Talk to our Attorneys About a Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Lawsuit
Ordinarily, you wouldn’t think that a skin disorder could cause intense suffering, but Stevens-Johnson syndrome, or SJS, is a horrible, life-threatening ordeal for its victims. The syndrome is a dangerous, extreme skin disorder, most often caused by an allergic reaction to an over-the-counter or prescription drug, and it can kill. With SJS, the skin and mucous membranes react severely to a medication or infection, and victims who survive may face blindness or other lifelong injuries as a result.
The condition is considered a medical emergency and usually requires hospitalization. While SJS begins with mild flu-like symptoms, such as a sore throat and fever, it can progress rapidly. A painful red or purplish rash develops that spreads and blisters, eventually causing the top layer of the skin to blister, die, and peel off. Treatment in the emergency room or burn ward is necessary, and SJS can develop into its most severe form, Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, or TEN. According to the National Library of Medicine, the mortality rate of TEN ranges up to 60%.
If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died from SJS, you may be entitled to compensation through an SJS lawsuit. Lawsuits are complicated, and winning a case involves showing that another party — such as a pharmaceutical manufacturer, doctor, or hospital — was at fault based on grounds such as failing to provide warnings about the risks of SJS or failing to diagnose and properly treat the condition. Also, insurance companies and large corporations have high-powered attorneys on their side who know how to use the legal system to avoid paying out claims.
To get the settlement you deserve, you should get the help of a skilled attorney who can investigate your case to find out what happened and who was responsible and hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries. At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we have the experience and contacts necessary to help people injured and ill with SJS win their case for fair compensation.
Contact our Houston drug injury attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law to learn more about how we can help. We offer free, no obligation consultations, and you will not be pressured to move forward with a legal claim if you don’t wish to do so.
We have a No Fee Guarantee, so you pay nothing unless and until you win your case.
Call (713) 973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000 now to get started.
How a Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Lawyer Can Help You
If a medication you are taking causes SJS, our SJS lawyers can bring a drug injury lawsuit to help you receive compensation for your injuries. This is a legal claim for damages when a person is injured due to defective drugs or medication errors. Depending upon the circumstances, claims for liability may be made against drug manufacturers, pharmacists, pharmacies, doctors, nurses, hospitals, and others who might have made a mistake in manufacturing the drug, dispensing, or prescribing the drug that made you sick.
When you have us on your side, we will get to work for you immediately. We will:
- Meet with you to hear the facts of what happened, determine whether you have a valid case, and estimate what it may be worth.
- Ensure you get the right medical care and your injuries are documented.
- Gather evidence to prove your case by obtaining medical and hospital records, photographs and videos, and eyewitness statements.
- Work with expert witnesses to determine who might have been at fault and witnesses to testify as to the extent of your damages and how they will affect your life into the future.
- File all paperwork correctly and in a timely manner.
- Deal and negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement.
- Build your case and take it to court if necessary.
Regardless of the drug that made you sick, we will find all liable parties, as they all may have insurance and assets that can go toward compensation.
Damages Our Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Lawyer Can Help You Recover
You May Receive Compensation for Your Economic and Non-economic Damages
The many different forms of compensation you can seek in a drug lawsuit are called damages. There are two types of Texas personal injury damages: compensatory and exemplary (punitive).
Compensatory damages are to make the plaintiff whole and include economic and non-economic damages:
Economic damages, which are monetary losses that can be calculated, may include:
- Past, present and future medical expenses, such as costs for rehabilitation, therapy, and corrective surgeries
- Time spent away from work, lost wages and earnings, and reduced or lost potential future earnings.
Non-economic damages. These are intangible and quality-of-life losses, such as pain and suffering; emotional distress and trauma; disfigurement; and loss of consortium, companionship and life’s pleasures prior to death.
Punitive damages. In some rare case, Texas law (Section 41.003 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code) may also award punitive or exemplary damages. These are a punishment for especially egregious behavior such as fraud, malice, or gross negligence and also are meant to deter similar wrongdoing by others in the future.
Amounts of Damage Awards
There is a wide range of damage awards possible in a successful case, depending on the individual circumstances involved, such as the extent and severity of your injuries, whether they will be permanent and involve continuing care, and the amount of actual costs and lost income. Once we have reviewed your case, our Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law attorneys can advise you about your options for compensation and get to work to make sure the responsible parties pay you for the costs of their negligence.
Many defective drug lawsuits wind up in multi-district litigation (MDL), where groups of individual lawsuits related to a particular medication are grouped into one large case. Others may be grouped into a class action lawsuit, and some will be individual cases. Our drug injury lawyers can advise you about the most beneficial approach based upon the circumstances of your case, including an individual drug injury lawsuit.
About Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a nightmarish illness. 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. Although, SJS and TEN (Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis) 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.
Symptoms of SJS
Allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe, and even life-threatening. Common symptoms are blotches and rashes; blisters around the mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth, nose and genital areas; fever; and swelling of the eyelids. If left untreated, this painful and potentially disfiguring illness may result in vision problems, including blindness; scarring of the skin or vital organ systems; and death.
Drugs That May Cause SJS
Common triggers for the illness include medications such as sulfa-containing antibiotics, including penicillin; anticonvulsants; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); and barbiturates. Even common over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen may present a risk in sensitive individuals. People with compromised immune systems, like those with lupus, the elderly and children, have a higher risk for developing SJS/TEN.
Treatment of SJS
SJS treatment first and foremost centers on an attempt to determine the underlying cause of the illness. Medications are, by far, the most common known cause, although some rare cases caused by viral infections (including herpes, HIV and hepatitis) have also been reported. In up to half of all cases, however, physicians are unable to determine the root cause of the illness.
In the event that the symptoms can be linked to an allergic reaction to medication, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome treatment involves the immediate cessation of the medication in question. Family members of the sufferer should be notified of the medical emergency and be cautioned against using the offending drug, as a genetic predisposition may put the patient’s relatives at risk as well.
One of the first steps of SJS treatment necessitates the administration of topical and/or oral corticosteroids to minimize swelling and halt the spreading of rashes and blotches. Treatment for more serious cases may require the expertise of specialty physicians. The patient may be referred to a burn center to address widespread skin damage and skin shedding (Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis). In severe cases, a sterile environment may be needed to prevent infection and ensure healing, and skin grafts may be performed. In cases affecting a patient’s vision, an ophthalmologist may be called upon to evaluate the patient in an effort to identify and limit possibly permanent or future eye damage.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for the condition, and doctors treat SJS symptoms similarly to how they would treat severe burns. Patients are isolated in ICU burn wards, are fed a regular supply of fluid to prevent dehydration, and are monitored for infection. Pain control and encouraging the growth of healthy tissue are the primary goals of long-term treatment.
For the most effective SJS treatment, it is imperative that the sufferer seek medical attention immediately. The illness affects people of all ages, with cases in children reportedly on the rise. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome treatment should be sought right away at the first signs of a rash on mucous membranes, or breathing difficulties, swelling or blisters. Other early warning signs include headaches, a persistent cough and body aches. Symptoms may not appear until up to two weeks after ingesting the allergy-provoking medication. Nevertheless, early diagnosis is crucial to prevent long-term health problems or complications.
Depending on the severity of the illness, recovery can last up to several months. Patients will have to diligently avoid the medication that triggered the allergic reaction — and other drugs related to it — in the future.
Liability in a Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) Lawsuit
Our Attorneys Will Look to Prove Negligence or Fault
To win your case, our SJS attorneys will look to determine who was negligent and at fault for the damages you received. Medical professionals, pharmacies, and manufacturers and distributors of drugs all have a duty of care not to cause harm. When they fail in this duty, either by actions or failing to act, and you are injured and suffer damages as a result, they may be held liable in a lawsuit. There have been numerous large settlements and jury verdicts in Stevens-Johnson syndrome lawsuits, and our attorneys will fight for what you deserve.
Improperly prescribed medications are among the most common SJS causes, and doctors must be aware of a patient’s risk factors before recommending any drugs. In some cases, patients with SJS have injuries caused or worsened by the negligence of physicians who are not properly trained to identify and treat the disease or who make medical errors in treating them.
A healthcare professional commits medical negligence by violating the generally accepted standard of care. Standard of care refers to what a reasonably prudent healthcare provider would have done under similar circumstances. If the standard of care was breached and the result is injury or damages to the patient, medical negligence has taken place and the doctor or other medical professional may be held liable.
In some other cases, liable parties might also include testing laboratories, sales representatives from the pharmaceutical company, pharmacists, and others who are involved in the design, manufacturing, and distribution process. When 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 this allergic reaction, patients may continue to take the medication, get worse, and fail to get proper treatment in a timely manner. The responsible parties should be held liable.
Call Our SJS Attorneys For Help
If you have been the victim of SJS caused during any step of the prescribing and administering or monitoring process, an experienced drug injury lawyer from Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law can advise you about your rights and work in your best interests. We will carefully examine the potential liability of every entity who had a hand in the development, sales, prescribing, and administration of the drug that caused your injury. Our SJS drug injury lawyer will advise you about your options in filing a drug injury lawsuit. Let us handle the legal hurdles while you concentrate on your recovery.
Call Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law now at (713) 973-8888 for a free, confidential consultation.
Disclaimer: Do not stop taking a prescription medication without first consulting with your doctor. Discontinuing a prescribed medication without your doctor’s advice can result in injury or death. Cases may be referred to another attorney or law firm.