Firm News

$63M Judgment Upheld by SJC

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The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial court upheld the $63 million judgment against Johnson & Johnson and McNeil Consumer Healthcare awarded to a family whose daughter developed a life-threatening disease after taking the over-the-counter medicine.

In 2013, a Plymouth jury found that the McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit of Johnson & Johnson failed to provide sufficient warnings about potential side effects of Children’s Motrin. The defendants appealed saying the family failed to prove the continued use of the medicine caused the disease, the case was preempted by federal law and damages were excessive. Attorney Michael Bogdanow argued the appeal before the SJC last December and on Friday, April 17, 2015, the Supreme Court upheld the judgment for the plaintiff and rejected the defendants’ arguments.

Samantha Reckis, now 18 and in high school, was seven years old when she became suddenly ill around Thanksgiving 2003 after her parents gave her Children’s Motrin to treat a mild fever. As her condition rapidly worsened, doctors diagnosed her with Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, an uncommon condition that causes flesh to blister and burn from the inside out. She was intubated and placed in a medically induced coma for several weeks. She lost nearly all of her skin and was left with severely diminished lung capacity, blinded,  and very frail.

Today, Samantha Reckis remains frail, legally blind, and continues to have breathing problems. She maintains a positive attitude despite these significant health problems and just wants to keep going forward with her life and make the best of it.

You can read the full opinion here.