Victim of painkiller side-effect wins $109 million damage from Johnson & Johnson

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Boston, MA, United States (4E) – The family of a girl who lost most of her skin, suffered internal organ damage and became blind after taking painkiller Motrin in 2003 won Wednesday a $109 damage suit against the drug’s maker, Johnson & Johnson (J&J).

The Plymouth Superior Court jury’s decision held J&J and its subsidiary, McNeil Laboratories, liable for the life-threatening side-effects that Samantha Reckis suffered after taking the Ibuprofen brand when she was 7 years old.

Reckis was diagnosed with the rare but fatal skin disease called toxic epidermal necrolysis and was hospitalized for six months. She lost 33 pounds and the disease damaged her liver, kidney, intestines and reproductive organ. The condition also led to a stroke linked to her damaged liver and she needed to be operated on the head, according to the family’s attorney, Brad Henry.

Reckis is now blind, with incapacitated lung and prone to infection, said Henry.

In 2007, Reckis’ family sued J&J seeking $63 million in damage, which ballooned to $109 million due to interest.

J&J said it will appeal the decision, insisting that it provided adequate warning in the label of the FDA-approved Motrin.

In 2005, the FDA required J&J to include in the label the warning that Motrin’s side-effects include skin reddening, rash and blisters, the symptoms Reckis had after taking the drug in 2003.

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