We have written on several occasions in previous issues about Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS). A recent case puts in perspective how serious SJS is and how bad the effects are. Samantha Reckis was 7 years old when she took Children’s Motrin. She was hurled onto an unrelenting path of pain and suffering that has left her legally blind and unable to have children of her own. That was in 2003. She is now 19 and continues to face a lifetime of hardship following a horrific bout with the darker side of Stevens Johnson Syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN).
In April the highest court in Massachusetts ruled that a $50 million judgment for pain and suffering awarded to Ms. Reckis will stand following an appeal by McNeil-PPC and Johnson & Johnson. Samantha’s parents each receive $2.5 million for loss of consortium. Stevens Johnson Syndrome is a horrific allergic condition that is often triggered by medication – although many an SJS lawsuit has alleged there were insufficient warnings on product labeling suggesting a risk for Stevens Johnson Syndrome rash and the horrible symptoms such a seemingly innocent rash can morph into, as the Reckis family soon discovered.
Richard Reckis gave his daughter doses of Children’s Motrin for fever and congestion at 2 p.m., and again at 10 p.m. on the day in question, in 2003. The next morning, 7-year-old Samantha awoke with what turned out to be a Stevens Johnson Syndrome rash, although it wasn’t identified as such at the time. She also had a sore throat, and her fever had not improved. A third dose of Motrin was administered. The outcome in this case was certainly deserved. Nobody who reads this account would swap places with Samantha Reckis. She has gone through a very tough ordeal and will have a lifetime of hardships.
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