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.
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.
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.