Centralized Status Rejected for Tylenol Liver-Injury Suits

The New Jersey Supreme Court has rejected yet another application — again by a defendant — for centralization under Rule 4:38A.  As we previously noted, Johnson & Johnson earlier this year submitted an application seeking centralization of all suits alleging liver damage from the ingestion of Tylenol in Middlesex County.  J&J’s application came on the heels of the establishment of a federal MDL on the same issue.

In a notice dated last month and released last week, the NJ Supreme Court rejected J&J’s request.  At the time J&J’s application was submitted, all of the Tylenol liver-injury suits were pending in Atlantic County before Judge Higbee, and as a result of the Supreme Court’s denial, those cases will likely stay there. 

Although the notice from the Supreme Court references the initial application by J&J, as well as comments that it received with respect to J&J’s bid for centralization, the notice offers no discussion of the nature of those comments, nor does it provide any insight into why the Supreme Court rejected centralization.  Again, practitioners in this area are left without guidance as to the Supreme Court’s reasoning.

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