Johnson & Johnson has been slammed with litigation, paying millions to plaintiffs claiming they were injured by the company’s products. But those hits are not enough to keep several brokerages from upgrading the ratings for Johnson & Johnson stock. Goldman Sachs, for example, recently changed its prognosis to “neutral” after holding it at “sell” for 14 months. But the company’s luck may eventually run out.
On Feb. 22, a state jury in Missouri slapped the company with a $72 million verdict in a lawsuit that blamed the company’s talcum power products for causing a woman’s ovarian cancer death.
Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals has also been hit with three consecutive verdicts ranging from $500,000 to $2.5 million over claims that its antipsychotic Risperdal caused adolescent boys to grow female breasts. Another subsidiary was slapped with back-to-back $12.5 million and $13.5 million verdicts over its transvaginal mesh devices.
The hits are expected to continue for Johnson & Johnson, with the first trial scheduled for this fall in a multidistrict litigation in Philadelphia involving 217 claims that its over-the-counter medicine Tylenol causes liver damage.
The verdicts may add up into the millions for Johnson & Johnson, but it is a small bite into the company’s enormous profits. The company registered profits of more than $70 billion in 2015 alone.
Source: New Jersey Law Journal