A teenager who lost most of her skin and her vision in a horrifying adverse reaction to Children’s Motrin has on Wednesday won $109million from the drug’s manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson.
Samantha Reckis, who was only seven years old when she took the children’s ibuprofen to combat a fever, suffered a rare but potentially fatal side effect that caused her to go blind and 90 percent of her skin to fall off.
In total, the Plymouth, Massachusetts Superior Court jury ruled that Ms Reckis and her parents should be awarded at total of $109million by Johnson & Johnson and its subsidy McNeil-PPC Inc, including interest.
Settlement: Samantha Reckis, pictured before her horrific health scare, lost 90 percent of her skin, as well as her vision; a jury today awarded her $50million
The jury found that Ms Reckis developed Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis after taking the Children’s Motrin when she was seven.
Windfall: The jury awarded Richard Reckis, Samantha's father, $6.5million, and another $6.5million to her mother
The condition, while rare, is a severe allergic reaction to medications such as barbiturates, penicillins, and sulphonamides, and causes the top layer of skin – the epidermis- to detach from the lower layers.
As many as 40 percent of people diagnosed with the illness die of complications from infection.
According to news reports at the time, Ms Reckis had to undergo 19 surgeries at the time of the 2003 accident.
Family attorney Bradley Henry told the Boston Globe that Ms Reckis’ condition was excruciating.
‘It’s like having your skin burned off of you,’ he told the paper. ‘Imagine your worst sunburn times 1,000. It’s an absolutely devastating condition.’
He also said that the bottle of Children’s Motrin only had a small technical warning on the bottle that didn’t warn consumers of potential adverse side-effects.
Safe: Ms Reckis took Children's Motrin when she was seven; manufacturer Johnson & Johnson said that she suffered a tragedy but disagrees with the jury's verdict and is 'considering additional legal options'
A spokeswoman for New Brunswick, New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson Services Inc. told the Associated Press that the girl's family has suffered a tragedy but the company disagrees with the verdict and is 'considering additional legal options.'
'AN ABSOLUTELY DEVASTATING CONDITION': SPECIFICS OF TOXIC EPIDERMAL NECROLYSIS
The company said in a statement: ‘Children’s Motrin (ibuprofen), when used as directed, is a safe and effective treatment option for minor aches and pains and fever and we believe the medicine is labelled appropriately.’
Elisabeth Gravel, who was married to Ms Reckis’ father, Richard, from the late 1970s until the mid-80s told MailOnline that the massive settlement announcement came as quite a shock for her.
She had one daughter, Meaghan, with him; the girls are half-sisters.
‘I’m finding this to be a difficult situation,’ she said, speaking to MailOnline from her home in Plymouth. ‘My daughter was very involved with Samantha.’
Ms Gravel, 59, said that she worries about how Mr Reckis, who is listed on his Facebook profile as self-employed, will handle the landfall sum.
Samantha Reckis was awarded $50million, while both parents were awarded $6.5million by the jury, the Globe reported. But the trial judge still must review the sums. If the judge rules in their favor, the family could get up to $109million, including interest.
‘I’m not so sure that Richard is going to allocate his portion of the funds for her,’ Ms Gravel told MailOnline.
Politics aside, Ms Gravel said that Ms Reckis’ brush with death has deeply impacted the family. ‘She was a nice child, she was cute. When this occurred, it was devastating,’ she said.
‘We saw (Samantha) being brought into the hospital wrapped in plastic because all of her body was burned. This has impacted the whole family for more than a decade.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2278431/Samantha-Reckis-Teenager-wins-109MILLION-lawsuit-severe-allergic-reaction-Childrens-Motrin.html#ixzz2KtUATogL
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