Man Wins $48 Million in Product Liability Suit against Makers of Motrin; Label Failed to Warn of Possible Side Effects

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A California jury this week awarded $48.1 million to a man who claimed he acquired a rare, severe skin disorder by taking Motrin.

The negligence and product liability case brought by Christopher Trejo, 22, maintained that the pain reliever did not have adequate warnings regarding potential side effects.

Trejo filed his suit in Los Angeles Superior Court in 2008 against Johnson & Johnson and McNeil Consumer Healthcare.

Trejo maintained that taking Motrin for less than a week in October 2005 while living in his native Honduras caused his condition, in which the skin is covered with lesions from an allergic reaction, usually from medications.

Trejo, who now has legal residency in the U.S., testified he was 16 when he took the Motrin to help relieve pain he suffered from playing soccer and also to alleviate a fever.

Trejo said he obtained the Motrin from that same bottle and found relief as his aches from playing soccer and his fever eased over a period of about four days.

"That's why I decided to keep taking the Motrin because it indeed was helping me," he testified.

He said he took the following Monday off from school. The next day, matters changed for the worse, he testified.

"I woke up Tuesday morning exhausted, my legs were tired, I was (feverish)," he said. "This was the first time I could feel something in my mouth."

Trejo said the objects in his mouth were blood-filled blisters and that one of them broke, the Contra County Times reported.

In 2006, a year after Trejo took Motrin, the bottle labels added side effect warnings about skin reddening, rashes and blisters as part of new U.S. Food and Drug Administration-ordered advisories regarding ibuprofen usage.

Trejo said the new labels would have affected his decision to use Motrin had they been in place in 2005.


Attorneys at Ross Feller Casey have built an impressive track record of victories in Product Liability cases, winning seven- and eight-figure verdicts and settlements, including:

- $30 million recovery for a 10-year-old girl paralyzed by a defectively designed lap belt (read about this case)

- $19.2 million recovery for a child born with a club foot (read about this case).

- $10 million recovery for the family of a child killed by a collapsing cafeteria table (read about this case).

- $10 million recovery for a workplace death caused by a defective product (read about this case).

- $8 million recovery for a factory worker injured in a workplace accident.

- $8 million recovery for an ironworker injured in a workplace accident.

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