SAN FRANCISCO–Hagens Berman is investigating claims whether pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson defrauded investors by not disclosing that some of its consumer products including Tylenol may be contaminated.
Reports claim Johnson & Johnson knew of the contamination issue, which is linked to health issues in some consumers, since 2008 but neglected to fully disclose the problem to shareholders and the general public until today after pressure by federal regulators.
Earlier today, Johnson & Johnson recalled several brands of over-the-counter products from store shelves including Tylenol, Motrin, Rolaids and Benadryl.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a Warning Letter to the company for failing to disclose in September 2009 contamination of the products by 2,4,6-tirbromoanisole (TBA), a chemical used as a fungicide, wood preservative and flame retardant. Johnson & Johnson has admitted that the effects of TBA on humans have not been heavily studied. Consumers using the TBA-affected products have reported nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
“We are surprised that a company that has been praised in the past for confronting a crisis with complete honesty and quick action has now chosen to hide the facts from the public and the regulators and hope the problems would disappear,” said Hagens Berman partner Reed K. Kathrein. “We hope to get to the bottom of the story on behalf of the investors we represent.”