CHICAGO (CN) — Two Illinois parents sued Johnson & Johnson and Wal-Mart for making and selling children's Motrin and Tylenol they say made their 6-year-old's skin peel off.
Charlene Monk says when her then-6-year-old daughter C.M. showed signs of a cold, she gave her PediaCare Multi-Symptom Cold with acetaminophen on Oct. 18, 2014.
"Mrs. Monk continued to provide C.M. the recommended dosage for her continuing symptoms every four to six hours while she was awake over two days," according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Chicago federal court.
But after C.M. ran a fever a few weeks later, her father, Will Monk, says he gave her the recommended dosage of Equate children's ibuprofen.
"The next morning, C.M.'s fever spiked to 105 degrees, and she complained of a sore throat and painful urination," the complaint states. "Mrs. Monk gave C.M. another dose of Equate children's ibuprofen and took her to Round Lake Beach Immediate Care Center."
Medical records show that C.M. suffered from a maculopapular, or red and bumpy, rash around her lips and on her hands, according to the complaint.
The staff allegedly gave C.M. acetaminophen and discharged her later that day, prescribing an antibiotic, cefdinir, for urinary tract infection and hand, foot and mouth disease.
The girl's mother was told to give C.M. ibuprofen and Tylenol as needed for fever, and she gave C.M. children's Motrin when her fever returned that night, according to the lawsuit.
C.M. allegedly "vomited most of the night and could only take a few small sips of fluid."
The next morning, "as C.M. brushed her teeth, a layer of skin peeled completely off of her upper lip and partially off the lower lip," after taking children's Motrin and children's Tylenol, her parents claim.
Doctors at Condell Medical Center "noted the skin had sloughed from C.M.'s lips as well as her labia, that nasal secretions had increased that were thick and yellow and that C.M. was lethargic," the 158-paragraph lawsuit states. "They provided a differential diagnosis of Stevens Johnson Syndrome," or SJS, a life-threatening skin condition.
The child's "eyes were draining with pain on opening and she also suffered significant respiratory issues," her parents claim. "She was intubated for airway protection, and a Foley catheter was placed, though with some difficulty due to the labial swelling and desquamation."
Over her 43 days at Loyola's Burn ICU, the syndrome spread from two to 60 percent of C.M.'s body, and she suffered from inflammation of the membranes of her eyes and mouth as well as a bacterial blood infection and "significant pain and fear," the 42-page lawsuit states.
C.M. then spent 37 days at an inpatient rehabilitation facility, but "in the months and years to follow, C.M. has had regular visits with ophthalmology, pediatrics, orthopedics, physical therapy and pulmonary services," her parents claim.
She suffers from scarring of her face and upper body, as well as heterotropic ossificans, "a condition of the presence of bone in soft tissue, where bone normally does not exist, in her right elbow and bilateral hips, which limits joint mobility," the complaint states.
C.M. also had to have her eyelashes removed and has decreased strength and balance, her parents say.
"The complications from the conditions brought on by the SJS/[Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, or TENs] will likely continue over the course of her life," the lawsuit states.
Her parents sued the drugs' manufacturers, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, McNeil-PPC Inc.; Prestige Brands Holdings Inc.; and Medtech Products Inc., as well as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., where C.M's mother bought the drugs in Round Lake, Ill.
The eight-count complaint asserts claims for product liability, breach of warranty, negligence, emotional distress, and consumer protection violations.
The Monks seek economic damages and a jury trial. They are represented by Bridget Hayes Murphy in Chicago.
Johnson & Johnson spokesman Marc Boston said, "We sympathize deeply with the Monk family."
"We are committed to providing consumers with safe and effective over-the-counter medicines," Boston wrote. "Over decades and millions of uses, acetaminophen and ibuprofen have proven safe and effective when used as directed."
Boston added that SJS and TEN are "extremely rare reactions that are impossible to predict, and the causes of the reactions are very difficult to pinpoint."
The other defendants did not return requests for comment emailed Friday.