As a pharmaceutical liability attorney, I’m always interested in news about over-the-counter drugs because so many millions of people take and trust those drugs. However, a June 3 story from ABC News reminded us that those drugs aren’t always worthy of our trust. The article said a Philadelphia jury has awarded $10 million to Brianna Maya of Tennessee, who was blinded and suffered severe burns after she developed Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermic necrolysis syndrome in reaction to the children’s Motrin her pediatrician had recommended. Her parents successfully sued drug maker Johnson & Johnson/McNeil because the company failed to warn parents about the risks.
Maya was three in 2000, when she developed a high fever. Her parents followed the doctor’s instructions to alternate children’s Motrin and children’s Tylenol and followed the package directions. But unlike most children, Maya had a bad reaction that included a skin rash, redness around the eyes, and eventually, burns inside and outside her body and oxygen deprivation. Now 13, she is blinded in one eye, suffers seizures and recurring infections, and will never be able to have ordinary sexual intercourse or children. In December of 2005, the FDA required over-the-counter drugs in Motrin’s category (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofin) to add information about symptoms of an “allergic reaction” without mentioning SJS or TENS by name.
Maya’s mother, Alicia Maya Donaldson, said she’d prefer more information so that patients can make well-informed decisions. I strongly agree with this. As a dangerous drug lawyer, I work frequently with patients who used drugs exactly as directed and still got sick. While it’s not always possible to predict an allergic reaction, warning patients about the risk of one allows them to identify the problem and get help quickly, hopefully minimizing the damage. At least two other people hurt by SJS have filed similar lawsuits; one, in California, is pending. Millions of Americans take ibuprofin and other NSAIDs, so even if a reaction is rare, it’s not at all impossible — and it chances victims’ lives forever.


If you’ve suffered an injury, illness or death in the family because of a correctly used medication, you should call Carey, Danis & Lowe right away. We represent clients throughout the Untied States who suffered serious injuries from a medication that was defective or did not carry the warnings it should have about serious side effects. Thanks to our experience as defective drug attorneys, we know drug companies don’t like disclosing negative information about their products. Some will go so far as to hide the information from the public because of concerns about their sales or stock prices. We believe that patients should have as much information as possible so they can make good choices. When manufacturers suppress that information for profit and someone is hurt, victims have the right to sue for fair compensation for their physical, personal and financial injuries.
Carey, Danis & Lowe offers free, confidential case evaluations, so you can talk to us about your rights and your legal options at no risk or obligation. To set up a consultation or learn more, send us a message online or call 1-877-678-3400 today.