PLYMOUTH (MyFoxBoston.com) -- The family and attorney of a Plymouth girl who won millions in a lawsuit filed against Johnson and Johnson spoke with FOX 25 after a ruling was handed down in the case.
Samantha Reckis was only 7 years old in 2003 when she nearly died after having a severe reaction to Children's Motrin. he had a rash that turned into blisters and was diagnosed with toxic epidermal necrolysis. Samantha was put into a medically induced coma for a month and about 95-percent of her skin was badly burned.
"What happens is after the blisters come then the skin is dying and sluffs off like a snake's and all your skin comes off and the whole body is one big opened wound," says Attorney Brad Henry.
Henry says the reaction is unusual, but that Johnson and Johnson knew about the possible side effect.
"They knew about it and one defense was 'the FDA knew about it and didn't make us warn about it so we didn't warn about it,'" says Henry.
Henry says he is shocked about the company's failure to warn customers about the side effect.
"It is astonishing to me a company as large as Johnson and Johnson could know their product can cause such harm and yet not warn the customer," Henry explains.
Samantha is 16 years old now. She attends public school, but is still having surgeries, she's legally blind, and has severe breathing difficulties.
Henry says Samantha has about 20-percent lung capacity.
"At 15-percent, you die," claims Henry.
Samantha's parents spoke with FOX 25 on Friday afternoon. They say Samantha gets tired easily and has struggled to put on weight at just 82 pounds. Samantha's immune system is completely compromised.
The teen's family says even with her medical issues, Samantha remains positive and has aspirations of going to college and being a nurse or doctor one day.
The Reckis family says they remain mind boggled that Johnson and Johnson still doesn't admit its obligation to inform parents of this possible side effect by having a proper label on the bottle.
"They make billions of dollars and the bottom line to them is billions of dollars," says Richard Reckis, Samantha's father. "If the bottom line was to make sure something like this doesn't happen again they would be in front of my daughter saying, 'Hey, I'm sorry.'"
Henry says the family wants to get a message across to other consumers.
"They want consumers to know you cannot trust even a company like Johnson and Johnson to tell the full truth," says Henry. "You need to be vigilant and watch for reactions in your children, watch very carefully."
The Reckis family expects an appeal to be filed by the company. Their attorney says he knows of at least 20 other cases similar to Samantha's case. He will be back in court in April representing another case involving a local 5-year-old boy.