Launches in Response to Pattern of Defective Medical Implants and Harmful Consumer Products

The Corporate Action Network (CAN) has filed a complaint with the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Johnson and Johnson and its top executives, including Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky for destroying documents critical to lawsuits brought by thousands of women seriously injured by the company’s pelvic mesh implants.

“The real war on women isn’t being fought in Congress or on political talk shows, it’s taking place in executive boardrooms, where corporate profits are prioritized over women’s health. DOJ should immediately investigate whether Johnson and Johnson deliberately destroyed evidence that would have undercut its defense in the lawsuits over pelvic mesh,” stated CAN spokeswoman Levana Layendecker.

Hundreds of thousands of women are estimated to have been – and continue to be implanted – with pelvic meshes that have caused serious injuries. Johnson and Johnson, one of the leading manufacturers of pelvic mesh implants, is fighting innumerable lawsuits over the product.

“Pelvic mesh implants has ruined my life and to this day, I consider myself a survivor,” stated Linda Dodson, mother of two and a retired Human Resource Manager who lives in Loudon, Tennessee. “That Johnson and Johnson continues to manufacture pelvic mesh implants, taking the same product off the market and renaming it is pure and simple greed.”

CAN asked Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate Johnson and Johnson and Gorsky for two possible criminal violations: obstruction of a criminal investigation of health care offenses and destruction of records in a federal probe. The request follows the February 4, 2014 conclusion of a West Virginia U.S. Magistrate Judge that Johnson and Johnson improperly destroyed thousands of documents regarding the development of pelvic mesh implants.

Johnson and Johnson recently entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services, which, in part, requires the company to report any suspected violations of health care program or FDA requirements as well as the company’s own policies and procedures. Johnson and Johnson also entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with DOJ in which the company pledged to “voluntarily and timely” disclose any misconduct. It does not appear that Johnson and Johnson reported the document destruction.

“It defies credibility to believe that a company facing as many lawsuits as Johnson and Johnson is over its defective product inadvertently destroyed thousands of relevant documents and computer files. DOJ should investigate immediately to make clear rich multi-national corporations are not above the law,” Melanie Sloan, Executive Director, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, stated.

The Corporate Action Network also launched a campaign, to hold Johnson and Johnson and its top executives accountable for its unethical conduct. The website provides the opportunity to submit confidential tips and information regarding illegal or unethical actions by Johnson and Johnson and its executives.

“As I’ve gotten to know so many survivors of Johnson and Johnson’s dangerous implants, we need others to share with us what they know about Johnson and Johnson’s unethical behavior and harmful actions,” stated Jane Akre, who has been heading up an online pelvic mesh implant survivor network across the United States. “There are tens if not hundreds of thousands of women who have been implanted with Johnson & Johnson products and the company continues to use these permanent implants in women even though the evidence presented at trials has shown they knew that mesh would cause life-altering complications.”

The Corporate Action Network is a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the imbalance of power between corporations and people and holding corporations and corporate executives who violate the law accountable for their conduct.