Over-the-counter medications are a go-to relief for headaches or muscle pain. Consumers trust these reliable brands to deliver comfort without high risk to their health or safety. But a new lawsuit is casting doubt on that confidence. On Thursday, February 27, the Quebec Superior Court approved a class action suit against Tylenol led by one woman who alleges that the pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson withheld information about some serious side effects.

According to La Presse, Kathleen Gauthier argues that the company didn't adequately divulge some risks, like liver damage, associated with taking Tylenol.

She hasn't personally experienced any adverse side effects, the report continues. But had she known about the additional risks before 2017, she says she would have reduced her regular use.

The company is itself aware of its products' risks, making clear on the Tylenol website that the drug "is safe when used as directed, but taking too much acetaminophen can cause liver damage." 

Johnson & Johnson also allegedly shares more information about side effects on bottles sold in the United States.

Indeed, the company clearly warns on Tylenol products sold to Americans that "severe liver damage may occur if you take 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day while using this product."

Gauthier further asserts that Johnson & Johnson deliberately concealed the risks in Canada.

Thus, all Quebecers who purchased one of the 19 Tylenol products for adults or one of the 12 products for children between October 23, 2015 and December 12, 2017 would be automatically covered by the class action.

The lawyers leading this action, Karim Renno and Michael E. Vathilakis, are seeking a total of $10 million in compensatory damages.

They have confirmed to Narcity that each person affected by the action may be eligible to receive up to $100 in compensation.

Starting next week, the law firm Renno & Vathilakis will make a form available on its website for any consumers affected by this action.

MTL Blog has reached out to the firm for more information and will update this article when a link to the form is online.

Stay tuned.

This article was originally published in French on Narcity Québec.

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