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Corporate Action Network and Injured Women Call on Illinois Attorney General to Investigate Johnson & Johnson
[June 12, 2014]

Corporate Action Network and Injured Women Call on Illinois Attorney General to Investigate Johnson & Johnson

CHICAGO --(Business Wire)--

Corporate Action Network and Illinois women who have been seriously injured by pelvic mesh implants asked Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to investigate Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) for its dangerous pelvic mesh implants, citing their personal health problems and costs incurred by Illinois taxpayers.

"We ask that Attorney General Madigan investigate Johnson & Johnson and its CEO Alex Gorsky for selling dangerous products to women throughout Illinois. The damage this product has caused already has cost taxpayers too much money through Medicaid and other state public health systems," stated Jane Akre, who has been organizing survivors of pelvic mesh implants for more than five years.

"Across Illinois, women are being hurt by Johnson & Johnson's dangerous products, and the company's top executive, CEO Alex Gorsky, needs to be held accountable for the women he has hurt," added Akre. "Pelvic mesh implants are perhaps the most dangerous product to women's health on the market today. Gorsky should immediately pull pelvic mesh off the market, and his delay in doing so is a slap in the face to women across Illinois."

More than 70,000 separate lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of pelvic mesh implants. Local survivors in Illinois signed onto today's request for an investigation.

"It is confounding that this product remains on the market despite empirical evidence that it is dangerous and carries such a high risk of omplications," stated mesh survivor Paige LeFevre Mitts of Illinois. "As one of the early mesh victims, I thought my severe complications were an anomaly when my mesh was implanted in 2005 and explanted seven months later. Instead, I learned that my complications were not rare, and nine years later women are continuing to suffer from this at an inexcusably high incidence rate."

The women cite in the letter that Johnson and Johnson and its CEO Alex Gorsky may be in violation of 815 ILCS 510 the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act for Illinois for deceptive business practices concerning both his corporation's knowledge of the inherent danger of the mesh implants as well as the document destruction.

Indicating that Johnson & Johnson knew how harmful pelvic mesh implants were, the company destroyed thousands of documents regarding the safety and efficacy of the implants. Although top company executives initially denied it, a magistrate judge found that Ethicon, a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson that manufactured the implants, destroyed documents pertaining to their effectiveness and safety as far back as 2007. Alex Gorsky, the current Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, was named head of Ethicon in 2008, before most of the documents were destroyed, and has continued to oversee it in his climb through the company's ranks.

See the letter to Attorney General Madigan here:

Corporate Action Network was founded to address the imbalance of power between corporations and people. Using the new tools of the Action Network and a networked approach, Corporate Action Network is building campaigns to end corporate abuse that are more effective and powerful than have ever been possible. Connected through the network, campaigns can then grow into a movement-and for the first time truly be able to address the imbalance of power between corporate actors and the rest of us.

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