Childrens Motrin Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Lawsuit Headed to Jury

A Philadelphia jury is considering whether Johnson & Johnson should have taken stronger steps to warn parents and doctors that Children’s Motrin and Children’s Tylenol could cause Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), a rare and potentially lethal skin reaction that permanently disfigured a young girl. 

The Children’s Motrin SJS lawsuit was filed by the family of Brianna Maya, who developed the severe skin reaction in 2000. Now 13 years old, Maya has been left blind in one eye and suffered burns over 84 percent of her body.

Closing arguments in the trial took place in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas this week, and the jury is expected to begin deliberations today.

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Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, which is commonly referred to as SJS, is a painful and debilitating reaction that has been linked to the side effects of several medications. It can cause the skin to burn, producing blisters, severe rashes and the skin may begin to separate from the body. When the skin lesions affect more than 30% of the body, the condition is typically referred to as toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). Treatment in a hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or Burn Unit is often required, and the conditions can be fatal in many cases.

Attorneys for Johnson & Johnson, which has faced a number of Stevens-Johnson syndrome lawsuits over Children’s Motrin (ibuprofin) in the past several years, have argued that Maya’s family failed to prove that the drug was the cause of her skin reaction. The company’s lawyers also argued that it had complied with all FDA regulations for labeling when first bringing the drug to the market 20 years ago.

In February, a California appeals court allowed a similar Motrin Stevens-Johnson Syndrome lawsuit to move forward with a claim for punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson, after plaintiffs alleged that the drug maker’s failure to provide adequate warnings on their ibuprofen product constituted malice. That complaint claimed that Johnson & Johnson misrepresented study results to the FDA and did not tell the agency the entire truth about the risk of SJS from Motrin when it asked to be able to sell the drug over-the-counter.


  • PatriciaSeptember 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Boy this is really scary. I have grandkids that take motrin. I will definitely get the word out!

  • NedMay 21, 2011 at 3:51 am

    The jury awarded the plaintiff a 10 million dollar award today, Friday, May 20, 2011 -- compensatory and punitive damages against J & J., See Bloomberg for details,

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