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Jury Awards $48.2M Verdict in SJS/TEN Case


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

Los Angeles, CA: On October 3, 2011, a Los Angeles jury returned a record-setting verdict against Johnson & Johnson and their fully owned subsidiary McNeil Consumer Healthcare for $48.2 million, with pre-interest and cost of judgement is expected to reach 60 million dollars. The lawsuit alleged that Motrin caused SJS/TENS or Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), also known as Erythema Multiforme, Leyll's Syndrome, and in its later stages, Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN). SJS/TEN is a serious and potentially life-threatening disease that causes large areas of the skin to become detached and lesions to develop in the mucous membranes

The verdict was based on findings of malice towards the consumers of the over-the-counter drug Motrin, specifically for not putting a warning label on the product that could have spared Trejo' and others' health. This is believed to be the first verdict of its kind involving punitive damages associated with this over-the-counter temporary pain reliever.

At age 16, Christopher Trejo, who is now 22 years old, took some Motrin as directed on the label for less than one week, but contracted TEN. It caused a severe inside-out exfoliating reaction affecting all of his mucosal membranes, which is equivalent to second- and third-degree burns over 100% of his body. The TEN reaction also caused severe pulmonary damage, near-blindness, infertility, whole-body scarring and a hypoxic brain injury. Trejo' abilities to see, hear, smell, taste and touch have been severely diminished.

After hearing the evidence, the jury found that the labeling on Motrin was inadequate and should have been changed years earlier to properly educate and alert consumers to the developing signs of severe reactions, which include skin reddening, rash and blisters. Early detection and treatment of these symptoms can prevent TEN or SJS.

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Published on Oct-28-11

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