June 26, 2016 — A lawsuit claiming Tylenol caused an Alabama woman’s death from liver failure has been chosen for trial on September 19 in Pennsylvania.
Denice Hayes, a 51 year-old woman who died of acute liver failure after taking appropriate doses of Tylenol and Tylenol Extra Strength. She was treated for catastrophic liver damage on August 23, 2010 and died eight days later.
The lawsuit was originally filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, but transferred to federal court in Pennsylvania in 2012.
It was consolidated under U.S. District Judge Lawrence F. Stengel in MDL No. 2436, where over 200 lawsuits are now pending against McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
The trial will be the first so-called “bellwether” trial in the MDL, and its outcome could have a significant impact on hundreds of other lawsuits. In October 2015, the first state-court trial ended in a win for McNeil and Johnson & Johnson.
Tylenol is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States. Lawyers say drug-makers intentionally concealed side effects of Tylenol and marketed it as safer than other painkillers.
Normal doses of Tylenol are generally safe, there is a very narrow difference between a “safe” dose and an “overdose” — and some people are less tolerant than others. In 2011, McNeil lowered the maximum recommended daily dose from 4,000-mg to 3,000-mg.