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McNeil is fined $25 million for contaminated Tylenol

Residents of Louisiana, as well as around the country, may have bought liquid Children's Tylenol or Children's Motrin that was contaminated with metal particles. Prosecutors said McNeil Consumer Healthcare, part of Johnson & Johnson, knew about the contamination for almost a year yet failed to take the proper actions.

On March 2, the company pleaded guilty to the federal crime. After a customer complaint in 2009, McNeil discovered that metal particles were in the liquid medicine. The metals included chromium, nickel and iron, but McNeil still continued production for months without taking action. The plant in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, was found to be the site of the manufacturing defect. This plant, the cause of several other nonprescription drug product recalls, was shut down in April 2010. The production plant was rebuilt but still remains closed.

It was agreed by the company and the prosecutors that no one was hurt by this product defect. The Food and Drug Administration said there was little chance for any serious illness from ingestion of the contaminated children's liquid Tylenol but suggested not taking it. Since this product recall, the FDA is requiring more stringent inspections for the McNeil plants. McNeil claims that it has improved oversight standards in all of its businesses.

The Department of Justice punishes the negligent actions of companies such as McNeil. McNeil was fined $25 million for its failure to follow federal regulations designed to ensure quality medicines. An individual who is harmed by a defective product may have a claim for damages. An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help recoup damages in this kind of situation. Damages may include medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages.

Source: U.S. News and World Report, "Maker of Kids' Tylenol Pleads Guilty," Michael Rubinkam and Maryclaire Dale, March 10, 2015

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