According to Courthouse News Service (11/4/16), Monk's daughter was treated with PediaCare Multi-Symptom Cold medication that contained acetaminophen in October 2014 and a few weeks later was given a generic children's ibuprofen to treat a fever. Within a day, she had a high fever, sore throat and difficulty urinating, so she was given more ibuprofen and taken to hospital. After being misdiagnosed with a urinary tract infection and told to take more Tylenol and ibuprofen for her fever, Monk's daughter awoke with her skin peeling off her face.
The patient was then diagnosed with Stevens Johnson syndrome. She survived, but was in a burn unit for 43 days while her symptoms spread to 60 percent of her body. She then spent another 37 days in inpatient rehabilitation. The young girl has permanent scarring of her face and a bone condition.
Monk and her husband filed a lawsuit against the Johnson & Johnson, Wal-Mart, and other companies associated with making or selling the drugs she purchased to treat her daughter.
Stevens Johnson syndrome is a rare allergic reaction to medications. It and its more severe form—toxic epidermal necrolysis—can be fatal. Although some patients do survive their ordeal, they often suffer permanent scarring, organ damage, and vision problems. Stevens Johnson syndrome can be difficult for doctors to diagnose because its early symptoms are similar to symptoms associated with a flu or other infection. In such cases, medical professionals may inadvertently prescribe the medication that is triggering the allergic reaction.
According to the Stevens Johnson Syndrome Foundation (sjssupport.org), the symptoms of Stevens Johnson Syndrome include persistent fever; swelling of the eyelids; flu-like symptoms; blisters in the eyes, mouth, ears, nose, and genital area; rashes, blisters, or red marks on the skin; and conjunctivitis. Patients who have two or more of the above symptoms and have recently taken a medication—even a medication that was previously tolerated with no reaction—should seek medical attention immediately.
READ MORE STEVENS JOHNSON SYNDROME (SJS) LEGAL NEWS
A different lawsuit resulted in an award of $10 million to Brianna Maya, who was three years old when she developed Stevens Johnson syndrome after taking Children's Motrin and Children's Tylenol. Her family filed a lawsuit arguing that had the known about the symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, they would have stopped using Children's Motrin immediately upon her first symptoms, rather than continuing to treat her with the medication.
The Monk lawsuit is Monk et al v. Johnson & Johnson et al, case number 1:16-cv-10273.