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Johnson & Johnson: Defective Products Updates

Once again, Johnson & Johnson, the American pharmaceutical and medical device conglomerate, is the subject of yet more instances of defective products.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the latest scare came to light when investigations found that Johnson & Johnson continued to sell their Animas brand of insulin pumps after learning of malfunctions with the devices that later prompted them to make design changes. Despite known failures, defective products made their way into the hands of consumers who were injured as a result.

Customers have an inherent right to expect that products and medical devices they use are safe. When dangerous or defective products are sold to consumers and those products cause injury, illness, death, or any other kind of harm to the customer, the producer of the good may be held legally responsible for the injury and may be required to pay for damages caused by the injury. Moreover, in some cases, Illinois personal injury law affords the opportunity for the trier of fact to award punitive damages, or damages that send a message to companies to be more careful when manufacturing their products.

Johnson & Johnson is an American pharmaceutical and cosmetic manufacturer that disseminates packaged goods sold in more than 175 countries. The corporation is the largest healthcare company in the world, and has approximately 250 subsidiary companies, which include numerous household-known brand names of medications, first-aid supplies, toiletries, and beauty products.

In 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, issued a voluntary recall of two of their hip replacement systems, after studies found that many patients who received these DePuy hip implants suffered from symptoms including pain, swelling, and difficulty walking, and had to undergo a revision surgery to correct painful issues with the implants. Moreover, according to the DePuy Orthopaedics website, one in eight patients who received the defective hip replacement product, needed a second surgery.

When interviewed last year about the Johnson & Johnson hip replacement systems, our Chicago personal injury attorney Steve Levin said, “clients who have problems may have to undergo revision surgeries. The redo can present problems as well. It doesn’t always work and it has a greater chance of failure. A person who could have a lifetime of pain,” says Levin.

When products are recalled from the market, the intention is to protect customers from potential harm caused by defective or dangerous products. Essentially, the idea is to prevent more pain and suffering on the part of the consumers. Nevertheless, the company may be held responsible, and the situation may give rise to an Illinois personal injury lawsuit.

Illinois products liability law holds manufacturers of products liability for the goods they produce and distribute to the public. Companies are responsible for testing their merchandise prior to putting it the market for public consumption, and ensuring that the goods are safe for consumer use.

When customers put their trust in the hands of companies who manufacture medical devices and supplies, they have the right to expect a safe, effective product that won’t leave them worse off from its use.