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Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) Lawsuits

Stevens-Johnson syndrome, or SJS, is a dangerous, potentially life-threatening skin disorder most often caused by an allergic reaction to an over-the-counter or prescription drug.

While SJS begins with mild flu-like symptoms, such as a sore throat and fever, it can progress rapidly and eventually cause the skin to blister and peel off. Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, or TEN, is the most severe form of SJS. Although, SJS and TEN are relatively rare, both are serious medical conditions. About 5% of patients with SJS and up to 40% of patients with TEN, die from complications of the disease.

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If you or someone you love were diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome(SJS) or Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN) after taking an over-the-counter drug or medication prescribed by a doctor, or suffered harm due to a medical provider’s failures in treating SJS/TEN, you may be entitled to compensation.

Levy Konigsberg is an award-winning trial practice that’s recovered over $3 billion in compensation for clients. We’re known for taking on some of the country’s toughest cases and have secured record results in cases involving pharmaceutical liability, dangerous drugs, and medical negligence.

Our Stevens-Johnson Syndrome lawyers can evaluate whether you have grounds to pursue a lawsuit. Call (800) 315-3806 or contact us online for a FREE consultation.

What Drugs Can Cause SJS and TEN?

SJS/TEN is most often caused by an allergic reaction to a particular drug. Some drugs commonly associated with SJS/TEN include:

  • Antibiotics, like Penicillin, Amoxicillin, Ampicillin, and Azithromycin
  • Sulfa drugs and drugs that include sulfa, like Bactrim and Septra DS (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim)
  • Acne medications, like tetracycline and Accutane (isotretinoin)
  • Pain relievers like Tylenol (Acetaminophen) and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as like ibuprofen (Advil/ Motrin), flurbiprofen (Ansaid), diclofenac (Cataflam), celecoxib (Celebrex), sulindac (Clinoril), naproxen (Naprosyn), mefenamic acid (Ponstel), ketorolac (Toradol)
  • Arthritis medications, including valdecoxib (Bextra), oxaprozin (Daypro), diflunisal (Dolobid), piroxicam (Feldene), indomethacin (Indocin), etodolac (Lodine), fenoprofen (Nalfon), meloxicam (Mobic), ketoprofen (Oruvail), nabumetone (Relafen), tolmetin (Tolectin), rofecoxib (Vioxx)
  • Cold medications such as Tamiflu
  • Seizure medications, like Tegretol (carbamazepine), Dilantin (phenytoin), Cerebyx (fosphenytoin), Lamictal (Lamotrigine), and Depakote (divalproex sodium)
  • Gout medications, including xanthine oxidate inhibitors like Aloprim and Zyloprim (allopurinal)

People with compromised immune systems, like those with lupus, the elderly, and children, have a higher risk for developing SJS/TEN. In children, medications are the most common cause of SJS/TEN, which is why drugs associated with these conditions should be started at low levels and increased, or titrated, over time under close medical supervision.

What Are the Symptoms of SJS and TEN?

The symptoms of Stevens-Johnson syndrome include:

  • Flu-like symptoms such as sore throat, cough, fever and burning eyes
  • Hives
  • Blisters
  • Red or purple skin rash
  • Shedding of skin
  • Skin pain
  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Swelling of the face

Who Might Be Liable in a Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) Lawsuit?

In many cases, patients diagnosed with SJS have injuries caused or worsened by the negligence of physicians who fail to meet the accepted standard of care when diagnosing and treating SJS/TEN.

In other cases, the manufacturers of drugs that can cause SJS/TEN, fail to provide adequate warnings to doctors and consumers of the risk that the patient may develop serious allergic reactions, like SJS and TEN. This failure often results in the patient continuing to take the medication and failing to seek medical treatment sooner.

There have been numerous large settlements and jury verdicts in Stevens-Johnson syndrome lawsuits against drug makers. This includes high-profile litigation over brand-name drugs such as Levaquin, Dilantin, Accutane, Aloprim, and Children’s Motrin. Some examples of verdicts and settlements in these cases:

  • In 2018, an Illinois man who suffered from kidney damage caused by Stevens-Johnson Syndrome after being wrongly prescribed Bactrim was awarded $3 million in damages.
  • In 2018, a New York woman whose physician failed to stop her prescription of Bactrim developed SJS resulting in facial rashes and mucosal erosion. She was awarded $1.5 million in damages.
  • In 2013, a jury in Massachusetts returned a $63 million verdict for a 7-year-old California girl who developed SJS and permanent injuries after taking Children’s Motrin.
  • In 2011, a 3-year-old girl who was awarded $10 million in damages for permanent injuries caused by SJS/TEN after taking Children’s Motrin.

How Do I Know if I Have a Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Lawsuit?

If you or a loved one has recently taken an over-the-counter drug or prescription drug and you have developed Stevens-Johnson syndrome or Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, you may be entitled to compensation. In addition to compensation for pain and suffering, and permanent injury or disfigurement, monetary awards can help to cover medical bills, lost wages and other financial losses, and/or funeral expenses.

Given the complexity of these cases, it is important that you have your case evaluated by a law firm that has experience and a proven track record in complex product liability lawsuits. Levy Konigsberg has decades of experience and a long history of successfully obtaining settlements and jury verdicts in product liability cases.

If you have a potential SJS or TEN lawsuit, call (800) 315-3806 or contact us online for a FREE consultation.


Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline or by submitting an email inquiry. Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.

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