tylenol that contain similar allegations.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers are currently pushing for the creation of a multi-district litigation case docket at the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has scheduled a hearing for the matter later this month in San Diego.


The federal case number is 2:13-cv-01264-LS. 

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