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Inadequate Label Warnings Leads to Large Verdict

Recently, the Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld a $10 million dollar verdict against the makers of Children's Motrin for failure to adequately warn consumers of the risks of taking the drug.  The jury did not find that the product was negligently designed, the verdict goes directly to the warnings contained on the product's packaging and labeling namely not listing the symptoms of "skin reddening", "rash",  and "blisters".

Sadly, the child who took the medication suffered vision loss and other severe injuries after she had severe, and rare, reaction to the drug.  The child, who is now 17 years old, suffered from extreme skin blistering (a form of Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis).  She had to undergo multiple surgeries and skin grafts.  Unfortunately, the product's label did not inform the parent giving the child the drug that consumption of the drug could lead to rashes and blistering on the skin.  The child was given multiple doses of the drug when she was 3 years old and suffering from a fever.  After being treated at a hospital for the severe skin blistering it was determined that her skin condition was caused by her consumption of the Children's Mortin.  

During the case, the drug maker argued that it should not be held liable for any inadequacies of its labeling because the label was drafted by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  However, the Superior Court rejected this argument, finding that the manufacturer is ultimately responsible for providing adequate labeling for its product.

Source:  "Court Upholds $10 Mil. Children's Motrin Verdict Against McNeil", by Gina Passarella, The Legal Intelligencer

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