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Los Angeles Dangerous Drug Trial: Man Claims Motrin Caused Him to Develop Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis

December 31, 1969

The Los Angeles products liability trial is underway in the California dangerous drug case filed by Christopher Trejo. The 22-year-old Honduran national, who lives in the US, is suing Johnson & Johnson, McKesson Corp., and McNeil Consumer Healthcare for personal injury. Trejo claims that he developed toxic epidermal necrolysis from taking Motrin.

In his Los Angeles dangerous drug complaint, Trejo says that he took Motrin for a fever in 2005 when he was 15 and that he followed the instructions that came with the medicine. Four days later, bloody bumps appeared in his mouth and his eyes became red. He was hospitalized and diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, which is a life-threatening disease that can damage the different organs and systems of the body. Skin lesions also showed up on his face, abdominal area, genitals, and other parts of his body. This was when his diagnosis was changed to toxic epidermal necrolysis.

After just a few days in the hospital, Trejo's skin started to come off his body, feet, hands, and nails. A surgeon who testified at the trial says that Trejo's wounds can be compared second-degree burns. Trejo's private parts, internal organs, and eyes have all suffered damage from TEN. He also has lost his senses of smell and taste.

Trejo is accusing J & J of failing to warn of the risks of SJS and TEN associated with taking Motrin. He also claims that the drug manufacturer misrepresented the results of the study to the Food and Drug Administration and wasn't entirely truthful about the risk of SJS when it said the drug could be sold without a prescription. The painkiller, when it used to be a prescription-only drug, apparently came with an SJS warning risk.

It was just earlier this year that a California appeals court decided that Trejo could pursue punitive damages from J & J. The appellate court supported a lower court's ruling that felt such damages should be allowed because the drug maker's decision to not to properly warn the public about TENS and SJS could be considered malice.

Drug manufacturers are supposed to warn about side effects and possible risks associated with taking a medication. While some drugs can be old over the counter, others must come with a prescription from a physician. They also should include instructions on how to properly use the drug.

Motrin contains ibuprofin and is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Some signs that a person who has taken Motrin may be experiencing serious side effects include swelling on the face, throat, or tongue, hives, chest pain, breathing problems, vision problems, slurred speech, balance problems, tarry, bloody, or black stools, and vomiting or coughing up unusual-looking blood. If J & J knew that Motrin could cause some people to develop SJS and TENS, the company could likely be found negligent for allowing a dangerous drug to enter the marketplace without adequate warnings about these risks.

Motrin Caused Burn-Like Wounds, Surgeon Says, Santa Monica Patch, August 18, 2011

Man claims Motrin turned his life into a nightmare, Daily Breeze, August 17, 2011

Related Web Resources:


Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

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