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Contaminated Tylenol led to infant's wrongful death, couple says

Any new parent in Fairfield, Connecticut, might tell you that one of the hardest things to watch is a newborn or infant getting his or her vaccinations during the child's first few checkups with a pediatrician. Some moms or dads might even admit to shedding a few tears of their own as they watched their babies cry and scream in pain. Fortunately, the little ones probably got over the pain rather quickly once they were back in their parents' arms, and a doctor might have even told parents to give their children a small dose of Tylenol to ease their discomfort from the vaccinations.

On April 14, 2010, a couple experienced this very situation that millions of other parents -- including those in Fairfield -- experience each year. They took their child to the pediatrician for his two-month checkup. The doctor confirmed that their son was healthy and developing normally. After examining the baby, the doctor gave the child routine vaccinations and prescribed Concentrated Tylenol Infants' Drops to help alleviate the baby's pain and other minor side effects from the shots. But instead of easing the child's discomfort, the Tylenol caused the child to suffer serious injuries that led to the child's wrongful death, the boy's parents now claim.

According to the parents' wrongful death lawsuit, the couple followed the pediatrician's instructions and gave their infant 0.25 oz. of children's Tylenol. However, the parents noticed that their son's health was beginning to weaken and he was rushed to the hospital on April 17 after he lost consciousness. That same day, the couple was informed of the devastating news that their child had died.

Thirteen days after the infant's death, Johnson & Johnson issued a recall of its children's Tylenol products. The recall involved more than 136 million bottles including the type of Tylenol the couple's son had ingested just weeks before the recall.

The recall was issued after J&J discovered that some of its children's Tylenol products had been contaminated with bacteria that could cause serious or fatal injuries to those who ingested the medication. However, the lawsuit argues that J&J was aware of previous contamination issues at the plant where the defective Tylenol had been manufactured. Instead of taking action to ensure that the plant was safely manufacturing other products including its Tylenol products, J&J waited for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to investigate the conditions at the plant.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Parents Say Bad Tylenol Killed Their Baby," Jack Bouboushian, April 18, 2012

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