Donna (not her real name) says her daughter was in a car accident and their doctor told her to take Tylenol. When she died, her daughter was 23 years old and the mother of a nine-month-old boy.
"The Sunday before she died my daughter phoned, complaining of severe stomach pains, which was unusual because she was an athlete all her life and in perfect health," says Donna. "I told her to go to the hospital but no one could take care of the baby—she was a single mom and they lived in Virginia. On Wednesday, she phoned again and said, 'All I can do is get up and feed the baby,' so the pain was worsening. About 2 am her neighbor called: they had taken her to hospital and they had the baby. Two hours later a doctor called.
"'Her liver has given up and I'm not sure that she is going to make it,' he explained to me. Frantically, I booked the first plane out. He called again at 10 am. 'We don't think she will make it but we are trying to keep her alive to see if a donor becomes available [for a liver] and then we will fly her to another hospital.'
"I was going nuts. He called back and said, 'If you want to see her alive you had better come now.' I couldn't get a direct flight; I knew it would have been faster to drive there but I couldn't drive, I was a nervous wreck."
Donna got to the hospital at 9 pm—her daughter passed away one hour earlier.
"It's only now that I can talk about her death because I am on these antidepressants," Donna says, crying. "I am especially depressed when my grandson comes home from school and asks about his mum."
One of the doctors told Donna that she was the third person he had recently seen at that hospital with acute liver failure directly related to Tylenol. An autopsy wasn't done but Donna has a document stating her daughter died from acetaminophen overdose.
READ MORE TYLENOL/ACETAMINOPHEN LEGAL NEWS
"When I got home with the baby, I called the hospital and they told me to call a detective to rule out foul play. Then we retained a local lawyer. But he was one of the 'good old boys' and this case was out of his league; still, he led us on for some time. Eventually he said that going up against J&J was costly and he couldn't do it.
"Not too long afterward, I called another attorney—he is handling a Tylenol class-action suit. Although the Statute of Limitations is two years, the first lawyer put a stay on our claim so we are hopeful that a wrongful death suit will be filed against Johnson and Johnson. They must take responsibility for my daughter's senseless death. How will I explain it to my grandson?"