BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Health care company Johnson & Johnson has been told to pay a Massachusetts teenager and her parents $63 million after she suffered a life-threatening drug reaction and lost most of her skin when she took a children’s pain reliever nearly a decade ago.
A Plymouth Superior Court jury Wednesday decided Johnson & Johnson and its McNeil Laboratories subsidiary should pay Samantha Reckis and her parents a total of $109 million, including interest.
Family attorney Brad Henry says Samantha was 7 when she was given Motrin brand ibuprofen. She suffered a rare side effect known as toxic epidermal necrolysis and lost 90 percent of her skin and was blinded.
A spokeswoman for New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson Services Inc. says the girl’s family has suffered a tragedy but the company disagrees with the verdict and is “considering additional legal options.”
The Reckis family issued the following statement Wednesday night:
“The Reckis family is forever grateful that this courageous and wise jury of twelve citizens of Plymouth County saw and declared the truth about what happened to Samantha in 2003: that Children’s Motrin caused Sammy’s life-altering injuries. Drug companies like Johnson & Johnson can no longer hide behind an approval by the overworked FDA as an excuse not to warn consumers about known, devastating drug reactions like SJS and TEN. Parents like us have a right to know. It was an historic day for consumer safety.”
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