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Metal shards found in Tylenol products

As some Kentucky parents may know, the manufacturer of Children's and Infants' Tylenol and Children's Motrin was charged with selling adulterated formulations of the products. McNeil Consumer Healthcare Company pleaded guilty to the charges in a Pennsylvania federal court on March 10. The charges date from 2009, when the equipment at McNeil's Fort Washington plant left metal shards in the medications. The company has agreed to pay $25 million to settle the matter.

According to court reports, McNeil found that metal shards of chromium, iron and nickel were in the products after a consumer complaint was received concerning black spots in Infants' Tylenol. The company continued to produce the product at its Fort Washington plant for months after learning that metal shards were in the liquid formula. The company's attorney said not all internal investigative steps were in fact taken.

According to an attorney with the Justice Department, companies that disregard quality control processes will be prosecuted in the future. Failing to adhere to good manufacturing standards lends itself to problems in the manufacture of safe medications. Companies have an obligation to make safe products through proper design and manufacturing processes. Defects in the production of a product may make it unfit for consumer use. When that happens, defective product claims can be pursued in order to recover ensuing damages.

If a consumer is injured by defects that occurred during the manufacturing process, the manufacturer may be held responsible for resulting damages. As in this case, a lack of compliance with quality assurance issues may lead to the failure to supply a safe product. Those who have been injured as a result may wish to consult with an attorney who can review the case and determine the remedies that are available.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Maker of Kids' Tylenol Pleads Guilty", Michael Rubinkam and Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press, March 10, 2015

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