The past year was not a good one for Johnson & Johnson. The massive corporation -- known for generations as one of the leading innovators of consumer products, pharmaceuticals and medical devices -- is no stranger to lawsuits. In fact, for most drug makers, mass torts are routine, as many in Tennessee know. However, 2016 saw Johnson & Johnson on the losing side of numerous lawsuits, and the company faces a backlog of claims in 2017.
Of the seven largest verdicts against manufacturers of defective products in the past year, Johnson & Johnson lost six, totaling in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Lawsuits included claims of injury or death related to hip implants, talcum powder and the anti-psychotic drug Riserdal. The company stands by its products and intends to appeal the verdicts.
In the coming months. Johnson & Johnson faces nearly 55,000 claims regarding vaginal mesh implants, and new lawsuits are being filed regularly concerning other products from the company. Spokespeople for Johnson & Johnson are not as worried about losing the cases as they are that the losses will prompt many others to file suits, risking even more damages. It is the policy of the company not to settle early but to litigate fiercely.
Often, the thought of taking on a large corporation to seek compensation for an injury is intimidating. Large pharmaceutical companies seem to have endless resources that they are willing to use to squash a single claim. However, when many similar claims are brought together in class action suits or other mass torts, positive results are more likely. This is especially true when the class is represented by a Tennessee attorney with successful experience handling mass torts.
Source: bloomberg.com, "The Lawsuits Keep Coming for Johnson & Johnson", Margaret Cronin Fisk and Jef Feeley, March 9, 2017