The legal battle between Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and two British surgeons, Antoni Nargol and David Langton, took a twist when a federal appeals court affirmed the dismissal of their whistleblower lawsuit. The court supported the previous ruling, stating that the pair had inappropriately used confidential data obtained from a separate yet related case against the company.
This lawsuit, dating back to 2012, was sparked by accusations from Nargol and Langton that DePuy, a subsidiary of J&J, had sold flawed hip implants to the public. At the time these charges were filed, Nargol and Langton were serving as expert witnesses in a mass litigation case focused on DePuy’s metal-on-metal Pinnacle hip implants. This product was withdrawn from the market a year later due to the FDA implementing stricter regulations on artificial hip devices.
The dismissal of the case was mainly due to the belief that the surgeons had unlawfully exploited confidential information they had access to from the previous litigation. The court was convinced that the surgeons’ actions had jeopardized J&J’s trade secrets, which were protected under a court order.
Turning to Wall Street, analysts have a consensus price target of $180.95 on JNJ stock, implying 15.74% upside potential, as indicated by the graphic above.