Unaccountability in business is unacceptable. In the case of Gross v. Johnson & Johnson, the jury awarded $7.76 million in punitive damages today, adding to the $3.35 million they awarded in compensatory damages this past Monday, sending a powerful message to Johnson & Johnson.
The punitive damages verdict is not only meant to punish Johnson & Johnson for their reckless disregard for human safety, but also as a crystal clear message to other manufactures to stop similar unjust business practices. In this instance, Johnson & Johnson improperly decided to forego testing their transvaginal mesh product before placing it on the market for sale, choosing instead to compare it to Gynecare Prolift, a similar product already on sale. Further, Johnson & Johnson placed their product for sale prior to FDA approval.
The jury set a commanding precedent for future decisions. Unethical business practices with zero accountability and only profit margins as the goal are no longer tolerable. The safety and well-being of consumers must be first priority.