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Manufacturer settles federal Tylenol case

Tennessee residents might be interested in learning more about a recent case involving the manufacturer of a children’s Tylenol product pleading guilty for an issue involving metal particles. On March 10, a subsidiary operating under Johnson & Johnson pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges because the liquid Tylenol product was found to contain particles of metal. The defendant, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, admitted to its failure at responding appropriately after the error was discovered in the Children’s Motrin and Tylenol products.

McNeil Consumer Healthcare agreed to pay $25 million to settle this case. Some of the metal particles discovered in the over-the-counter product included chromium, iron and nickel. The company was allegedly aware of the contamination for almost a year and never attempt to remedy the mistake. At the hearing, both parties agreed that no injuries associated with the metal particles had been reported as of yet. After the judge accepted the company’s plea agreement, the assistant attorney general described the defendant’s conduct as “seriously troubling.”

He also stated that the U.S. Department of Justice would continue to aggressively prosecute corporations who disregard quality assurance standards, especially when it concerns over-the-counter products for children. McNeil was first alerted about the metal particles during May 2009, after a complaint was filed from a consumer who found black remnants inside a bottle of Infants’ Tylenol. Although McNeil started investigating the issue, its efforts ultimately fell short of the requirements established by its own internal operating protocol.

Consumers who are injured by a product due to a defect or negligent labeling typically benefit from consulting legal counsel. A lawyer may be able to investigate the injury and help determine whether the manufacturer is liable for the ensuing damages. Plaintiffs involved in these types of cases could be entitled to recover restitution that accounts for loss of income, medical expenses or other hardships caused by dangerous products.

Source: ABC News, “Maker of Kids’ Tylenol Pleads Guilty Over Metal Particles,” Michael Rubinkam and MaryClaire Dale, Associated Press, March 10, 2015

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