Children's drug consumers sue J&J for fraud

Consumers are accusing Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) of fraud and racketeering in a lawsuit stemming from its recent children's drug recall. The buyers of those recalled meds are demanding cash refunds--rather than coupons for replacement products--in five suits seeking class-action status in federal court in Chicago.

The complaints say that the company's coupon offer is "worthless" because J&J's McNeil Consumer Healthcare has stopped making the products (if only temporarily), and parents might not want to use J&J children's drugs when they do come back on the market.

The suits also manage to rope in that "phantom recall" of Motrin tablets. The consumers' suits allege that quietly retrieving the Motrin packets was a "cover up" by a "criminal enterprise," Bloomberg reports, justifying punitive damages for racketeering.

The company is due to file a manufacturing-overhaul plan to FDA this week.

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