2/13/2013, Family awarded $63 million in Motrin case


The family of a Plymouth-area girl who nearly died and was left legally blind after taking one of the country’s most common household medicines, Children’s Motrin, was awarded $63 million Wednesday by a Massachusetts jury that found health care giant Johnson & Johnson failed to warn patients adequately about the painkiller’s potential side effects…

“Drug companies like Johnson & Johnson can no longer hide behind an approval by the overworked FDA as an excuse not to warn consumers about known, devastating drug reactions” such as those Samantha experienced, the Reckis family said in a brief statement after the verdict. “Parents like us have a right to know.”

Sundel said that much is still unknown about the disease and what triggers such severe reactions in some patients. While specialists believe the syndrome can be caused by viral infections, malignancies, or severe allergic reactions to medication, the leading cause appears to be the use of antibiotics and sulfa drugs, he said…

Other drug makers have also been sued by consumers who said they suffered similar severe reactions to their medications. Johnson & Johnson has battled several lawsuits over Children’s Motrin, and was found liable in at least two other cases. A California court awarded a $48 million judgment in Los Angeles in September 2011 and a Philadelphia court awarded a $10 million judgment in July 2011. But another California court found in 2008 that Johnson & Johnson was not responsible for injuries in another case where an 11-year-old was left blind…

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