Publications: Notes at the Margin

Tylenol, Rail, and Canada (May 12, 2014)


After the Tylenol-tampering tragedy of 1982, Johnson & Johnson immediately recalled thirty-one million bottles of the pain reliever at a cost of $100 million dollars. It then developed a tamper-resistant package and reissued the product, regaining its thirty percent market share within a year. The company's approach to crisis management at the time has been studied endlessly by corporations, business schools, and governments. Unfortunately, the oil and rail industries have not learned from this example. They could have acted as quickly and proactively after the major derailments and fires of crude oil trains in 2013 and 2014. They did not. As a result of their continuing failure to put public safety first, the movement of oil by rail may be stopped altogether if another bad mishap takes place.


To request subscription information for Notes at the Margin, please Contact Us or send us an Information Request.