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J&J Facing Surging Litigation Costs

From Huffington Post

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, March 13, 2017 ~ Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is facing at least 17 different lawsuits in the coming year.

And 2017 promises to be even worse for litigation and the cost of legal services with an increasing number of people suing the healthcare giant.

J&J lost six of seven verdicts in 2016.

The number of lawsuits jumped to 104,700, according to a recent securities report filed February 27, 2017. That’s up from 28,300 in 2016.    Litigation expenses increased to $817 million.

There are five major areas of litigation.

Alex Gorsky, CEO J&J

Risperdal – Men claim they grew breasts after taking the antipsychotic medicine Risperdal. So far, 18,500 lawsuits have been filed. J&J lost a trial last year in Philadelphia where the jury awarded $70 million to a family of a boy who grew breasts beginning at age five.  Another man was awarded $2.5 million by an Alabama jury in 2015. He developed size 46DD breasts.

The company failed to disclose evidence the drug could elevate levels of the hormone prolactin when prescribed to boys.  Litigation shows Risperdal was marketed for uses not approved by the FDA, such as children with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The cases are on appeal.

“Contrary to the impression the plaintiff’s attorneys have attempted to create over the course of this litigation, Risperdal is an important FDA-approved medicine. We will continue to defend this litigation and will try cases where appropriate.”~ J&J SEC Report

 

J&J Shareholders meeting protest 2014

Xarelto – There are 17,000 lawsuits pending over the drug Xarelto, a blood thinner that can lead to uncontrolled bleeding.  The first MDL trial is set for April 24, 2017 in the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Pelvic Mesh – More than 54,800 women are suing over the company’s transvaginal meshes, the SEC filing reports. Outside of multidistrict litigation in Charleston, WV there are cases in state court in Bergen Co.,  New Jersey and the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, as well as various state court actions.

Claims have also been filed in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Venezuela. Class actions are underway in Israel, Australia and Canada.

An accrual is an estimate of legal defense costs needed.

“The company has established an accrual with respect to product liability litigation associated with Ethicon’s pelvic mesh products. Changes to this accrual may be required in the future as additional information becomes available.” ~J&J’s SEC Report.

 

DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System and Hip Resurfacing System is facing 2,000 plaintiffs as of January 1, 2017, and 9,400 with the Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System.

 

Talcum Powder – Talc and its link to ovarian cancer has more than 3,000 women filing lawsuits against J&J over its Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower. Cases so far are filed in Missouri, New Jersey and California and plaintiff jury awards of $70 million and $55 million.  J&J just won its first case in a St. Louis court recently.

The company announced it was restricting its Medical Devices segment to save pre-tax $800 million to $1 billion.

The company says its financial bottom line won’t be impacted by these legal proceedings but warns resolving lawsuits may have a “material adverse effect” on its earnings at some future date.

The SEC report says that medical device segment sales in 2016 were down 0.1% from 2015.

“The operational decline in General Surgery was due to lower sales of women’s health and urology products and pricing pressures partially offset by growth of sutures.”

In 2016 the Medical Devices segment income before tax as a percentage to sales was 22.2% versus 27.2% in 2015.

 

from Ghanaweb.com

J&J EXPANSION, CONTRACTION

In recent months, J&J announced it would open a new office in Ghana in West Africa.

Without any specifics the focus will continue to, “lead the expansion of our product portfolio and continue to address many of the most prominent health issues impacting patients and health care providers here.” Specifics include mental health, diabetes, maternal, newborn and child health, HIV prevention and oncology.

Meanwhile the company is closing a surgical suture factory in Scotland also losing 400 jobs. The move is said to be part of the company’s global restructuring designed to streamline operations.   The plant, located in Livingston, Scotland, produces 5-6% of J&J’s global output of surgical sutures.

The manufacturing operation may move to Texas, Brazil and Mexico.

Judge Joseph Goodwin

On February 21, 2017,  Judge Joseph Goodwin, who is overseeing the MDL in his Carleston, WV court, began creating the Wave 5 cases in his court.   These are a list of 400 oldest cases in the Ethicon MDL.  The pretrial activity should be wrapped up September of this year.

The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas also has a waiting list of transvaginal mesh cases ready for trial. The next one is Engleman v. Gynecare to be heard April 20.

A group of patients and consumers injured by J&J products plans to attend this years Shareholders meeting to be held April 27, 2017 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the company headquarters.  ###

 


LEARN MORE:

 

J&J Pelvic Mesh Litigation- Bard and Gynecare
http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/mass-tort/pelvicmesh/index.html

Gynecare Case List –
http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/mass-tort/pelvicmesh/gynecare/gynecare-case.pdf
Updated March 11, 2017 J&J Cases Bergen, Co NJ, 181 pages, 9,009 lawsuits against Ethicon/J&J,  979 Bard cases

List of cases against J&J/Ethicon filed in WV – 37,224 as of March 13, 2017
http://www.wvsd.uscourts.gov/caselist/caseviewlist.aspx?mdl=2327

https://fjdefile.phila.gov/dockets/zk_fjd_public_qry_05.zp_dktrpt_frames?case_id=140305384&genrc_par1=15&genrc_par2=&call_type=H

Securities and Exchange Commission, J&J, Feb. 27, 2017
http://www.investor.jnj.com/secfiling.cfm?filingID=200406-17-6&CIK=200406#FORM10-K20170101_HTM_S5107A649517004FE941649CE906A5FA8

Bailey Javins & Carter
https://www.baileyjavinscarter.com/talc-litigation/

 

23 Comments

  1. Victim Forever says:

    How long did J&J think they could ride out all of these litigations? Now that it’s costing them…stockholders are going to finally/hopefully ask about accountability. Karma way overdue. Hope J&J loses every case against them. They have NO REGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE NOR REMORSE FOR THEIR GREED. I challenge everyone to boycott buying any products made by them…

  2. The Johnson & Johnson credo

    “Research must be carried on, innovative programs developed and mistakes paid for. “

  3. Waiting for Justice says:

    Jane only 17 trials for an entire year? I know it is up from last year but at this pace it will take forever or do you have a different take on it? Thanks

    • Jane Akre says:

      I truly believe they will settle some day soon.
      The bean counters will see this is not a sustainable business model!

      • Waiting for Justice says:

        I agree. Look at how much they have spent on legal fees already BILLIONS! They could have already settled many claims with what they have thrown away trying to defend themselves.

  4. Still standing says:

    Remember that the companies arent calling all the shots. Their insurance carriers that insure them for product liability can very well be the ones driving this stand off mess.

  5. Jan says:

    Fu** Johnson &Johnson Im 35 and my life is over.

  6. Jan says:

    They need to pay.How can they do that to people life. i wish i can burn that bixxx down.

  7. Waiting for Justice says:

    Jan I know the pain, stress and frustration that you feel. I live it everyday too along with many thousands of others. You are right Johnson and Johnson needs to pay for their defective mesh products that have ruined so many lives but in money nothing else. Please try to hang in there and let’s keep hoping and praying that soon someone will make the decision to do what’s right. Please take care and may God bless you!

  8. lisa says:

    I see a bunch of companies starting to settle what’s the status with ethicon?

    • Jane Akre says:

      They are quietly settling some cases, no mass settlement yet. They’d rather pay their lawyers $600 an hour to fight you in court and then appeal your jury verdicts.

      • Jimmy says:

        Jan how much longer can j&j truly hold on do you think. Before stock holders start rethinking their investment in the company? How long do you believe it will take before the media starts to cover this story. It seems that this is getting swept under the rug. Do you believe this is a move by the drug companies pulling strings to try and drive settlement prices down?

        • Jane Akre says:

          I believe J&J plans on offering settlements sometime. It would be wise to do so now. The bean counters inside the company probably know they are taking their litigation strategy advice from the very folks who have the most to gain. the $700 an hour lawyers… Then there is the presence at the shareholders meeting. How much bad publicity can one company take?

  9. Roger Gibbon says:

    I had physiomesh hernia surgery and am having issues. I’ve contacted several law firms and am anxious to select one to represent me. Could someone help me?

  10. Judy says:

    I filed my mesh lawsuit in 2012 with Tracy Talon law firm in Houston. They cannot tell me if I am even included in the suit, as my original surgery doc has left the practice, and my records were lost with the manufacturing number. I do have my surgery reports. I have had to have 1 surgery to remove the mesh, and I am currently having issues where a 2nd surgery is right around the corner. What do I have to do???? I now have no insurance and no money.

    • Jane Akre says:

      make sure your law firm is still with you… after not hearing for so long, it pays to check. And make sure they have all of your medical reports and are updated on the surgery…. Can you get a contact person within the firm who can verify they have all of this?

  11. Samuel says:

    Hell Jane,
    It has been more than 6 Months since the mesh settlement with Ethicon for 1000 people took place in Sept.
    Almost impossible to get info from lawyers except to say be patient. Does distribution really takes that long?
    Since lawyers and masters take their cut almost immediately, the patient has to wait for ever, I guess the system is not fair at all.
    Any comments?
    Thank you

    • Jane Akre says:

      Hi Samuel…. you are right it is complicated and I often don’t have any insight except what I hear from you’all….Fair to say some people rejected their settlements so the law firms have to go back to the table. Some of you SHOUld reject your settlements in my opinion. Some have even been told by their law firms to reject the settlement…And you are right the firms can take their $$ up front if they choose to is my understanding…. I strongly suggest you insist your law firm communicate with you!…. that’s is why they make their percentage…I’m sorry.. Ultimately we may look back and see the MDl is an imperfect system that needs to get back to client/patient-centric rulings, not efficacy. Meanwhile the offenders largely skate. My understanding is that some doctors are being brought into Med Mal litigation in state court avoiding the MDL entirely….. This is for pudendal neuralgia cases and it is the doctor’s worst nightmare. Just my opinion as a non lawyer…..

      • samuel says:

        Jane,
        Thank you for your insight.
        Law firm said, to reject; it means many more years of litigation and no guarantee of winning and perhaps Zero reward. Their letter totally encourage acceptance and discourage any rejection.
        Best

        • Jane Akre says:

          Best for them certainly! Cash in hand.

        • Still Standing says:

          Were you offered a settlement offer in September? What timeframe were you given to accept or reject it? It could be that they didnt get enough people to accept the offer and are trying to push more people into it. If they reached their threshhold, then 6 months should be long enough to certify and distribute your settlement. Jane is right, your attorney should communicate with you. However, sometimes they pass off the post- settlement tasks to other staff or firms, so your attorney may not have a definitive answer. They also don’t like to tell you when to expect the check since it is never a certaintly on their end. They more than likely don’t want to field phone calls from clients asking where the check is. In my opinion, you deserve that contact as part of you choosing them to respresent you. It is called customer service, which doesnt seem to be a high priority in the plaintiff attorney world.

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