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Johnson and Johnson Stock Update: Johnson and Johnson Shareholders To Receive Dividend Despite Company’s Ongoing Lawsuits Over Talc, Ethicon Mesh, DePuy Hips

March 5, 2019
Author: Daniel Gala

Despite the company and several of its wholly-owned subsidiaries continuing to be embroiled in serious products liability litigation brought by tens of thousands of plaintiffs in countries around the globe, Johnson & Johnson shareholders are to receive a quarterly dividend payable March 12, 2019, according to a company press release.

On January 2, Johnson & Johnson announced that “its Board of Directors had declared a cash dividend for the first quarter of 2019 of $0.90 per share of the company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on March 12, 2019 to shareholders of record at the close of business on February 26, 2019.”

“Today, as the world’s largest and most broadly-based health care company, we are committed to using our reach and size for good,” Johnson & Johnson’s press release reads. “We are blending our heart, science and ingenuity to profoundly change the trajectory of health for humanity.”

Here is quick rundown of just some of the products liability claims facing Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries, according to the company’s most recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC);

Johnson and Johnson Product Liability Claims

  • Depuy Orthopaedics, Inc. has resolved more than 10,000 claims in the United States alone alone over its ASR XL Acetabular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System, both of which are used in hip-replacement surgery
  • DePuy and Johnson & Johnson also face thousands of lawsuits related to the Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System, also used in hip-replacement surgery. These claims have been consolidated as multi-district litigation (MDL) in the Northern District of Texas
  • Johnson & Johnson and its unit Ethicon, Inc. have been sued by thousands of patients around the world over Ethicon’s pelvic mesh devices. Federal claims in the United States have been consolidated as multidistrict litigation taking place in the Southern District of West Virginia, and the companies also face Ethicon pelvic mesh lawsuits, including class actions, in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Israel, Australia, and Canada
  • Multidistrict litigation (MDL) also is taking place over Ethicon’s pelvic mesh devices, with federal personal injury claims making their way through the Northern District of Georgia. New Jersey state cases have been consolidated as multicounty litigation (MCL) in Atlantic County
  • Johnson and Johnson continues to face numerous lawsuits over allegations that its talcum-powder products, including Johnson’s Baby Powder, caused cancer, including ovarian cancer and mesothelioma, in long-time, regular users. In July 2018, a jury found the company liable for several women’s ovarian cancer, ordering Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.7 billion. Multidistrict litigation (MDL) over J&J talc products presently is taking place in New Jersey.

Does this sound like the kind of company that should be giving out cash dividends to its shareholders, or should Johnson & Johnson’s Board of Directors focus more resolving existing claims and developing safer products in the future?

At least the brass at Johnson & Johnson are not coy about showing where their true priorities lie.


Johnson & Johnson News Release. (2 January 2019). Johnson & Johnson Announces Quarterly Dividend for First Quarter 2019

Johnson & Johnson Corporation. (20 February 2019). Form 10-K for 12 months ended Dec. 30, 2018. Notes to Financial Statements. Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure. Legal Proceedings. Product Liability. United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

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Legal Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to be used as medical information or diagnosis. The sources of the information presented in the article have been researched and are linked within the article. Please seek out medical advice from a licensed medical professional if you are experiencing a problem with any of the drugs or devices mentioned in this article. 

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