Tylenol Subject of Latest New Jersey Centralized Management Request

Suits alleging liver damage from acetaminophen are the latest subject of a request for centralized management in New Jersey.  Late last month, McNeil-PPC and Johnson & Johnson submitted an application seeking centralized management of all pending New Jersey lawsuits involving alleged liver damage from Tylenol products.

The application, which comes on the heels of the establishment of a federal Multi-District Litigation for similar suits pending in the federal courts, seeks centralization of all New Jersey Tylenol cases in Middlesex County before Judge Mayer, rather than in Atlantic County (where all of the identified New Jersey cases are already pending).  Among the reasons for the defendants’ choice of a Middlesex County venue are the close proximity of McNeil-PPC and Johnson & Johnson’s headquarters to New Brunswick and the mature nature of the other centralized litigations now pending before Judge Mayer.

Unless there is opposition, given the prior establishment of a federal MDL on this issue, it would seem likely that the New Jersey Supreme Court would grant this application.  However, because plaintiffs have filed their claims in Atlantic County, it would not be surprising if plaintiffs supported centralization before Judge Higbee rather than Judge Mayer.

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