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A Response to the Tylenol® Settlement

On February 23, 2017

One of the first scheduled bellwether trials in the Tylenol® multidistrict litigation (MDL) lawsuit has been settled for a confidential amount. The agreement will finalize over 200 individual claims against Johnson & Johnson and has important implications for anyone who still has pending legal actions against the company. In many legal analysts' opinions, this move shows that J&J is motivated to settle these cases quickly, rather than have arguments be heard before a jury. It is also important to understand that the legal team for J&J may have felt that they would have better luck with a different venue, judge, or jury, and did not want to have their arguments heard in this trial setting.

Because of the widespread availability of the over-the-counter pain reliever, it would be nearly impossible to find a jury who would not be sympathetic to victims of liver damage after taking the drug. It is also important to note that the judge sided with the plaintiffs after the defense team filed a motion to block expert testimony from an endocrinologist who was scheduled to testify that the active ingredient in Tylenol could cause damage to the liver, even in relatively moderate doses. 

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