Family Awarded $63M After 7-Year-Old Blinded by Children's Fever Drug

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Children's Motrin

A family has been awarded $63 million after winning a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson.

The Massachusetts family suffered a horrifying incident nearly a decade ago when their 7 year old daughter, Samantha Reckis had a life-threatening reaction to Motrin, a drug manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.

The incident caused the young girl to lose 90 percent of her skin after she suffered an extremely rare side effect to the drug known as toxic epidermal necrolysis.

The 7 year old also was blinded by the reaction and suffered permanent brain damage, which has led to her suffering short-term memory loss.

The family's attorney, Brad Henry, reported that the incident also in effect destroyed the little girl's respiratory system, and resulted in her being left with just 20 percent her lung capacity.

It is reported that the 7 year old girl had taken the drug before and did not have any adverse reactions to the drug, however, after Thanksgiving 2003 she had a fever and her parents gave her the medicine to counter the temperature. That incident led to her developing the toxic epidermal necrolysis.

Such was Samantha's condition, that medical staff decided to induce her into a coma as she suffered reactions to her throat, mouth, eyes, intestinal tract, esophagus, and respiratory and reproductive systems.

In January 2007 the Reckis family filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson as well as its subsidiary, McNeil-PCC. They claimed that the drug had blinded their daughter and that the company had not provided sufficient warnings to consumers about the potential for life-threatening reactions on the drug.

The five week trial at Plymouth Superior County Court saw a jury side with the Reckis family; awarding them $50 million in compensation, in addition to $6.5 million for each parent.

The trial judge still has to decide whether to uphold the jury's decision, but if that happens the family will receive the $63 million plus interest for the last decade, and ultimately could receive $109 million, according to the Boston Globe.

Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, McNeil-PCC, has since said that it will consider its legal options following the decision. The company has released a statement saying, "The Reckis family has suffered a tragedy, and we sympathize deeply with them. A number of medicines, including ibuprofen, have been associated with allergic reactions and as noted on the label, consumers should stop using medications and immediately contact a healthcare professional if they have an allergic reaction."

Here is a video ad for Children's Motrin released by its manufacturers: