With 63 active lawsuits filed against it, Johnson & Johnson, one of New Jersey’s largest employers, is the state’s most targeted company for litigation, according to a study released by online legal news organization Law360.

Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, and Sanofi-Aventis – all New Jersey-based pharmaceutical companies included in the nation’s “Medicine Chest” – were included in the top 10. 

“New Jersey’s premier industry has become the premier target for trial lawyers,” said Marcus Rayner, executive director of the New Jersey Lawsuit Reform Alliance (NJLRA). 

“New Jersey worked hard to establish itself as the nation’s ‘Medicine Chest,’ and our medicine chest is now ailing from abusive litigation.  The report underscores our need for reform to New Jersey’s civil justice laws before the cost of inaction becomes too great for us to bear and we become known as the nation’s “personal injury state” instead. 

Litigation tourism was prevalent as well: one company which is headquartered in Indiana but holds a manufacturing plant in Parsippany was included in the top 10.

“Ninety-three percent of the mass tort litigation against New Jersey’s pharmaceutical companies come from out-of-state plaintiffs,” said Rayner. 

“Ultimately, it hurts New Jersey’s industry and workforce when trial lawyers make a living off of our state’s pharmaceutical innovation.”

The list was based on the number of lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey and was not limited to New Jersey-based businesses. 

The complete list can be found on Law360’s website, http://www.law360.com/.