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Tylenol recall prompts federal lawsuit for fraud and racketeering

Tylenol recall: Johnson & Johnson has been sued in federal court by consumers in a class-action suit that alleges that the company has not offered consumers an opportunity to recover their costs.

By James B. KelleherReuters / July 12, 2010

The Tylenol recall has prompted a class-action suit in federal court. Six consumers are accusing the drugmaker of fraud and racketeering.

Richard B. Levine/Newscom/File

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Chicago

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N), the U.S. drugmaker forced to recall children's Tylenol and other over-the-counter pediatric medicines, has been sued in federal court here by consumers unhappy with the company's plan to offer coupons or replacement products to those who bought the affected drugs.

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In five complaints filed this week in U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois, six consumers accuse J&J of fraud and racketeering for not recalling all of its children's drugs and for not offering consumers an opportunity to fully recover their out-of-pocket payments.

The suits, all filed against J&J's McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit, seek class-action status.

IN PICTURES: Major product recalls

J&J took more than 40 nonprescription products off store shelves in late April, including Children's Tylenol, in what the Food and Drug Administration has characterized as the largest recall of children's medicine in the agency's history.

The recalls came after FDA inspectors found multiple problems at the company's Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, plant, including bacterial contamination of ingredients and filthy equipment.

The inspectors also found that some medications made at the plant were overly concentrated and had, in the words of congressional staffers, "the potential to be superpotent."

The case numbers are 10cv4252 through 10cv4256.

IN PICTURES: Major product recalls

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