California Jury Awards Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Victim $6M

A Pasadena California jury recently awarded a Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) / Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis victim a record $6 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit after her doctor negligently prescribed the drug Allopurinol which led to her contracting the painful skin disease and left her unable to care for herself.

Medical malpractice

This California medical malpractice lawsuit involves an 82 year old Chinese immigrant who went to her doctor for relief from foot pain. According to news reports, the doctor wrongly diagnosed the patient with gout and prescribed Allopurinol. However, the seemingly minor foot issue became a nightmare for the elderly woman who had allegedly been very healthy and active before taking the drug.

She contracted Stevens-Johnsons Syndrome (SJS), also commonly referred to as Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TENS) and Lyell’s syndrome. A hypersensitivity disorder affecting the skin and mucous membranes, SJS is a severe form of a simple rash known as erythema multiforme which is a skin disorder caused by an allergic reaction or infection. She sued the doctor for medical malpractice and was awarded $6 million – a record for an SJS lawsuit in California.

FDA receives hundreds of injury reports

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has received hundreds of injury reports concerning SJS / TEN and says that while SJS occurs twice as often in men, women with SJS are twice as likely to develop TENS – which is the most severe form of SJS. Although prescription drugs, such as Allopurinol, can lead to the disease, over the counter (OTC) drugs can as well.

Some of these include non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs and Cox2 inhibitors, such as Bextra, Children’s Motrin, Celebrex, Ibuprofin, Advil, Aleve, and Excedrin; common cold medications such as Advil Cold & Sinus, Dimetapp Sinus, Motrin IB Sinus and Aleve Cold & Sinus and commonly used antibiotics such as Amoxicillin, penicillin and Zithromax (commonly referred to as the Z-pack). Most of these medications currently do not provide consumer warnings about the possibility of contracting the disease.

If you would like to submit your SJS case for an experienced lawyer to review confidentially, please click here. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.