When you purchase an over-the-counter medication, you should read the dosage, warnings, and other information very carefully. That information is printed on the bottle and/or box to protect the consumer. However, what happens when you use the OTC as directed and something still goes wrong? For one Massachusetts family, it went horribly wrong.

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Affirms $63 Million Dollar Judgment

The case of Reckis vs. Johnson & Johnson involved a 7-year old girl and an OTC ibuprofen. The child was complaining of a stuffy nose and appeared to have a slight fever. The child’s father purchased a bottle of Children’s Motrin manufactured by a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. After reading the warning labels and dosage instructions, he administered two doses to his daughter that day.

The next morning, the little girl was still congested and had a fever but she had also developed a crust in her eyes and nose and patches of redness on her skin. The label on the bottle of Children’s Motrin did not indicate this was cause for concern; however, it would be later be determined that the child was in the early stage of toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). TEN is a life-threatening skin condition that only occurs in about six out of every one million people who take ibuprofen.

Manufacturer Was Aware Of The Possible Side Effects

Companies like Johnson & Johnson who manufacture ibuprofen or use it in their medications, knew of the potential danger yet they did not include a warning on the product label. Unfortunately, the condition worsens the longer it goes unnoticed and as the person takes more doses of the medication. The child continued to receive more doses as she was treated by her pediatrician and then later in the hospital.

Over the course of several months, the child suffered:

  • Heart and liver failure;
  • An aneurysm,
  • She lost weight down to 35 pounds;
  • She was placed in a medically induced coma for a month;
  • She was covered in blisters and lost an entire layer of skin;
  • She bled from her lips, mouth, and eyes;
  • Her eyes were sealed shut;
  • She suffered a cranial hemorrhage and seizures that required brain surgery; and,
  • Her lung capacity fell to 20 percent.

In all, the little girl was in the hospital for six months, became addicted to pain medication, had to eat through a feeding tube for two years, and repeat the first grade. She had to be carried from class to class that year while also dealing with withdrawal symptoms from being weaned off pain medication. At the beginning of this ordeal, her parents were told by the hospital that she only had a small chance of survival.

The girl continued to suffer complications including never being able to have children. Her parents had to give up their jobs to care for their daughter. The entire family suffered an enormous amount of stress and mental anguish. The jury awarded the family $63 million. Johnson & Johnson appealed but the verdict was upheld on appeal.

Were You Harmed By Harmful Side Effects Of A Drug? You Need To Talk To An Attorney

If you or your child has been injured due to the harmful side effects of a defective drug or product, contact The Olinde Firm for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys will not stop fighting on your behalf until you receive the maximum recovery possible by law. You must act quickly, your time to file a defective drug lawsuit is limited.