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New Tylenol Recall

Johnson & Johnson has announced yet another recall, this time affecting 50-count packages of Tylenol 8HR. Tylenol 8HR 50-count packages with lot number BCM155 have been recalled for trace contamination with 2,4,6-tribromoanisole, which gives off a musty, moldy smell. The chemical is not known to be toxic and no adverse effects caused by 2,4,6-tribromoanisole have been reported.

This latest Tylenol recall is the fourth recall of Tylenol products this year, raising serious questions about the manufacturing practices of J&J subsidiary McNeil Consumer Healthcare. McNeil has made news recently after a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform investigation into the company’s “phantom recall” of Motrin in 2009.

Contamination of McNeil’s products with 2,4,6-tribromoanisole is not new, either. In January of this year, Johnson & Johnson also recalled 53 million bottles of over-the-counter medicines—including Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, and Rolaids—nearly two years after receiving consumer complaints regarding a moldy smell in bottles of Tylenol Arthritis Relief medicine.

Just a few months later, April 30 of this year, 40 more products were recalled after FDA inspectors discovered thick dust and grime on equipment, along with other problems, at a J&J factory in Pennsylvania. Then again, in May, McNeil was forced to recall Children’s Tylenol after discovering the medicine was contaminated with the drug-resistant bacteria Burkholderia cepacia.

With all these over-the-counter drug recalls, plus the widely publicized DePuy hip implant recall, Johnson & Johnson’s safety record has been severely damaged in the past year. The company is now vulnerable to thousands of potential defective product lawsuits stemming from its many recalls.

To be fair, 2,4,6-tribromoanisole is not known to cause medical problems, which makes this latest recall unlikely to generate many pharmaceutical injury lawsuits. In fact, there is probably a greater risk from the medicine in Tylenol itself than from the contaminant as acetaminophen is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the US.

Nonetheless, the damage to the safety records of Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries like McNeil is unlikely to diminish, and questions about the companies’ practices will lend serious credibility to defective product injury claims regarding other products, such as DePuy’s ASR hip implants. The pharmaceutical injury lawyers of Schlichter, Bogard & Denton are ready to defend the rights of anyone injured by a defective Johnson & Johnson product.

If you or someone you know has been sickened or injured by Tylenol, Benadryl, Motrin, or another recalled or defective drug, please contact the product liability lawyers of Schlichter, Bogard & Denton today to discuss your case.

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