A Massachusetts family has recently been awarded $63 million against Johnson & Johnson after a young girl suffered severe side effects from taking Children’s Motrin. The family of Samantha Reckis will ultimately receive $109 million with interest as the injury occurred a decade ago.
At the time of the incident in 2003, Reckis was 7 years old. After she took Children’s Motrin to relieve a fever, she suffered a side effect known as toxic epidermal necrolysis and lost 90% of her skin. Reckis suffered brain damage as well which thankfully only resulted in short-term memory loss, as surgeons drilled a hole in her skull to release pressure and avoid further damage. The disease also seared Samantha’s respiratory system, and she now has just 20 percent lung capacity. She has also become legally blind.
The lawsuit was brought in 2007 claiming that Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers of the potential dangers of using the drug. In a products liability case such as this, a drug manufacturer is required to warn consumers of the dangers of using a drug and ways to avoid those dangers. Although Johnson & Johnson claimed that they provided enough warning on their labels, the court determined otherwise following a five week trial.
This case is similar to a Pennsylvania case where a girl suffered similar side effects after taking Children’s Motrin and was awarded $10 million. Johnson & Johnson has stated that it plans to appeal the case and further delay paying Reckis for her injuries.