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Johnson & Johnson: Guilty In The Court Of Public Opinion

Johnson & Johnson: Guilty In The Court Of Public Opinion

October 31, 2017

Nate Raymond Reuters

Consumers are being mislead by the legal system, media, and corporations regarding the safety & ethics of companies and their products. Innocent until proven guilty is for the court of law not the court of public opinion. We only need to look to a company’s fact-based history over time as a good indicator of the future to determine if we should support a company financially or not.  Our purchases have power.  Something we need to remind ourselves each time we pull out our wallets to pay for something as simple as Johnson & Johnson Band-Aids to Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder.

Joe Mullin ARS Technica

Earlier this month, a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maren Nelson overturned a $417 million Baby Powder verdict in favor of Johnson & Johnson granting the company a new trial.  This does not mean that Johnson & Johnson is innocent of charges, as some media headlines incorrectly indicated. The judge stated “a lack of proper testimony as to specific causation,” but let’s as consumers, who should purchase from the court of public opinion, remember two things:

  1. Johnson & Johnson knew in the 1990’s talc in their Baby Powder had health concerns linked to ovarian cancer and continued to sell it without warning the public.
    1. That’s putting profits before consumers.
  2. Johnson & Johnson then knowingly and willingly decided to increase their marketing to black and Hispanic women
    1. Medical sexism and racism exist and when a company exploits minorities it’s a trigger for The Sociopathic Business Model™ where the company is likely engaged in far greater unethical and or illegal behavior that harms a larger population of people.  That evidence is supported by Johnson & Johnson choosing to withhold critical data from all consumers.

Decoding the #PRSpin

Here are three things consumers should do to protect themselves from unethical companies that often act illegally.

  1. Courts: Read the original documents
    1. Links to these are usually provided in stories from ethical journalists
  2. Media: Challenge the media headlines
    1. Many reporters just cut & paste court headlines or corporate press releases
  3. Corporations: Look at factual history
    1. Ignore the company’s press release or paid mouthpieces


Courts: Even though consumers may not fully understand the court’s findings, this usually gives a less biased overview of what’s going on and allows for the public to make better informed decisions. Jump to the Judge’s Orders near the end of the document for a quick understanding of the outcome.

Sadly, many judges don’t like big verdicts and that’s a problem. Once a jury decides that should be it. Johnson & Johnson also has a pathological history of  demeaning and insulting victims by filing motions to dismiss, appeals or in this particular case, a request for a new trial. Johnson & Johnson has deep pockets and very expensive attorneys who can continue to fight at a level that most victims cannot afford.

What the judge’s decision to grant a new trial will likely do is force both sides to settle for a lot less money and under the secrecy of a non-disclosure agreement.  This case will likely go away quietly.  Victims have the right to settle but that is not the same as a company being found innocent of charges.


Jen Christensen, CNN

Tina Bellon & Nate Raymond Reuters

Yes, the sensational $417 million verdict was overturned but not vacated, as is implied by these headlines.  Meaning Johnson & Johnson was not found innocent of charges must still go to trial again over these same charges. If consumers are just scanning headlines on social media, these headlines look like it’s a no-fault victory for Johnson & Johnson. The media must do a better job of holding pathologically unethical companies that engage in illegal behavior like Johnson & Johnson accountable and, that includes in the headlines.


Johnson & Johnson Media Center-Press Releases


Abusive people, defending abusive companies do not want negative truthful information exposed as it truthfully hurts their corporate image and image is tied to profit.  Test your skills to see if you can find the manipulation of facts while not recognizing the rights of consumers or patients in company press releases. Compare those to court findings and media reports to get a truer more accurate picture without the corporate #PRSpin.

A company’s unethical and illegal behavior will continue to escalate causing harm until they are forced accountable.  If we want to create positive change we must be willing to make purchases based on facts and not court decisions, be willing to truthful expose a company’s negative truthful information on social media in conjunction with legal intervention.


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