Settlement with pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson means a record payout for whistleblowers.The $167.7 million award is one of the largest whistleblower awards in U.S. history. It will be divided among an unspecified number of whistleblowers in three states, according to the Justice Department.
& authorities settles charges that J&J marketed drugs for unapproved uses and gave kickbacks to doctors and nursing homes. Attorney General Eric Holder said Johnson & Johnson and two subsidiaries "lined their pockets at the expense of American taxpayers, patients and the private insurance industry."
The settlement addresses both state and federal charges in criminal and civil courts.
The sum includes $112 million for whistleblowers in Pennsylvania, nearly $28 million in Massachusetts, and $28 million in California.
Joe Strom, a former employee of Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Scios, will receive the entire $28 million awarded in California. He first brought suit against J&J in 2005 and ultimately helped government attorneys prepare for depositions and build their case. Strom worked for Scios for 9 months in 2003 and 2004.
It's because of brave people like this group that BIG COMPANIES are exposed. It's got to be tough to come forward with information that not only could change your employment, but every area of your life. We need more advocates that are brave enough to face the wrongdoing in this world today!