A California court has awarded $48.1 million to a man who suffered from Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), a potentially life-threatening skin disorder, which he developed after taking Motrin as a teenager.
Christopher Trejo was 15 years old when he took Motrin to soothe aches and pains after soccer practice. He had a severe reaction that caused his skin to burn and blister from the inside out. The condition progressed from SJS to the more severe toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), which is diagnosed when the skin lesions affect more than 30 percent of the body.
What is SJS?
SJS and TEN are painful and debilitating conditions in which the skin burns and blisters and can fall off of the body. SJS cases can be fatal or can result in severe scarring, blindness, organ damage and other permanent, life-altering complications.
The symptoms of SJS include:
- For the first few days, flu-like symptoms (such as sore throat, cough, fever and burning eyes)
- Red or purple skin rash
- Shedding of skin
- Skin pain
- Swelling of the tongue
- Swelling of the face
Johnson & Johnson Held Accountable
Trejo’s lawsuit accused Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the manufacturers of Motrin, of neglecting to warn buyers that the painkiller could cause potentially fatal skin reactions. According to the complaint, the drug maker misrepresented study results and did not inform federal drug regulators or the medical community about the risk of SJS and TEN from Motrin. The SJS lawsuit was filed in 2008 and has faced a lengthy battle through a number of courts before trial began in August in Los Angeles Superior Court.
An additional plaintiff won a substantial Motrin victory against McNeil Consumer Healthcare this year. A Philadelphia jury awarded $10 million to the family of Brianna Maya, a 12-year-old girl who was left blinded in one eye and suffered burns over 84 percent of her body after taking Children’s Motrin in 2000. In that case, it was also ruled that Johnson & Johnson was negligent in failing to provide warnings about the risk of SJS and TEN from Children’s Motrin on the medication’s label.
This verdict will help to give consumers proper acknowledgement for injuries sustained not only from Motrin and acetaminophen, but also from other dangerous over-the-counter medication. In addition, the Trejo case paves the way for more lawsuits to be filed against Johnson & Johnson and McNeil.
If you or a loved one has recently take an over the counter drug or prescription drug and you have developed Stevens-Johnson Syndrome or Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, you may want to contact our Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Lawyers at Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC to see how we can help protect your legal rights. We help patients and families all over the country and do so with unparalleled experience and results