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Date: 10-12-2011

Case Style: Christopher Trejo v. Johnson & Johnson and McNeil Consumer Healthcare

Case Number: YC058023

Judge: Robert H. O'Brien

Court: Los Angeles County, California

Plaintiff's Attorney: Brian Witzer, Rowena J. Dizon, and James C. Barber

Defendant's Attorney: Michael B. Hewes, Thomas W. Pulliam, Kari L. Sutherland, and Carroll Kelly

Description: Christopher Trejo sued Johnson & Johnson and McNeil Consumer Healthcare on a products liability theory claiming that he was harmed by the Motrin manufactured by McNeil and consumed by him. He claimed that the Motrin sold by Defendants was defective and unreasonably dangerous and that Defendants failed to warn that the product could cause him serious harm caused by Steven-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and Toxic Epideraml Necrolysis (TEN) which a significant number of people developed after taking the drug. He claimed, that as a direct result, he was not warned of the developming signs of severe reactions, which include skin reddening, rash and blisters and that she did not detect that he was developing the symptoms and did not get the treatment that he needed to protect himself.

At age 16, Christopher Trejo, after taking Motrin as directed on the label for less than one week, developed a drug-induced reaction called Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN). It caused severe inside-out exfoliating damage affecting all of his mucosal membranes, which is equivalent to second- and third-degree burns over 100% of his body. The TEN reaction also caused severe pulmonary damage, near-blindness, infertility, whole-body scarring and hypoxic brain injury. Trejo's abilities to see, hear, smell, taste and touch have been severely diminished.

The treating burn surgeon at Shriner's Burn Center who saved Trejo's life that, in his opinion, TEN was 100% attributable to the active ingredient in Motrin (ibuprofen), which has been known for many years to cause serious skin reactions, including Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN). Experts addressed each of Trejo's injuries as well as the causal link between TEN and his injuries.

Outcome: Plaintiff's verdict for $48.2. The verdict included $9,476,220 for Trejo's past and future medical expenses and $1,925,000 for his future loss of earnings. Additionally, the jury awarded $21,166,660 for Trejo's pain and suffering, which includes a shortened life expectancy.

The punitive damages against both Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary McNeil totaled an additional $15,625,000. The total verdict was just under $48.2 million, which will be close to $60 million due to pre-judgment interest and costs to which the Plaintiff is entitled.

Plaintiff claimed that The incidence of hospitalizations due to SJS and TEN in the U.S. is estimated to be 16 per million per year," Witzer continued. "With an estimated 100 million users of OTC ibuprofen products in this country, these risks represent a significant public health issue that was ignored by J&J and McNeil for nearly 20 years. These drug companies should be held responsible for their Motrin products that caused horrific injuries to my client, and for the danger to which they have exposed millions of American consumers.

Plaintiff's Experts: Dina Carias Escoto, M.D.; Anthony Temple, M.D.; Douglas Hough, M.D.; Steven Silber, M.D.; Kenneth Kwong, M.D. (This listing may not be correct or complete because it is difficult to tell from the court docket whether these doctors testified for the Plaintiff or defendant.)

Defendant's Experts: Stephen Marcy, M.D.; David Cornfield, M.D.

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