Righteous words are nice, but not if they stand alone. They’re not nice at all if they’re not backed by deeds. In fact, words are only self serving, hypocritical, even just flat out cynical when their meaning is not followed by matching deeds. In the case of Johnson & Johnson and its ethically challenged division of Ethicon (emphasis ours), the words are even hurtful, because they promise justice. They promise ethical behavior. They deliver nothing.
First Woman to beat J&J in Mesh Case dies
One thinks of Johnson & Johnson’s credo failure as some of its injured customers begin to die before they receive one penny of the compensation awarded to them by a jury in a long trial. The first woman to win a jury judgment against Johnson & Johnson for its defective plastic mesh died last week, without ever seeing any of the $1.2 million the jury awarded her. She waited a year and four months after the verdict for J&J to pay. Then she died. The jury deliberated for three days after a three-week trial and decided that, based on all the evidence it had heard from both sides, the mesh implanted in Linda Batiste of Dallas was defective. Four other juries have made the same decision about J&J mesh products. In some cases they have awarded additional punitive damages for failure to warn. In every case J&J has lost (and its only “win” was a case in which Judge Goodman in West Virginia refused to let the jury deliberate), the company has refused to accept the jury’s decision. It has refused to pay every time. Instead, it has appealed and delayed all the cases it has lost. It has further refused to come to the settlement table for some 12,000 pelvic mesh cases that remain on file against the company.
J&J’s mounting Mesh Losses
Money doesn’t talk. It screams
John Lennon said, “Money doesn’t talk. It screams.” The money J&J commands can apparently just keep screaming as it will, refusing to pay, appealing and delaying, hiring more attorneys and running cases on forever, if necessary, waiting until the people it has injured either quit, die, or run out of money and give up.
J&J hides priorities in plain sight
The Johnson & Johnson Credo deplorably fails to honor its high sounding words. But even hiding in plain sight, you can readily see what J&J values most – its relationships with the doctors to whom it sells its products. Note the opening lines of the J&J credo. Their first responsibility, they state, is to doctors, then nurses, and then, finally, patients. It’s at least good to know where J&J’s priorities lie.
The Johnson & Johnson Credo
(excerpted – see the entire J&J Credo here)
We believe our first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses, and patients, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services. In meeting their needs everything we do must be of high quality. We must constantly strive to reduce our costs in order to maintain reasonable prices. . .
We are responsible to our employees. . . Everyone must be considered as an individual. . . We must provide competent management, and their actions must be just and ethical.
Research must be carried on, innovative programs developed and mistakes paid for.
Johnson & Johnson refuses to pay
J&J’s credo promises that it will pay for its mistakes, but it never says it will acknowledge those mistakes. Wouldn’t “their actions must be just and ethical” fall under that banner? Not for Johnson & Johnson. For this company, ethical behavior means never having to admit you made a mistake.
Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Cancer Lawsuits
The company’s behavior in pelvic mesh lawsuits should make some people think twice about the fuzzy image the company tries to show of itself using babies in baby powder commercials. Knowing what we know now of how the company responds to its mistakes, we might want to think twice before being manipulated by that age-old image of J&J’s using a baby to convince mothers to buy its dubious baby powder.
This isn’t your mother’s Johnson & Johnson.