Supreme Judicial Court Upholds $63M in Massachusetts Drug Injury Verdict Over Children’s Motrin

The state’s highest court has just upheld the $63 million Massachusetts drug defect ruling against Children’s Motrin and Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit. The family of Samantha Reckis was awarded the verdict in Plymouth County in 2013.

They had sued the manufacturer after she became legally blind and sustained toxic epidermal necrolysis from taking the over-the-counter medication. Reckis, now 16, was just 7 when she took the med to combat a fever. J & J had sought to appeal the verdict, saying the award was too high.

The Supreme Judicial Court, however, disagreed with the company. It pointed to the long injuries sustained by Samantha including the loss of 95% of her skin’s top layer, heart failure, liver damage, seizures, stroke, and cranial hemorrhage. Reckis also continues to struggle with other disabilities and will likely continue to endure hospitalizations and other health issues for life, including more pain and suffering.

Meantime, J & J maintains that McNeil Consumer Healthcare acted properly, responsiblym and in the patients’ best interests. Children Motrin is one of the most commonly used medicines for kids.


Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis

Also known as TEN, this condition is typically a serious reaction to a medication and can prove fatal. What might start as a mild symptoms, such as a fever, cough, and aches could fast become a skin condition that, if enflamed enough, could cause layers of skin, as well as hair and nails, to come off. Serious side effects and complications like the ones Samantha experienced may also result.

Samantha is not the only one to suffer serious health issues from Children’s Motrin. Other families have also brought products liability claims, including Brianna Maya, whose family was awarded $10 million. Briana sustained not just TEN but also Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, which can involve the breaking down of the mucus membranes in the mouth, cornea, rectum, urethra, and vagina. TEN is an even more serious form of this condition.

Maya’s allergic reaction occurred after a pediatrician told her parents to give her alternating doses of Children’s Tylenol and Children’s Motrin. Within days she was blind in one eye and in a burn unit where she fought to stay alive.

The jury said that the J & J unit should have properly warned consumers about the risk of a toxic skin reaction from taking the medication. The label that was on the packaging of the Children’s Motrin that Maya was given said nothing about Stevens-Johnson or TEN as possible complications. .

In Massachusetts, contact our Boston personal injury lawyers today. We help children and their families to pursue the compensation that they are owed from all liable parties.

That an over-the-counter medication, which doesn’t require a prescription, could cause such serious health worries is a cause for serious concern. Your first case consultation with one of our Massachusetts injuries to minors attorneys is free. Altman & Altman LLP represents clients throughout the state.

$63 million verdict in Children’s Motrin case upheld, The Boston Globe,  April 17, 2015

Motrin Lawsuit: Jury Awards Girl $10M for Burns and Blindness, ABC News, June 3, 2011


More Blog Posts:

$63M Motrin Injury Verdict Awarded to Family of Girl Who Developed Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis After Taking Children’s Motrin, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, February 12, 2013

Family Sues Walgreens, Abbot Laboratories for Wrongful Death Involving Erroneous Diabetic Test Strips, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, March 9, 2015

Massachusetts Bill Could Expand Workers’ Compensation Benefits to Include Permanent Disfigurement to the Lower Body, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, April 14, 2015


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