There are currently a number of places recruiting for a class action lawsuit against Tylenol, and other medicines that use acetaminophen, due to the supposed risk of mother's use of it during pregnancy having children being born with autism. These law firms apparently expect some real profit from this since they're willing to pay for advertisement on social media just to recruit more people for their lawsuit.

From what I can tell this is all based off of a Consensus statement that basically says "we don't know for sure the potential side effects, we should be cautious with its use just to be safe". It's not proving a casual link to anything, much less autism. It's pretty much just restating what most physicians have already considered wise advice, you're taking a drug we don't fully know how it works and which can be OD on so be careful. Even if there was a casual risk, I doubt we have proof that the manufacturers of the medications knew about such a, still unproven, link or were negligent in their actions. Ie from my, admittedly limited outsider view, it seems there is very little basis for expecting to win a lawsuit against these manufactures.

So I'm wondering why these law firms are all so gung-ho to pursue legal action that would be, at best, a very difficult case to win? Are they simply hoping for a settlement to shut them up without having to take the case to court? What is the motivation here?

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    The motivation is the potential for lots of money. Jan 23, 2023 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


Class action suits can be very costly for defendants, particularly pharmaceutical companies. Therefore, some such companies have been willing to make significant settlements, even when proof of damage and liability were far from clear. Such settlements can result in significant income for the law firms involved.

Thus, some firms are willing to spend significant money to find and sign up potential plaintiffs, either in hope of a settlement, or in hope of an eventual winning case. Either is a gamble, but the potential payoff is large, so such firms (so-called "Mass Tort" firms) may find it worth putting up the money to seek potential plaintiffs. There is no rule requiring any degree of proof or assurance to run such a campaign. If only 1 in 20 such campaigns results in a good settlement, the sponsoring firm may do quite well.

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    Also, the sooner you file, the better chance you have a getting named as class counsel.
    – ohwilleke
    Jan 23, 2023 at 19:18
  • It’s generally not the law firms that are gambling - there are a large number of litigation funding firms who, as venture capitalists, tale long shot risks for astronomical rewards when they come off.
    – Dale M
    Jan 24, 2023 at 6:08
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    @DaleM Local practice varies. In some U.S. states, the firms generally do fund the litigation (and outside litigation funding is sometimes prohibited). In others, separate litigation funding is allowed. The same is true in law firms that do mostly contingency work, which has to be funded in firm in some jurisdictions and is sometimes funded by their party finance companies in others.
    – ohwilleke
    Jan 25, 2023 at 0:45

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