The mother of 11-year-old Sabrina Johnson was clearly agitated when last summer a jury found Johnson & Johnson and McNeil Laboratories not liable for her daughter’s strong adverse reaction to over-the-counter medicine that left her blind. To Sabrina’s mother Joan, who was quoted by ABC 7 Eyewitness News, the ruling sent a painful message: “It means that nobody cares that she has been blinded. It means that nobody cares that she was almost tortured to death. That’s got to matter to somebody. And no, you should not see children, or mothers watching their children die. You’ve got to look into some of these cases.”
The Johnson family claimed that Children’s Motrin caused their daughter’s skin to break out in excruciatingly painful rashes and blisters after giving her three doses of the over-the-counter medication. Her eyes blistered over and she was blinded. Sabrina, who was 6 at the time, was diagnosed with Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), which is an extreme adverse reaction to some drugs, including ibuprofen. The active ingredient in Children’s Motrin is ibuprofen.
The family claims that the drug maker did not provide adequate warning of the possible reaction on its medication label. A jury found that the medication’s labeling, which advises consumers to notify a doctor if the child’s symptoms change, was adequate.
“The FDA is not doing anything for us. They are taking care of the prescription drug people. They’re taking care of their billions of dollars. And the few children that die … Oh well,” Joan said in the news report.
The Johnson family is appealing the case. At least nine other lawsuits have been filed by others who have suffered from SJS after taking the medication.