December 28, 2004.
LOS ANGELES (AFP) - A seven-year-old girl sued US pharmaceutical giant Johnson&Johnson, claiming it failed to warn of a possible allergic reaction to a children's drug that rendered her blind.
Sabrina Brierton Johnson filed suit against the global giant in Los Angeles, accusing it of deceit by concealing the potentially horrific side-effects of the over-the-counter anti-inflammatory Children's Motrin.
The youngster's parents gave her a recommended dose of the drug after she came home complaining of a headache when she was six, but the drug led to an acute allergic reaction known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, the suit claimed.
The girl and her family claim that Johnson&Johnson learned of the disastrous potential side-effects of Children's Motrin during clinical trials, but failed to warn consumers.
"Johnson&Johnson made a reckless, callous decision when it decided not to tell the public that Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is one of the adverse side effects of taking Children's Motrin," said Sabrina's father, Kenneth Johnson.
"Not a day goes by that Joan and I don't say to ourselves, 'If we had only known, if we had only known.' We hope that this lawsuit will put an end to their indifference," he said.
Stevens Johnson Syndrome is a rare but violent allergic immune system response that causes fever and blistering, which may affect the cornea and other parts of the eye.
Sabrina, who lives in Los Angeles, said she took the drug on September 8, 2003 and the next day was rushed to a hospital intensive care unit with a high fever and came down with a severe rash.
Her eyes were so badly affected that they had to be "forcibly opened by an ophthalmologist, causing her unbearable, excruciating pain," the suit claims.
By September 10, two days after taking Children's Motrin to cure her headache, Sabrina was completely blind, the lawsuit alleges.
Johnson&Johnson could not immediately be reached for comment.
Source URL: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1508&ncid=751&e=9&u=/afp/20041228/hl_afp/uspharmahealthcompany.
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