A complaint was filed on Wednesday in the Western District of Missouri against CVS Health Corporation and Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. The plaintiff who filed the suit did so both individually and on behalf of her minor son. The complaint alleges that each of the defendants failed to warn the plaintiff about the risks of prenatal exposure to Paracetamol (also referred to as Acetaminophen or APAP) in relation to causing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children.
The complaint explains that the drug is electively chosen to be taken by pregnant women “because Defendants have marketed APAP as a safe pain reliever for pregnant women.”
Despite this marketing on the part of the defendants, the suit claims that recent research has revealed that prenatal exposure to APAP can alter fetal development and increase the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders like ASD or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Recent reports from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention noted that there had been a substantial increase in ASD diagnoses in recent years, which the plaintiff attributes to increased APAP manufacturing and marketing.
The plaintiff argues that the defendants marketed APAP products as a safe pain reliever for pregnant women, even though they “knew or should have known that prenatal use of APAP can cause ASD or ADHD.”
The plaintiff elected to take APAP products throughout her pregnancy to help with her arthritis. She explains that she believed it was safe since there was no warning on the labeling or from the defendants noting the true risks. When her child reached 22 months old, they were diagnosed with ASD. The plaintiff asserts that the defendants “entirely failed their duty to adequately warn of the hazards of prenatal exposure to APAP, which was a direct and proximate cause of Plaintiff’s injuries and associated damages.
The complaint cites failure to warn, negligence, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, violation of consumer protection laws, and negligent misrepresentation. The plaintiff is seeking punitive and compensatory damages, restitution and disgorgement of the defendant’s profits, litigation fees, prejudgment interest, and any other relief deemed proper by the court.