In a lawsuit filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, Daniel and Katy Moore of Ellensburg, Wash., blame Tylenol’s manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson Inc., and its McNeil Consumer Healthcare subsidiary for the death of their precious baby boy.
It was the night of July 22, 2010, when their little 2 year old boy had a fever, so momma gave River, their son, Very Berry Strawberry Children’s Tylenol. Within 30 minutes, he was spitting up blood. By the next day, he was dead from liver failure, and their lives were changed forever.
Daniel and Katy Moore, blame their son’s death on the “phantom or stealth recall” of the tainted Children’s Tylenol.
The complaint charges that Johnson & Johnson was aware of impurities and contamination in the children’s drugs. “Defendant Johnson & Johnson, a Fortune 50 Company with $60 billion in annual sales, knew of defects, impurities and contamination in the children’s drugs and, yet, embarked on a ‘phantom’ or ‘stealth’ recall of these drugs to hide these problems so the general public, ignorant of the dangers, would continue buying and administering these brand name drugs to their children,” reads the lawsuit.
The Moore’s claim Tylenol destroyed their son’s liver, defendants ignored horrendous manufacturing conditions, and the drug maker implemented many product recalls, including for its infants and children’s Tylenol.
The suit references internal emails from McNeil executives, concerning the secret mass purchase of the contaminated products. “This clandestine phantom/stealth recall was done without notification to the customers or the retailers to avoid the public shame, the financial impact and regulatory ramifications of a formal recall … the purpose of the phantom/stealth recall is evidenced in an internal email in which a McNeil executive said, ‘We are just trying to prevent a recall and a lot of expended dollars.’”
“In another email, a McNeil executive described the successful quiet mass purchase of Children’s Tylenol by saying, ‘This was a major win for us as it limits the press that will be seen.’ On May 27, 2009, defendant Peter Luther sent an email approving the unethical phantom/stealth recall and instructed, ‘Let’s make this happen ASAP.’
In response to the complaint and lawsuit, J&J said in a statement that while it empathized with the Moores, it disagreed with the lawsuit’s contention that the company was hiding its product problems at the time of River’s death.
“As the makers of Tylenol (acetaminophen), we are deeply concerned about all matters related to our medicines and we remain committed to providing safe and effective pediatric medicines,” the statement said.
“While we are sympathetic to the pain and hardships suffered by the Moore Family, we must correct several of the allegations being made against our company in this suit. When McNeil Consumer Healthcare initiated several recalls for children’s products in 2010, it communicated that information to the FDA, consumers, retailers and health care professionals. There were various reasons for those recalls, but they were not related to serious adverse events, as alleged in this suit.”