Johnson & Johnson caught a break thanks to a Philadelphia judge who reduced a potential punitive payment from $8B to $6M dollars. You read that right.
A Philly (because, of course, it’s Philly) jury awarded Nichols Murray $8B in Monopoly money back in October of 2019 on the grounds that J&J downplayed the side effects of the antipsychotic, Risperdal. Murray who took the meds as a child suffered from gynecomastia (read: man boobs).
The judge argued that the $8B reward was excessive (well, duh) and disproportionate to the $680k awarded in compensatory damages.
More than 13k men have filed suits claiming that Johnson & Johnson knew about the likelihood of the condition but never pulled it off the market.
No good deed goes unpunished
J&J is currently facing more than 100k lawsuits related to a laundry list of f*ck ups.
When the company wasn’t busy wronging the youth of America it was helping fuel the opioid crisis. In August of last year, an Oklahoma judge ordered the baby shampoo/pharma giant to pay $572M for its contribution to the crisis in that state. One down, forty-nine to go.
And the company is on the hook for another $4.69B thanks to a ruling that its baby powder caused ovarian cancer in women.
This would be a major W for J&J which has taken its share of lumps over the past few years in the courtroom and the court of public opinion. For the most part, however, J&J shares have managed to weather the storm. JNJ rose slightly on Friday.
As for Murray, he plans to appeal the dramatic reduction.