Tylenol Liver Failure Lawsuit - Consumer Justice Foundation

Tylenol Liver Failure Lawsuit

Written by Faith Anderson on November 16, 2011
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Tylenol Extra Strength Pegged as Cause of Liver Failure

Soto claims that she took two tablets of Tylenol 500 Extra Strength before going to bed with a mild headache one night. She woke up vomiting during the night and took another two tablets in the morning because she was experiencing nausea and stomach discomfort. After experiencing these symptoms over the following few days, Soto visited the emergency room, where she was given two more Tylenol 500mg tablets. About one week after she first took Tylenol, Soto returned to the emergency room with pale, yellowish skin. She was diagnosed with acute liver failure, transferred to an intensive care unit, and was ultimately told she would require a liver transplant to survive. Transplant surgeons reportedly found signs of acute acetaminophen toxicity in Soto’s liver and attributed the organ failure to her use of Tylenol. Soto is currently recovering from her transplant, but will require medications for the rest of her life.

Johnson & Johnson Reduces Tylenol’s Recommended Dosage

“The acetaminophen that caused the fulimant hepatic failure came from (Soto)’s ingestion of Extra Strength Tylenol since all other potential causes were excluded by physicians,” stated the complaint, filed on October 4 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. In July 2011, Johnson & Johnson agreed to decrease the maximum recommended daily dose of the pain reliever from 4,000mg to 3,000mg in an effort to reduce the risk of liver damage from Tylenol overdose. More stringent warnings about the potential risk of liver failure have also been added to all acetaminophen products over the past year, including clearer indications about what products contain acetaminophen as the active ingredient, in an attempt to avoid the risk of acetaminophen overdose.

Tylenol Liver Damage Lawsuits Filed Across the Country

Despite the fact that Tylenol has remained a popular pain reliever throughout its 50 plus years on the market, the mounting number of Tylenol liver damage lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson has brought public attention to the potentially harmful nature of the over-the-counter medication. These Tylenol liver damage lawsuits have been filed in state and federal courts throughout the United States in recent years, raising similar allegations that Johnson & Johnson failed to sufficiently warn consumers about the known risk of liver failure with Tylenol use.

According to the FDA, acetaminophen overdose remains the leading cause of liver failure in the United States, resulting in more than 50,000 emergency room visits, 25,000 hospitalizations and over 450 deaths each year. Due to the risk of liver damage and liver failure associated with Tylenol overdose, an FDA advisory panel was convened in June 2009 to make recommendations about new Tylenol warnings or other regulatory actions. Soto and her family have accused Johnson & Johnson of negligence and of developing and selling a defective product. The lawsuit seeks financial compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other damages totaling $31 million, plus an estimated $75,000 a year for her continued medical care.

Posted Under: Legal
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