[Ip-health] Tangential but since J&J is not playing ball, they be legitimate for negative publicity... Secret Recall of Tylenol

Riaz K Tayob riaz.tayob at gmail.com
Fri Jan 6 00:10:38 PST 2012

[With behaviour like this, it is a wonder Chan and other WHOers still do 
not see the similarities between BigPharma and BigTobacco ... ]

*Secret Recall of Children's Tylenol Sparks Lawsuit *

By Joe Harris, Courthouse News Service

05 January 12

n a scorching complaint that cites internal company memos, parents say 
their child died because Johnson & Johnson issued a "phantom or stealth 
recall" of tainted Children's Tylenol, buying up the drugs from stores 
on the sly without issuing a recall, "so the general public, ignorant of 
the dangers, would continue buying and administering these brand name 
drugs to their children."

Daniel and Katy Moore say their 2-year-old son River died of liver 
failure in July 2010, the day after he took Children's Tylenol.

They sued Johnson & Johnson, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Costco and a 
long list of others in the chain of supply and distribution, and 
third-party contractors who allegedly bought up the over-the-counter 
drugs in the "phantom recall."

"Defendant Johnson & Johnson, a Fortune 50 Company with $60 billion in 
annual sales, knew of defects, impurities and contamination in the 
children's drugs and, yet, embarked on a 'phantom' or 'stealth' recall 
of these drugs to hide these problems so the general public, ignorant of 
the dangers, would continue buying and administering these brand name 
drugs to their children," the complaint states.

Katy Moore says she gave Tylenol to her son River on July 22, 2010. 
Within 30 minutes, River was splitting up blood and he died the next day 
due to liver failure. River's parents claim the Tylenol destroyed his liver.

They claim the defendants ignored deplorable manufacturing conditions 
and had numerous recalls of its products, including its infants and 
children's Tylenol.

River's parents claim Johnson & Johnson and its McNeil subsidiary hired 
contractors to secretly go into stores that stocked the tainted 
products, buy up all the products and not mention the recall to anyone.

"This clandestine phantom/stealth recall was done without notification 
to the customers or the retailers to avoid the public shame, the 
financial impact and regulatory ramifications of a formal recall," the 
complaint states.

It continues: "the purpose of the phantom/stealth recall is evidenced in 
an internal email in which a McNeil executive said, 'We are just trying 
to prevent a recall and a lot of expended dollars.'

"In another email, a McNeil executive described the success of the 
phantom/stealth recall by saying, 'This was a major win for us as it 
limits the press that will be seen.'

"On May 27, 2009, defendant Peter Luther sent an email approving the 
unethical phantom/stealth recall and instructed, 'Let's make this happen 

"Defendant Luther, who defendant Weldon praised as being a loyal J&J 
employee, was not fired for his intimate roll [sic] in the 
phantom/stealth recall."

Weldon is chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, Luther the president of 
its McNeil subsidiary, according to the complaint.

The complaint continues: "At the direction of J&J and McNeil's 
third-party contractors, including [defendants] Inmar Inc., WIS 
International, and CSCS [Carolina Supply Chain Services], visited 
various retail outlets and purchased all of the Motrin IB in the store, 
acting like regular customers.

"J&J and McNeil directed their third-party contractors, including Inmar 
Inc., WIS International, and CSCS, not to discuss their purchases as 
being a recall of the product.

"Indeed, J&J's specific instructions to the contractors hired to perform 
the phantom recall indicated that they were to 'quickly enter each 
store, find ALL of the Motrin product described, make the purchase 
transaction, secure the receipt, and leave ... THERE MUST BE NO MENTION 
OF THIS BEING A RECALL OF THE PRODUCT!' [Ellipsis in complaint.]

"J&J and McNeil subsequently misrepresented to the FDA that their 
third-party contractors were merely performing an audit of retailers to 
determine whether McNeil should initiate a formal recall.

"The FDA eventually became aware of the phantom/stealth recall when it 
received a copy of an internal memo containing the above instructions 
and confronted McNeil regarding those activities.

"On July 9, 2009, as a result of the above, McNeil publicly recalled the 
Motrin IB, at a delay of approximately 8 months.

"This phantom/stealth recall, in part, spurred the House Committee on 
Oversight and Government Reform to conduct a congressional investigation 
and hold two separate congressional hearings in 2010."

But River's parents say it was too little, too late for their son.

"Johnson & Johnson and its highly compensated executive knew of the 
problems with their products, and instead intentionally decided to 
gamble with River Moore's life because they were more concerned with 
company profits and meeting the Wall Street analysts' earnings 
projections, than the health and safety of American children," the 
complaint states.

"As a result, the contaminated Children's Tylenol, which never should 
have been on the market in the first place, caused River Moore's liver 
failure and death."

River's parents seek punitive damages for product liability, 
recklessness, breach of warranty, negligent infliction of emotional 
distress, violation of consumer protection law, civil conspiracy and 
wrongful death. They are represented by Thomas Sweeney with Messa & 

Defendants include Johnson & Johnson, McNeil-PPC Inc., McNeil Consumer 
Healthcare, McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals - a division of 
McNeil PPC Inc., Costco Wholesale Corporation, Inmar Inc., Carolina 
Supply Chain Services, Carolina Logistics Services, WIS International 
and eight Johnson & Johnson officials.


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