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Johnson & Johnson Have Been Sued Again

There is an inherent risk in every surgical procedure. Doctors will warn patients of the dangers before surgery. Generally, these risks are explained to all parties involved. You don’t expect the doctor will perform an illegal medical procedure.

Illegal Medical Procedure

The case of Lois Eskind is a bit different. Eva Sloan alleges that her mother, Lois, was an unfortunate victim of broken medical trust. Eva claims her mother was subjected to an illegal medical procedure. Lois died during a 2003 surgery as a direct result of medical neglect. Eva sued Synthes, a Johnson & Johnson company. She alleged both the company and the surgeon hid the illegality of the procedure. They failed to inform of the risks of a combination of bone cement and barium sulfate used.

medical malpractice victim Lois Eskind
Isaac Eskind holds a photo of him with his wife Lois. Lois died shortly after doctors used an illegal product during her treatment.

Illegal Testing on Human Patients

After receiving an injection of the unapproved bone cement suffered cardiac arrest. She died moments later. Lois became the first of three patients who would die from the use of the unapproved bone cement. Ryoichi Kikuchi and Barbara Marcelino were the second and third to die. These events happened between 2003 and 2004.

Criminal Charges

The United States Department of Justice, Eastern Pennsylvania Division, released a statement. Executives from Norion and Synthes conspired to conduct illegal clinical trials. They had illegally tested two of their products in human patients. The company and its representatives had conducted more than one illegal medical procedure using their product.

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Medical Malpractice Cover-Up

Eva Sloan was disappointed in the verdict against the executives. “One of the most offensive things was the little piddly sentence they got for this,” she said. Sloan also said they “could have gone to 7-Eleven and stolen a six-pack of beer and got more time.”

Medical Cover-Up

Executives approved the cements, which were used to treat vertebral compression fractures. Despite their knowledge that the combination produced blood clots during pilot studies. Upon the death of the third patient, the same executives engaged in a cover-up of its use. Instead of recalling the product, they tried to hide evidence. In court, both companies along with four executives plead guilty. Executives were given prison sentences ranging from five to eight months. The COO, the head of regulatory and clinical affairs, and the president of the spine division all received prison sentences for their roles. 

Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitation

Years later Eva is suing Synthes for wrongful death, negligence and medical fraud. At the time, Johnson & Johnson owned Synthes. In this particular case it was argued that the statute of limitations does not apply. Synthes failed to disclose the illegal use of the bone cement. Discovery was not until much later, when a member of the media made the family aware of the story.

what is a medical error

Story Update

In a follow-up to this story, we have an update on the outcome. Eva and her lawyer were prepared to take their case to court. Johnson & Johnson made an offer of settlement and an agreement was made. 

An out-of-court settlement in this case included a confidentiality agreement for everyone involved. The terms of the settlement are not available to the public. For more details of this disturbing case, read this Washington Examiner article.

Victims of Illegal Medical Procedure

Illegal medical procedures are a form of medical malpractice. If you or a loved one are the victim of an illegal medical procedure, talk to an attorney. You need someone who can help you protect and preserve your rights. We have legal experts who can help you proceed in your best interest.

A medical malpractice attorney at Haggerty Silverman & Justice can help you. Contact us today for a free medical malpractice case evaluation.