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$120M Stevens Johnson Syndrome Settlement Awarded to Brain-Damaged Woman
By Sarah Pierce
A New York Supreme Court jury has awarded $120 million to a woman left brain damaged and permanently disabled by Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), a potentially fatal drug reaction caused by an anti-seizure medication she was given in the hospital. The award is among the largest ever issued for a medical malpractice lawsuit in the state.
The Stevens Johnson Syndrome lawsuit was filed by the mother of the victim, Jacqueline Martin, who sought treatment for seizures in February 2004 at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn and Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center. The SJS lawsuit alleged Martin developed Stevens Johnson Syndrome due to a reaction to an anti-seizure medication, which medical staff at the hospitals were slow to recognize, diagnose and treat. Martin developed swelling in her face, eyes and throat, and was later diagnosed -- weeks later -- with SJS, a rare and severe skin disorder. It was not reported which anti-seizure medication caused the reaction, but Dilantin, Tegretol and Phenobarbital have been linked to SJS in the past.
Stevens Johnson Syndrome is a severe allergic reaction to medication that causes skin blisters and often leads to the loss of large portions of the skin and hair. The patient's mucous membranes, including the eyes and mouth, and internal organs can also be affected. SJS, and its more severe form, Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Syndrome (TENS), can be fatal with up to 15% of SJS patients dying and up to 40% of TENS patients dying from complications. Patients who survive their ordeal may suffer permanent injury, including brain damage, scarring, vision problems or blindness and sensitivity to light.
While most SJS lawsuits are brought against the manufacturers of medications for providing inadequate warnings about the risk of developing the reaction, a growing number of medical malpractice lawsuits over SJS reactions have been brought against health care providers and hospitals for failing to adequately recognize and diagnose the life-threatening condition.
If you or a loved one developed Stevens Johnson Syndrome or Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis after taking a medication such as Dilantin, you should be aware of your legal rights. An experienced SJS/TENS attorney can explain your options for seeking compensation through an SJS lawsuit, TENS lawsuit or medical malpractice lawsuit.
A list of medications linked to SJS and TENS can be found here in the Stevens Johnson & Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Class Action Lawsuit Investigation. If you believe one of these medications caused your or your loved one's SJS or TENS, submit your information for a free, no-obligation consultation from the attorneys working this investigation. These SJS/TENS specialists are waiting to help you take care of yourself and your family.
Updated August 8th, 2012
All medical device, dangerous drug and medical class action and lawsuit news updates are listed in the Drug and Medical Device section of Top Class Actions.