A report by the American Association for Justice accuses the corporation Johnson & Johnson of hypocrisy for lobbying to prevent individual lawsuits against the company, while suing others to further its goals.
J&J is a board member of the Institute for Legal Reform, an arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The ILR has the stated goal of “tort reform,” which the AAJ translates as an attempt to restrict “access [to] the civil justice system” by individuals.
But even as the corporation seeks to limit the ability of individuals to file lawsuits through its involvement in the ILR, the report says, J&J has aggressively pursued legal action against other organizations.
In 2007, for example, J&J sued the American Red Cross over its use of the red cross symbol, objecting to the symbol’s use on first aid kits and other disaster-preparedness items. The company demanded that the kits be destroyed, as well as punitive damages against the human care agency and payment for its own legal fees. According to the AAJ, the American Red Cross had amicably shared the red cross symbol with J&J for more than a century, and J&J had previously offered to sell first-aid kits with the American Red Cross branding.
The American Red Cross responded to the suit by saying, “For a multi-billion-dollar drug company to claim that the Red Cross violated a criminal statute that was created to protect the humanitarian mission of the Red Cross – simply so that J&J can make more money – is obscene.”
A judge eventually ruled in the charity’s favor.
This was going on as the ILR, directed by J&J and similar corporations, has engaged in a campaign to limit individuals from recovering reasonable compensation for harm caused by these companies.
Meanwhile, J&J was allegedly marketing metal hip implants made by one of its subsidiaries, DePuy, despite internal company documents indicating that the company was aware that the implants may have an alarmingly high early failure rate.
“Medical experts expressed dismay that J&J allowed the devices to continue to be implanted despite years of evidence that serious problems were occurring,” the report says.
Contact Lopez McHugh for a free case evaluation if you received a DePuy Orthopaedics hip implant and are experiencing side-effects.
See the report here: http://www.justice.org/cps/rde/xchg/justice/hs.xsl/13567.htm