Personal Injury Blog

Record Payout for Johnson & Johnson Whistleblowers

By: Allan M. Siegel

Earlier this month, Johnson & Johnson reached a $2.2 billion settlement for charges alleging that the company mis-marketed drugs for unapproved uses and gave kickbacks to doctors and nursing homes. Attorney General Eric Holder stated that Johnson & Johnson, as well as two subsidiary companies, profited at the expense of patients, the insurance industry, and American taxpayers.

According to the Department of Justice, the settlement will also include one of the largest whistleblower awards in American history – a total of $167.7 million. The award will be divided among whistleblowers in three states:

  • $112 million will be paid to whistleblowers in Pennsylvania;
  • $28 million in California; and
  • Nearly $28 million in Massachusetts

whistleblowerBecause whistleblowers are entitled to confidentiality and whistleblower protections, no information was provided about the whistleblowers or the number of whistleblowers involved in the case.

One whistleblower who did choose to go public was a former employee of a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary who played a crucial role in the case by first filing suit against Johnson & Johnson in 2005. He helped government attorneys build their case and prepare depositions and will be receiving the entire $28 million award in California.

Whistleblower Cases in Maryland

An official from the National Whistleblower Center stated that the settlement and whistleblower award was a "great victory for whistleblowers." Those who step forward to expose fraud or injustice are typically entitled to confidentiality, whistleblower protection, and a portion of any settlement or verdict obtained. According to many, however, whistleblowers have historically been shortchanged by the Department of Justice and have often not received the full award for which they were eligible.

If information provided by a whistleblower leads to a recovery of a million dollars or more, whistleblowers may be eligible to recover up to 30% of the amount recovered in a case. Still, the difficult whistleblower claim process and the historically unfair settlements whistleblowers have obtained in the past make it important for whistleblowers to work with experienced attorneys.

If you would like more information about whistleblower cases or qui tam lawsuits and how a Maryland whistleblower lawyer from Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. can be of assistance, please call (888) 885-5638 for a free consultation.