PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Children’s Motrin is used by millions of families; many don’t realize it can cause devastating side effects. A Philadelphia jury has decided the maker has to pay one family ten million dollars because it didn’t have adequate warnings about potential dangers.
Brianna Maya was an adorable three year old. Like so many, her parents turned to Children’s Motrin to treat a cough and fever. The Tennessee toddler developed a rare side effect that caused burns over 85 percent of her body, organ damage and partial blindness. Her mother Alicia Maya says, “How in the world could something that is supposed to help do so much damage?”
After 20 surgeries and years of medical intervention, Brianna is 13 now and able to see well enough to text. The skin grafts are barely visible, but she’ll be struggling with medical issues for the rest of her life. “I’d still like for other people to know that Motrin can do this to you and it’s not something they want to go through,” Brianna says.
The family sued Johnson and Johnson and McNeil in Philadelphia court because the drug maker was based here. The family lawyer, Keith Jensen, said, “Johnson and Johnson McNeil not only failed to warn parents like Alicia, Johnson and Johnson McNeil failed to warn Brianna’s doctor and all the doctors in the country.”
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Brianna developed a rash when she first started taking Children’s Motrin. The rash turned into a rare complication, a poisonous skin death that ravaged her body. “The doctors sat by her bedside just like we did not thinking she was going pull through,” her mom said.
Brianna’s family claimed the Motrin label should have warned parents and doctors that the rash was a danger sign. Had they stopped the medication, Brianna wouldn’t have had the reaction. The jury agreed, deciding the drug company owed Brianna $10 million. Brianna says, “It’s good to know that I’m secured in the future.”
A statement from McNeil says in part, the company strongly disagrees with the verdict and is considering other legal options. It also says Children’s Motrin is safe and effective.
Reported by Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3