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  • Samantha Reckis  was given Children’s Motrin to treat fever when she was seven years  old
  • However, quickly  developed Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, which caused 90 percent of her skin to  fall off; she also lost her vision
  • Jury  awarded her and her parents $63million; if trial judge approves ruling, they  could get $109million, which includes interest

By  Beth Stebner

PUBLISHED: 20:39 EST, 13  February 2013 |  UPDATED: 22:49 EST, 13 February 2013

A teenager who lost most of her skin in a  horrifying adverse reaction to Children’s Motrin has won $63million from the  drug’s manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson.

Samantha Reckis, who was only seven years old  when she took the children’s pain reliever to combat a fever, suffered a rare  but potentially fatal side effect that caused her to go blind and lose 90  percent of her skin.

In total, the Plymouth, Massachusetts  Superior Court jury ruled that Ms Reckis and her parents should be awarded at  total of $109million by Johnson & Johnson and its subsidy McNeil-PPC Inc,  including interest.


Settlement: Samantha Reckis, pictured before her  horrific health scare, lost 90 percent of her skin, as well as her vision; a  jury today awarded her $50million

The jury found that Ms Reckis developed Toxic  Epidermal Necrolysis after taking the Children’s Motrin when she was  seven.

kWindfall: The jury awarded Richard Reckis, Samantha’s  father, $6.5million, and another $6.5million to her mother

The condition, while rare, is a severe  allergic reaction to medications such as barbiturates, penicillins, and  sulphonamides, and causes the top layer of skin – the epidermis- to detach from  the lower layers.

As many as 40 percent of people diagnosed  with the illness die of complications from infection.

According to news reports at the time, Ms  Reckis had to undergo 19 surgeries at the time of the 2004 accident.

Family attorney Bradley Henry told  the Boston Globe that  Ms Reckis’ condition was excruciating.

‘It’s like having your skin burned off of  you,’ he told the paper. ‘Imagine your worst sunburn times 1,000. It’s an  absolutely devastating condition.’

He also said that the bottle of Children’s  Motrin only had a small technical warning on the bottle that didn’t warn  consumers of potential adverse side-effects.


Safe: Ms Reckis took Children’s Motrin when she was  seven; manufacturer Johnson & Johnson said that she suffered a tragedy but  disagrees with the jury’s verdict and is ‘considering additional legal  options’

A spokeswoman for New Brunswick, New  Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson Services Inc. told the Associated Press that  the girl’s family has suffered a tragedy but the company disagrees with the  verdict and is ‘considering additional legal options.’


Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis is a  rare but  severe allergic reaction to medications such as barbiturates,  penicillins, and  sulphonamides, and causes the top layer of skin – the  epidermis- to detach from  the lower layers.

It most severely affects mucous membranes,  including the eyes and mouth.

As many as 40 percent of people diagnosed  with the illness die of complications from infection.

The company said in a statement: ‘Children’s  Motrin (ibuprofen), when used as directed, is a safe and effective treatment  option for minor aches and pains and fever and we believe the medicine is  labelled appropriately.’

Elisabeth Gravel, who was married to Ms  Reckis’ father, Richard, from the late 1970s until the mid-80s told MailOnline  that the massive settlement announcement came as quite a shock.

‘I’m finding this to be a difficult  situation,’ she said, speaking to MailOnline from her home in Plymouth. ‘My  daughter (Megan) was very involved with Samantha, because Samantha is her  sister.’

Ms Gravel, 59, said that she worries about  how Mr Reckis, who is listed on his Facebook profile as self-employed, will  handle the landfall sum.

Samantha Reckis was awarded $50million, while  both parents were awarded $6.5million by the jury, the Globe reported. But the  trial judge still must review the sums. If the judge rules in their favor, the  family could get up to $109million, including interest.

‘I’m not so sure that Richard is going to  allocate his portion of the funds for her,’ Ms Gravel told  MailOnline.

Politics aside, Ms Gravel said that Ms  Reckis’ brush with death had deeply impacted the family. ‘She was a nice child,  she was cute. When this occurred, it was devastating,’ she  said.

‘We saw (Samantha) being brought into the  hospital wrapped in plastic because all of her body was burned. This has  impacted the whole family for more than a decade.

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