A jury today award of $48.1 in Motrin lawsuit has come as a set back for the Motrin manufacturer McNeil Consumer Healthcare. The lawsuit was filed by Trejo in Los Angeles Superior Court in September 2008 against Johnson & Johnson and McNeil Consumer Healthcare. Johnson & Johnson holds the Motrin trademark and McNeil Consumer Healthcare is its subsidiary company.

Motrin is used to treat fever and reduction of pain. It belongs to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) group of drugs. Motrin has ibuprofen as main active ingredient. It is responsible for reducing the level of hormone, responsible for pain and inflammation. Motrin is used to treat pains such as back pain, headache, toothache, pain occurring due to arthritis, cramps occurring with menstruation and pain due to slight injury. It is also used to treat fever, common cold and flu and pains occurring due to them. It has been linked to many severe side effects such as heart failure, skin allergies, swelling and other fatal side effects.

The lawyer has asked for an award of about $102 million. He stated that Johnson & Johnson has a net worth of $64 billion and McNeil about $8.8 billion. Trejo suffered from toxic epidermal necrolysis due to use of painkiller Motrin.

The jury awarded $21.1 million for pain and suffering to Trejo and another $11.4 million for loss of earnings and medical expenses. It also ordered additional $8.79 million in punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson and $6.8 million against McNeil.

Trejo is a resident of Honduran. He took Motrin six years ago, when he was 16 in 2005. He developed a skin reaction, in which his skin got covered with lesions from an allergic reaction, after taking Motrin for less than a week in October 2005. He took the medicine for fever and pain from a minor injury occurred while playing soccer. His skin burnt from the inside out. He got blood-filled blisters in his mouth.

Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis are quite painful and devastating skin conditions. In these skin allergies the skin burns, blisters and may begin to separate from the body. The patient needs to be treated at hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or Burn Unit. It could be fatal sometimes. Trejo had to hospitalized for days and was affected all over of his body. Trejo has developed vision problems and problems with some internal organs since then. The lawsuit alleged that the warnings regarding these skin allergies were not written on the package insert or label of Motrin.

Jury concluded that accused Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturers of Motrin, played a negligent role and failed to warn consumers about the risk of fatal skin reactions associated with the drug. Warnings about Motrin skin reaction side effects are included on the label of the drug in some other countries. But it did does not have warning about the risk of these skin conditions on its label in the United States, at the time of use of Motrin by Trejo.

This verdict has come as a morale booster for other such lawsuits, but is quite a big blow for Johnson and Johnson and its subsidiary McNeil Consumer Healthcare.