BROCKTON, Mass. - (Mealey's) A Massachusetts state court jury on Feb. 13 awarded $63 million to a family whose young daughter was severely injured by a reaction to Children's Motrin (Lisa Reckis, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. PLCV2007-00064, Mass. Super., Plymouth Co.).
According to the verdict form, the jury in the Plymouth County Superior Court awarded $50 million to Samantha T. Reckis and $6.5 million each to her parents, Lisa and Richard Reckis, for loss of consortium. The jury found that the defendants Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary McNeil-PPC Inc. negligently failed to provide adequate warnings about Children's Motrin and that that failure to warn caused harm.
The panel also found that Children's Motrin caused Samantha Reckis to develop toxic epidermal necrolysis (TENs), that Children's Motrin was defective as of November 2003 when Samantha's injury occurred and that the product was unreasonably dangerous.
In their 2007 complaint, the Reckises said Samantha, then 7, developed TENs in 2003 after taking Children's Motrin, a liquid oral form of non-prescription ibuprofen made by McNeil-PPC, to treat a fever. As her burn-like injuries increased, Samantha was transferred to two hospitals.
Over the course of at least six months, Samantha was hospitalized, placed in a coma, placed on a ventilator and underwent various procedures and surgeries. The majority of her epidermis was damaged, and she suffered injury to her various mucosal membranes, including her eyes and lungs.
The Reckises say Samantha is legally blind and has only 20 percent of her lung capacity.
The trial began Jan. 9 and continued for 25 days. The jury deliberated over four days.
The plaintiffs' design and manufacturing defect claims were withdrawn in November.
In addition to Johnson & Johnson and McNeil, the Reckises also sued Jordan Hospital in Plymouth, Mass.
The Reckises are represented by Bradley M. Henry, Michael B. Bogdanow and Leo V. Boyle of Meehan, Boyle, Black & Bogdanow in Boston.
The defendants are represented by Robyn S. McGuire, Katy Meszaros, Alexa H. O'Keefe, Augustus F. Wagner Jr. and David L. Ferrera of Nutter, McClennen & Fish in Boston; David R. Schmahmann of Brookline, Mass.; David F. Abernethy of Drinker, Biddle & Reath in Philadelphia; Paul V. Cassisa Chad R. Hutchison and Christy D. Jones of Butler Snow O'Mara Stevens in Oxford, Miss.; Kenneth Conour, Krista Cosner, H. Christian L'Orange, Tracie Militano, John J. Powers, Thomas W. Pulliam Jr. and Vernon Zvoleff of Drinker Biddle in San Francisco; and Carlos M. Lazatin of O'Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles.
Jordan Hospital is represented by Kenneth R. Kohlberg of Cambridge, Mass.
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