The dangerous drug lawyers at Pintas & Mullins report on two recent injury cases centering on popular over-the-counter children’s painkillers. Both lawsuits were filed against Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of Tylenol and Motrin Children’s products.
The first case concerned the death of an 11-year-old boy who was given liquid Children’s Tylenol in 2011. Hours after taking the drug, the boy was rushed to the hospital with pneumonia, which eventually led to sepsis. The boy died of septic shock just a few days later.
Pneumonia is most commonly caused by bacteria and viruses; once it was confirmed her son had suffered bacterial pneumonia, his mother, Kindra Robertson, researched the potential sources of infection. She soon realized the batch of Children’s Tylenol she gave her son had been recalled for bacterial contamination. She had the bottle tested, and it was found to be positive for bacteria.
Robertson filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson after her son’s death, claiming it knew harmful bacteria was present in batches of its Children’s Tylenol and sold it anyway. Bacterial pneumonia can turn into sepsis if the bacteria can resist the effects of antibiotics. Sepsis is incredibly dangerous in children and the elderly; as it worsens, it impairs blood flow to vital organs, leading to death in vulnerable patients like Robertson’s son.
The case has been subject to a grueling legal battle between Robertson and Johnson & Johnson, which is vigorously denying wrongdoing. The most recent development came on January 26, 2016, when a California jury concluded it could not decide the case for either side, and the judge declared a mistrial. We will continue to report on this tragic case as it proceeds.
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome from Children’s Motrin
Our dangerous drug lawyers previously wrote about a seven-year-old girl from Massachusetts who suffered a severe, devastating reaction to Children’s Motrin. One of the drug’s little-known side effects is Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), a rare but life-threatening skin condition that causes extensive, permanent damage to the body. The most severe cases of SJS are diagnosed as toxic epidermal necrolysis, or TEN.
The little girl in Massachusetts developed TEN after taking Children’s Motrin. She lost 90% of her skin, which sloughs off as if it has been burned, lost 80% of her lung capacity, and is permanently blind. Her parents filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, saying Motrin’s labels did not sufficiently warn customers about the risk of SJS/TEN.
The jury agreed, awarding the family $63 million in 2013. Johnson & Johnson appealed to the Massachusetts Supreme Court, which rejected its argument. The deep-pocketed company then brought their argument to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to review the case.
Because Johnson & Johnson spent three years appealing the jury award, the family is now entitled to interest on the original $63 million. The family will now receive $140 million once interest is included.
Hundreds of over-the-counter and prescription drugs can cause SJS/TEN. If you or someone you love was seriously injured by a contaminated or dangerous drug, contact our firm immediately. Our Stevens-Johnson Syndrome lawyers provide free case reviews to individuals and families nationwide.