Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay more than $400,000 to the State of Oregon in a lawsuit over hundreds of bottles of flawed Motrin capsules sold in that state. John Kroger, Oregon’s Attorney General in 2011, sued the conglomerate and a pair of subsidiaries during his tenure, saying they exposed consumers to defective supplies of the pain reliever and violated the state’s unlawful trade practices act. This settlement requires the Defendants to pay the state $406,100, excluding lawyer fees and the pending lawsuit.
Johnson & Johnson learned at the end of 2008 that its Motrin caplets failed to properly dissolve and were thus ineffective pain relievers. But the company didn’t file an official recall to alert customers. Instead, Johnson & Johnson hired a contractor to go to stores across the nation and purchase the defective Motrin. While the company eventually launched a formal recall, that was more than a year after discovering the faulty batch of Motrin. The recall is also the result of pressure from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
As you may recall from a prior issue, the trial judge had initially dismissed the case in 2012, but the Oregon Court of Appeals sent it back to the trial court in 2015. It is now settled.