The plaintiff, Brianna Maya, was only three-years-old when she was given Children’s Motrin alternated with Children’s Tylenol every three hours to treat a fever. She reportedly developed Stevens Johnson syndrome - a severe allergic reaction to medication - after taking the medications, and was hospitalized. What started out as a rash and redness near her eyes turned into blisters inside and outside her body. Her injuries included open wounds over more than 80 percent of her body, organ damage, blindness in one eye and scarring over her skin.
Since her ordeal, Brianna has had multiple eye surgeries and developed seizures due to Stevens Johnson syndrome.
The family filed a lawsuit against McNeil Consumer Healthcare (owned by Johnson & Johnson) claiming that if they had known the skin rash was a sign of a serious complication of the medication, and a reason to stop using Children’s Motrin, they would have stopped using it right away, potentially preventing Brianna’s life-threatening reaction.
READ MORE STEVENS JOHNSON SYNDROME (SJS) LEGAL NEWS
Johnson & Johnson appealed the award but a Philadelphia judge found that there were no errors of law in the $10 million award and therefore the verdict should not be overturned, The Legal Intelligencer (1/24/13) reports.
Stevens Johnson syndrome, and its more severe form, Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, can occur in reaction to a variety of medications, including medications that have not previously caused a reaction in the patient. They are life-threatening, and patients who survive their ordeal often face permanent injury including scarring, damage to the eyes, damage to internal organs and repeated infections.