Oregon Sues Johnson & Johnson Over “Phantom Recall”

The State of Oregon has filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson over the company’s efforts to buy back defective products from Oregon store shelves.  Known as a “phantom recall,” Johnson & Johnson allegedly hired private contractors to purchase large quantities of Motrin in 2009 after it discovered the medicine failed to dissolve properly.  Oregon Attorney General John Kroger says the problem with the Motrin warranted an immediate recall and that the move by Johnson & Johnson was motivated by the company wanting to avoid negative publicity.   The defective Motrin was eventually recalled in 2010, a year that saw Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit recall more than 200 million product units, including such brands as Tylenol and Rolaids.  If the company is found liable, it faces potential fines of up to $25,000 per defective unit sold in Oregon.