The Reckis sued the company in 2003 after their then-7-year-old daughter reacted badly to Motrin and ended up losing about 90 percent of the skin on her body due to a rare side effect of the drug known as toxic epidermal necrolysis. In addition, Samantha Reckis was blinded, suffered brain damage that resulted in memory loss and had a respiratory problem that left her with just 20 percent lung capacity, according to her lawyer Brad Henry.
In their lawsuit, the Reckis claimed that Johnson & Johnson and the division that makes the medicine, McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals, failed to inform consumers about the rare side effects that might be induced by taking Motrin. The Jury found the Reckis were right.
The family was awarded $63 million to be broken down as follows: $50 million for Samantha and $6.5 million for each of the parents.
The decision has not yet been reviewed by the trial judge, but if upheld, the total verdict against the two companies with interest could ultimately be worth $109 million.
The McNeil unit of Johnson & Johnson Services Inc. disagreed with the verdict but offered their sympathy to the family in a statement.
“The Reckis family has suffered a tragedy, and we sympathize deeply with them. A number of medicines, including ibuprofen, have been associated with allergic reactions and as noted on the label, consumers should stop using medications and immediately contact a healthcare professional if they have an allergic reaction,” they wrote.