FORMER EXEC FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST J&J UNIT FOR UNFAIR FIRING
A former Johnson & Johnson (J&J) executive is reportedly suing the firm, alleging he was fired from J&J's Ethicon unit in May for raising safety concerns about products such as the Ortho Evra contraceptive patch and an arterial cannula, a kind of tubing used in heart bypass surgery.
Joel Lippman worked at Ethicon for almost six years as a vice president of medical affairs and reportedly oversaw clinical trials at J&J unit Ortho-McNeil for 10 years before moving into his position at Ethicon.
Lippman's complaint was filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey Middlesex County Nov. 13. It seeks lost past and future salary and lost bonuses, pension contributions and other benefits, according to reports.
Lippman's lawsuit is reportedly based on two claims:
Retaliation under New Jersey's Conscientious Employee Protection Act, which prohibits companies from retaliating against workers who act as whistleblowers; and
Age discrimination, because Lippman said his job was eliminated and replaced with a similar position filled by a younger person.
Ethicon said Dec. 18 that Lippman was dismissed due to "inappropriate conduct and mismanagement of responsibilities unrelated to the allegations he raises in the lawsuit." The company "will vigorously defend against the claims because the allegations are not true."