San Francisco-Oakland Injury Attorney Comments on Severe Reactions to Over the Counter Drugs

Last month, according to, a Philadelphia jury awarded $10 million to the family of a teenage girl who developed Stevens – Johnson syndrome after she took Children’s Motrin. According to the Mayo Clinic, Stevens Johnson Syndrome is a sever sensitivity reaction that can be caused by many drugs. Stevens-Johnson syndrome attacks the skin and mucous membranes. It can cause the top layer of the skin to separate from the lower layer of the skin in affected areas. The condition can even spread to internal organs, and it can cause scarring and even blindness. Sometimes the disorder can affect more than 30% of the body, when that happens the condition is usually referred to as toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), which typically requires treatment in hospital burn units. According to the Maya family lawsuit, Brianna was left blind in one eye and suffered burns over 84% of her body after taking Children’s Motrin in 2000 for a cold and fever. Her family argued that a warning for Steven Johnson Syndrome was not included on the medication’s labeling that year.

The jury in the case found that Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit “was negligent for not providing a proper warning about Children’s Motrin’s risks and that failure was a factual cause of the girl’s injuries.” However, the jury did not agree with plaintiff’s claims that Motrin was defective, or that McNeil officials’ conduct warranted an award of punitive damages. Johnson & Johnson and McNeil added warning about “severe allergic reactions” which could present with “rashes and blisters” to over-the-counter ibuprofen products, but no specific mention of Stevens Johnson syndrome is made. Patent advocates say that the current drug allergy alert on labels of many over-the-counter ibuprofen medications don’t adequately warn users about the risk of Stevens Johnson Syndrome. Parents in cases involving these types of claims argue that manufacturers of over-the-counter ibuprofen products, especially those for children, should have adequate warning labels placed on their products, informing users to discontinue the drug if symptoms show.

If you have suffered injury or a loved one has died or been injured as the result of a defective drug, you may be able to recover damages. To find out if you have a claim, you should have our case evaluated by a qualified our experienced product liability attorney. Our firm can tell you if you have a case and how to go about filing a lawsuit. Pharmaceutical lawsuits are too complex for a consumer to handle alone, however, as pharmaceutical companies have enormous resources and an arsenal of high-power defense attorneys. Also, it is important to note that California has laws that set a time limit for filing different types of lawsuits, so we recommend you have your case evaluated as quickly as possible. We recommend you seek the aid of an attorney with experience in this type of litigation. Whether we settle out of court or have to go to trial, we will fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve.

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