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SJS Victim Awarded $21 Million in Product Liability Lawsuit

This is a settlement for the SJS, Stevens Johnson Syndrome lawsuit.

Concord, NH: Stevens-Johnson Syndrome victim 51-year old Karen Bartlett, who lost her sight and is now legally blind as a result of taking the non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) Sulindac (Clinoril) has been awarded a $21 million settlement by a federal jury.

Bartlett was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis (SJS/TEN), potentially fatal skin diseases that inflame the mucus membranes and eyes and are marked by a skin rash that burns off the outer layer of skin. She sued Philadelphia-based maker of the drug, Mutual Pharmaceutical Co, and after three days deliberation the jury found the company liable for her injuries, stating that they should have known the drug was unreasonably dangerous to consumers.

Attorneys representing Bartlett said it is the largest award in a New Hampshire product liability case. Bartlett told the Associated Press that 'her goal in filing the lawsuit was to educate others about the dangers of prescription drugs. "That was my biggest thing — getting the word out," Bartlett said. "Before this happened to me, I never knew something like this could happen just from taking medication." '

Barlett spent 112 days in five hospitals, including the Massachusetts General Hospital Burn Unit. The disease also seared her throat, stomach and lungs, causing permanent disabilities,' AP reported. Keith Jensen, Bartlett's lawyer, said the drug literally burned her alive, burning 65 percent of the skin off her body.

Bartlett sought $4.5 million for past and future medical bills and lost earning capacity. Jensen asked jurors to award her an additional $20 million to $30 million to compensate for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

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Published on Sep-9-10


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