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Phila. Jury Awards $10M Children's Motrin Verdict

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on May 27, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A Children's Motrin verdict of $10 million was awarded to the family of Brianna Maya, 13, in Pennsylvania. At the age of 3, Maya suffered from debilitating Children Motrin's side effects that have left her scarred permanently.

Maya was given Children Motrin's to combat a fever and cough. Soon after, she started to develop blisters in her mouth, which rapidly spread throughout her entire body. She lost 84% of her skin, was blinded, and her reproductive organs were destroyed. Her lung function is now at 50%, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The culprit was Children's Motrin, and a little-known side effect called toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

TEN attacks a person's mucus membranes, essentially burning off the patient's skin in certain cases. As her condition worsened, Maya was transferred to a burn unit, where she had remained for several weeks as her body received several skin grafts from cadavers and pigs, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Maya's family launched a lawsuit against McNeil Consumer Products, a division of Johnson & Johnson. The Children's Motrin verdict means that McNeil and Johnson & Johnson had failed to adequately warn parents about the risks of taking Children's Motrin, said Keith Jensen, the family's attorney, in a press release.

A warning defect is one type of product defect that can put manufacturers on the hook. Manufacturers are supposed to warn consumers about the potentially dangerous elements of their products. If there are no adequate warnings on the product about a foreseeable risk or known danger in using the product, the manufacturer may be liable.

The manufacturer is also supposed to warn consumers about proper ways to use their product to ensure safety. Warnings generally must be clear, and placed somewhere that consumers can easily find.

The Children's Motrin verdict likely means that the manufacturer will now be placing a more conspicuous warning label on the product about the dangers of TEN. For parents giving their children Children's Motrin, side effects or adverse reactions should be closely monitored.

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