The Reckis family was awarded $63M Wednesday via a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and McNeil-PPC Inc. The total award with everything factored in will be $109 million, according to the Clarion Ledger on Feb. 13. The lawsuit was in response to the damage caused to Samantha Reckis, who suffered toxic epidermal necrolysis at the age of 7 after taking Motrin-brand ibuprofen.
The lawsuit was initiated in January 2007 and the family believes that Johnson & Johnson inadequately warned consumers about the possible reactions to the drug. In 2003 Samantha suffered a rare side effect from taking the drug which caused blindness and she lost 90 percent of her skin. Reckis had taken Motrin without ill effects previously. Her parents gave her the medication to reduce a fever, and the skin disease took over to the point doctors had to put her in a coma for a while. The McNeil unit of Johnson & Johnson disagrees with the fact the family was awarded $63M and they are said to be considering their legal options.
Samantha Reckis is now 16-years-old and is an honor student. Her ordeal was clearly a frightening one for her and her parents, and the jury obviously agreed by looking at the verdict and award the gave the family. The defendants say that while they sympathize with the family, they believe the Children's Motrin is “labeled appropriately.” This isn't the first time a family has been awarded money based on Motrin side effects, as a Pennsylvania girl was awarded $10 million in a similar case in 2011. Whether the family awarded $63M will see all of that money remains to be seen, but they certainly must feel vindicated at this point.