Johnson & Johnson wants $2.4M from surgeons after failed whistleblower suit

Alan Condon -  

Johnson and Johnson has asked a federal court to order two surgeons to pay $2.4 million after they were sanctioned for misusing confidential records in a whistleblower suit that was dismissed.

On Dec. 21, the company filed a motion asking the court to award subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics "its reasonable attorneys' fees and expenses resulting from relators' yearslong pursuit of frivolous claims," according to court documents.

Johnson & Johnson said the $2.4 million it is seeking from U.K.-based Drs. Antoni Nargol and David Langton is a fraction of the $7 million in expenses and fees that it "could reasonably seek."

Drs. Nargol and Langton filed a case against DePuy Orthopaedics and Johnson & Johnson in 2012, claiming a hip replacement implant in its "Pinnacle" portfolio was illegally promoted and sold by the company. The Pinnacle implants have been the subject of thousands of personal injury cases for which Johnson & Johnson has paid more than $1.5 billion in settlements, with some cases still pending.

The surgeons served as expert witnesses in the Pinnacle litigation and lawsuits related to DePuy's ASR hip implants when they filed the whistleblower suit in 2012.

But a federal judge threw out the whistleblower suit on Dec. 8 after the surgeons failed to show whether information related to the Pinnacle implants — which they had access to through the lawsuit — was public and not confidential.

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