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Saturday June 6th, 2020 3:15AM

Judge: Johnson & Johnson to pay $344M over pelvic mesh ads

By The Associated Press

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A San Diego judge ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay nearly $344 million in penalties for deceptively marketing pelvic mesh devices for women, according to a copy of the ruling.

Superior Court Judge Eddie Sturgeon ruled Thursday against the medical giant in a lawsuit brought by the California Department of Justice in 2016.

The California Attorney General's Office called the decision the first time a court has ruled that the company engaged in false and deceptive business practices.

Johnson & Johnson, the world's biggest maker of health care products, reported last week a net income of $4.01 billion, or $1.50 per share — an increase from $3.04 billion a year earlier. Higher prescription drug sales and lower legal costs drove J&J's fourth-quarter profit 32% higher.

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