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Johnson & Johnson Drowned In The Sea Of Lawsuits

|Includes: Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)

Johnson & Johnson Drowned In The Sea of Lawsuits

J&J has been under the burden of lawsuits that alleged the company for selling devices which spread undetected hidden cancer cells in the patient.

Johnson & Johnson has been dealing with a large number of lawsuits. Many women have caught undetected hidden cancer after using the company's then-active hysterectomy device, according to the court documents.

According to one of the plaintiffs' lawyer and co-lead counsel on the committee in Kansas City, Kan., federal court, Paul Pennock, around 100 cases have been filed against the New Brunswick, New Jersey based firm Ethicon unit in connection to the unit device dubbed as the laparoscopic power morcellator. He further added that the company has settled around 70 out of 100 claims.

Sources close to the matter, and having modest knowledge of the resolved cases, have expressed that the claims are likely to cost millions to the company. Although the segregated data of each settlement is not available, sources privy to the matter cited that the settlements range from $100,000 to around $1 million.

New Jersey health care business is in the middle of talks to settle multiple claims faced by it relating to the morcellator. Furthermore, it also has few cases pending in state courts in connection with morcellation.

One of the spokeswomen of the company told that it has been country's practice to file the litigation expenses in its regulatory filing but it hasn't disclosed segregated litigation costs pertaining to the morcellator cases. She didn't give any statement in connection to the settlements. The device's sale had been suspended in April 2014 and by July 2014, J&J had also withdrawn the device from the market.

Pennock said, "You certainly don't always see a company step up and take responsibility this early on. That's something we think is appropriate."

The power morcellators were routinely utilized by surgeons in numerous procedures, until April 2014 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alerted about the life threatening consequences that the device has on the women. The FDA said that the morcellators had the potential of spraying cancerous tissues, which could worsen the long-term survival chances of women. The healthcare behemoth's Ethicon unit held the substantive chunk of the market.

The device continued business for around two decades before the FDA finally cautioned everybody regarding the lethal consequences attached with the device, according to the sources familiar with the ongoing probes. The FDA reported in a statement on Friday that the Government Accountability Office had duly informed it about its concerns and the organization looks forward to cooperate with the government in relation to the device's review.

The plaintiffs' lawyers have showed concerns that due to the lack of warning from the healthcare giant, many lives of women are at risk. They have claimed against the Ethicon division that the organization ought to have known the risks attached to the cancer. They also believe that the healthcare titan didn't take adequate effects to circumvent the possible threats attached to the device. The company, however, hasn't disclosed the "exact figure" of the cases pending in the court.