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In a verdict handed down on January 11, 2024, a jury in Norfolk Superior Court found that Johnson & Johnson, Inc. (, an insurance brokerage based in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and its Chief Marketing Officer, Peter Burrous, engaged in age discrimination when terminating one of its New England Marketing Representatives, Gail Anderson. J&J has offices around the United States, including offices in Burlington and Quincy, Massachusetts.

Mr. Burrous terminated Ms. Anderson in July 2018 when she was 65, shortly after passing her over for promotion in favor of a 26-year-old colleague. After a four-day trial, the jury rejected J&J’s claim that Ms. Anderson was fired based on performance, finding that she would not have been fired if she had been younger. The jury awarded damages of just over $600,000 for lost pay and emotional distress. With interest and attorneys’ fees, a final judgment could total close to $1 million.

At trial, Ms. Anderson provided evidence that J&J’s claims about her performance were not credible, including evidence that Mr. Burrous offered shifting explanations for his decision and that he relied on allegations that were contradicted by other evidence.

“I’m thrilled that the jury saw through J&J’s allegations about my performance and recognized what I’ve long believed, which is that I was terminated based on my age,” said Ms. Anderson. “This has been a long and exhausting battle, but it was worth it in the end,” she added.

“This result should stand as a warning to employers who treat their employees unfairly and violate the law,” said Steve Churchill, an attorney at Fair Work, P.C., which represented Ms. Anderson. He added, “Ms. Anderson was wrongly kicked to the curb after a long and successful career in the insurance industry, and we’re grateful to the jury for addressing that injustice.” Ms. Anderson was also represented by Attorney Rachel Smit of Fair Work.

The case is Anderson v. Johnson & Johnson, Inc., Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Norfolk Superior Court, Docket No. 2182CV00042.

For more information, contact Steve Churchill.


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