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Dovel & Luner Law Firm Announces Consumer Protection Lawsuit Against Johnson & Johnson Over Deceptive Advertising of “Non-Drowsy” Medicine

Dovel & Luner, LLP
January 21, 2022, 08:00 ET

SANTA MONICA – The Dovel & Luner law firm on Thursday filed a federal class action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. on behalf of a California consumer who purchased “Non-Drowsy” Tylenol medication.  Romoff v. Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., Case 3:22-cv-00075 (C.D. CA. Dkt. 1).   The lawsuit alleges that Johnson & Johnson misled millions of consumers by deceptively labeling its Tylenol products as “Non-Drowsy,” even though the products do cause drowsiness.

The Complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, alleges that Johnson & Johnson violated the consumer protection laws of many states, including the California Unfair Competition Law, the California False Advertising Law, and the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act. 

Johnson & Johnson prominently labels many of its Tylenol medications “Non-Drowsy.”  According to the lawsuit, a reasonable consumer would understand Johnson & Johnson’s advertisements and packaging to mean that these products do not cause drowsiness.  Here is an example of Johnson & Johnson’s packaging for its Tylenol Cold+Flu Severe medication, which advertises that the product is “NON-DROWSY”:

In reality, however, the lawsuit claims, these “Non-Drowsy” Tylenol products contain Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide (DXM), an ingredient known to cause drowsiness.  In fact, according to the lawsuit, the FDA’s database shows that “‘sedation’ is one of the most frequently-cited side effects of DXM-containing products,” and the Federal Aviation Administration prohibits pilots from flying after taking medication containing DXM.   

Whether or not an over-the-counter medication causes drowsiness, the lawsuit alleges, is important to consumers.  “[T]aking a drug that causes drowsiness while driving is dangerous,” the lawsuit claims.  And, according to the lawsuit, a consumer who intends to engage in activities that require them to be alert — like work — would prefer to take medication that does not cause drowsiness.  

According to the lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson’s “false statements increased the demand for Non-Drowsy Tylenol Products and allowed [Johnson & Johnson] to charge a price premium.”  The lawsuit seeks to enjoin Johnson & Johnson from continuing to engage in deceptive advertising and to require that it compensate harmed consumers.

“Consumers should be able to rely on the labels placed on over the counter medicines,” said Simon Franzini of Dovel & Luner.  “Claiming that a medicine that causes drowsiness is ‘Non-Drowsy’ is deceptive—and dangerous.”

Simon Franzini
Dovel & Luner, LLP

SOURCE: Dovel & Luner, LLP

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