In a landmark decision that will likely cost a trusted manufacturer tens of millions of dollars in future legal costs, corporate giant Johnson & Johnson has been found to have deliberately failed to adequately warn consumers of the dangers of using Motrin, an over-the-counter and widely available form of the drug ibuprofen.
The dangerous drug case in question specifically involved a subsidiary of the Johnson & Johnson conglomerate, McNeil Consumer Products. They are the manufacturers of the batch of Motrin that caused blindness and severe burns to a two-year-old Pennsylvania girl who took the drug. The rare side effect led to burns on over 80 percent of the girl's body.
What Happened to the Victim?
The side effect is known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and can affect some people taking Motrin and other forms of ibuprofen. In severe cases, it can result in allergic reactions causing:
- Skin damage and lesions
- Blisters in the mouth
- Lung damage
- Eye infections
- Other eye injuries
The jury's decision in favor of the plaintiff (the now-13-year-old-girl and her family) is based in no small part on the presence of documents dating back to the mid 1990s showing that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the possibility that some children taking Motrin, Tylenol and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) were at risk of developing Stevens-Johnson syndrome. The jury found that by not disclosing the possible side effects of their drugs — especially such severe side effects like those caused by Stevens-Johnson syndrome — the company breached its duty to warn consumers.
While Johnson & Johnson has announced its plans to appeal this multi-million dollar personal injury verdict, it has faced several similar cases in the past, all arising from incidents of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome resulting from normal use of some of its over-the-counter medications.
Regardless of the results of the appeal, this dangerous drugs case will be an encouragement to other families dealing with the same horrific consequences of the company's failure to warn about the risks that children face when taking Motrin. If you or a loved one has been harmed by Motrin, Tylenol or any other dangerous drug, seek the counsel of a skilled personal injury attorney in your area to learn more about your legal rights and options.