Mass. Teenager Samantha Reckis Awarded $63 Million in Motrin Lawsuit

| by

A Massachusetts family was awarded $63 million on Wednesday after their daughter nearly lost her life due to a severe reaction to Children’s Motrin.

Nine years ago, Samantha Reckis’ parents gave her a dose of Motrin to reduce her fever. What the drug did instead was cause a severe side effect called toxic epidermal necrolysis. Samantha, who was only 7 years old at the time, lost 90 percent of her skin, was blinded, and suffered from brain damage due to the necrolysis.

The family filed the lawsuit in 2007, claiming that Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary McNeil-PPC Inc. failed to warn consumers about its life-threatening potential reactions. The trial began five weeks ago and ended Wednesday when the Plymouth Superior Court jury awarded Samantha $50 million in damages and her parents $6.5 million each.

The family’s lawyer, Brad Henry, also said the drug destroyed Samantha’s lungs, and left her with only 20 percent lung capacity.

The company, however, issued a statement that sympathized with the family but said the drug was labeled correctly.

“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,” the statement read.

The popular pain and fever reducer drug Motrin has been linked to another allergic reaction lawsuit from 2011, in which a Pennsylvania girl lost 84 percent of her skin, went blind, and suffered from brain damage as well.

If the decision is upheld, Samantha, now 16 years old, and her family will be awarded a total of $106 million including interest.