Johnson & Johnson
J&J has nearly 250 subsidiary companies that are organized into three main divisions: consumer healthcare, medical devices and diagnostics, and pharmaceuticals. Though they have seen incredible success, J&J often comes under legal attacks for their marketing practices and failing to warn consumers of dangerous and even fatal side effects associated with some of their products.
Johnson and Johnson has grown into a consumer product and pharmaceutical giant, which markets its products in nearly every country and has over 128,100 employees worldwide as of 2014. J&J is consistently ranked in the Fortune 500, ranking forty-first in 2013 and thirty-ninth in 2014 with the following company statistics:
|Dollar Value||% change|
|Total Assets||$132.68 Billion|
|Total Shareholder Equity||$74.1 Billion|
|Market Value (on March 31, 2014)||$277.88 Billion|
Lawsuits Against Johnson & Johnson
Though the company has seen healthy growth, the company has had FDA mandated recalls for transvaginal mesh products and hip replacements, along thousands of lawsuits following the recall. They have also incurred huge legal expenses through many high profile legal battles against patients who have had dangerous side effects from other products sold by J&J and their subsidiaries.
Xarelto Bleeding Lawsuits
Johnson & Johnson marketed the German pharmaceutical company Bayer’s new anticoagulant (blood thinner) medication Xarelto. Thousands of patients were hurt when bleeding occurred while patients were taking Xarelto and doctors had no way of stopping the bleeding. Once someone takes Xarelto, there is no antidote or effective way to counteract Xarelto’s blood thinning effects. Thousands of patients who were injured and many died from uncontrollable bleeding while taking Xarelto. Those who have filed Xarelto lawsuits allege that Bayer and J&J did not properly warn patients of the dangers of taking Xarelto in their packaging and marketing efforts.
Morcellator Cancer Lawsuits
Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, is the largest manufacturer of power morcellators. Power morcellators offered a minimally invasive surgery with smaller scars and quicker recovery times for hysterectomies and myomectomies. However, if a patient has an undiagnosed cancerous growth or tumor, a laparoscopic surgical procedure with a morcellator can spread the growth to other parts of the body. Power morcellators by Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon subsidiary have since recalled 3 of its power morcellators; Morcellex Sigma, Gynecare Morcellex, and Gynecare X-tract. In April, the FDA advised that doctors no longer use laparoscopic power morcellators for myomectomies and hysterectomies citing the inherent dangers that outweigh the potential benefits. The FDA has estimated that 1 in 350 women who underwent these surgeries had an undiagnosed uterine sarcoma. These women who underwent power morcellation have significantly worse odds of long term survival.
As a result of their experiences and those of many other individuals like them, lawsuits have been filed based in part on the following complaints:
- Failure to warn of risks and complications associated with morcellation
- Production and distribution of a product that is unsafe and unfit for its intended use
- Lack of proper safety testing prior to releasing the product to market
- Failure to remove the product from the market once health risks were known
These lawsuits against the manufacturers of power morcellators allege that they knew or should have known of the increased risks of power morcellation but withheld this information from the medical community and the general public.