Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) Lawyers in California
Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a painful condition that can result in scarring, long-term health effects, permanent injuries, and death. This condition is linked to several over-the-counter and prescription medications.
If you believe that the medications you took caused you to experience SJS, you need an advocate who understands the illness’s severity and its profound effect on your life. Our firm has helped many victims of SJS to recover significant damages, and we may be able to help you.
When the drugs that are supposed to make you feel better cause you to experience injuries, you may be able to pursue compensation with a product liability lawsuit. The California Stevens-Johnson syndrome lawyers at SJS Firm can help you fight to get the compensatory damages you need.
What Is Stevens-Johnson Syndrome?
Stevens-Johnson syndrome, or SJS, is a very rare condition that results in rash and flu-like symptoms. The rash can spread quickly and may affect the mouth, nose, eyes, throat, intestines, lungs, and genitals.
A skin rash on 10% of the body or less is called SJS, however, when it progresses to cover 30% of the skin or more, it results in a dangerous and possibly fatal condition called Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN).
People who experience SJS or TEN can experience permanent changes to their health and may develop blindness, scarring, disfigurement, or other complications. This allergic reaction to medications can progress quickly and may be fatal in extreme cases.
Drugs that Can Cause Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
Stevens-Johnson syndrome is linked to several medications. Though SJS is rare, and the risk of getting it is low, certain people have reactions to medicine that causes them to experience this illness.
- Epilepsy medicines, such as phenytoin, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, lamotrigine, and carbamazepine
- Antibiotics, such as sulfamethoxazole and other sulfa antibiotics, Zithromax, Zpax, Cipro, Avelox, and others
- Anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin), and naproxen sodium (Aleve)
- Anti-gout medications with allopurinol, such as Aloprim and Zyloprim
- Anticonvulsant medications with carbamazepine, such as Tegretol XR, Tegretol, Carbatrol, Equetro, and Epitol
- Anti-seizure medications with phenytoin, such as Phenytek, Dilantin Infatabs, Dilantin Kapseal
- Lamotrigine, an anticonvulsant and seizure medication sometimes used for bipolar disorder, such as Lamictal
- Nevirapine, a medication used to treat HIV infection and slow the progression of the disease, such as Viramune and Viramune XR
- Oxicam anti-inflammatories, such as meloxicam and piroxicam
Stevens-Johnson syndrome can sometimes be caused in children by cold, flu, or other infections. Children can also develop the syndrome from Motrin. There have also been many Motrin lawsuits to compensate teens and kids who have suffered blindness and irreversible damage to their skin, lungs, and brain.
If you or your child have experienced the symptoms of this condition after taking any medication, an SJS lawyer in California can help you determine if you have the legal grounds to pursue a personal injury claim.
Risk Factors for Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
People with HIV, AIDS, or pneumonia can develop SJS more frequently than others, but there are several other risk factors that can increase your risk:
- Weakened immune system: People with autoimmune diseases such as HIV or organ transplant recipients can be at greater risk.
- Cancer: Cancer patients, especially those with blood cancer, can be at greater risk of developing SJS.
- Genetic variations: Certain genetic factors can increase your risk of developing Stevens-Johnson syndrome, particularly if you take anti-seizure or gout medications or drugs to treat mental illness.
- Previous history of Stevens-Johnson syndrome: This condition can recur if you have experienced it before. If you take the medication that caused your previous incidence of SJS, you are likely to develop it again.
- A family history of Stevens-Johnson syndrome: If your immediate blood relations have experienced SJS, you are at an increased risk.
If you or your loved one had known risk factors for SJS but were prescribed a medication that caused the condition or a recurrence of it, a California Stevens-Johnson syndrome attorney can tell you more about your rights.
California Law and Stevens-Johnson Lawsuits
According to CACI No. 1205., in California, drug manufacturers can be held legally and financially liable for any injuries their products cause. In addition to this, they can be held liable if they fail to adequately warn consumers of the risks of using their products.
Some situations that can result in product liability lawsuits in California include:
- Patient injury or death
- Failure to warn or inadequate warning
- Failure to disclose safer alternative drugs
- Known serious health risks that are expected with usage
Individuals with Stevens-Johnson syndrome in California who were harmed by a drug without being warned of the potential dangers should consult with an experienced attorney who can evaluate their claim.
Recoverable Damages in a Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Claim
The damages in an SJS claim can be considerable, as the treatment for the injuries and the interruption to your life can be significant. The insurance companies and defendants are likely to wage a battle to protect their interests and avoid paying you the full amount of damages you are owed.
A Stevens-Johnson syndrome attorney in California will fight to defend you and protect your right to claim the financial compensation you will need. An SJS lawyer can calculate the damages in your case to ensure that all your losses are accounted for. Once they’ve assessed your losses, they’ll negotiate aggressively to ensure that you are treated fairly.
The damages in an SJS lawsuit can include the following:
Any medical expenses you incur as a result of your injuries will be included. Your lawyer may work with financial professionals, economists, or healthcare planners to determine ongoing care costs. Your hospitalization, follow-up treatments, medical and mobility devices, prescription costs, and other expenses will be added.
Treating your injuries and recovering from symptoms will likely require you to miss a substantial amount of work. The income you lose during your recovery period should be reflected in your settlement. If you become disabled, vocational rehabilitation, the loss of benefits, loss of future earning potential, and loss of retirement can also become factors.
SJS can result in severe pain and suffering. The emotional and psychological trauma, the amount of pain involved in the injuries and treatment, and the disruption to your life will all be factors in your damage claim.
The value of damages in personal injury cases in California is not capped unless the claim is related to medical malpractice. Since product liability laws generally govern these claims, malpractice is less likely to be a factor.
A California SJS lawyer experienced with these claims can calculate the real value of the damages in your case and fight to recover the full value of your compensation.
How Long You Have to File an SJS Lawsuit in California
According to California Statute of Limitations Cal. Civ. Proc. Code §312, the statute of limitations to file a product liability or personal injury lawsuit in California is two years from the date of the injury. However, there may be exceptions to this rule. The filing deadline may be extended for any of the following types of claims:
- Claims filed by minors who are within two years of their eighteenth birthday
- Claims filed by those who did not know their SJS was caused by a drug until a later date
- Claims filed by those who are physically or mentally incapacitated
- Claims filed by patients who were diagnosed with SJS more than two years after they took the medication.
A lawyer who specializes in California SJS lawsuits can review your case and tell you if you are within the statute of limitations or if you may qualify for an exception.
California Burn Centers that Treat SJS Patients
If you have been diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome or you believe you may have this condition, there are many burn centers in California that offer treatment to adult and pediatric SJS patients. These include:
- Bakersfield: The Grossman Burn Center at Memorial Hospital
- Colton: The Edward G. Hirschman Burn Center at Arrowhead Medical Center
- Davis: Firefighters Burn Institute, Regional Burn Center at UC Davis
- Orange: Regional Burn Center at UC Irvine Health
- Sacramento: Shriners Hospitals for Children
- San Diego: Regional Burn Center at UC San Diego Health
- San Francisco: The Bothin Burn Center at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital
- San Jose: Santa Clara Valley Medical Burn Center in San Jose
- Santa Ana: Orange County Burn Center at Orange County Global Medical Center
- Torrance: Certified Burn Center at Torrance Memorial Medical Center
These resources are a good starting point if you’re seeking treatment for SJS for yourself or a loved one. An attorney with experience in SJS claims may be able to get you the compensation that will pay for treatment if you have a qualifying case.
Contact a Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Law Firm in California Today
We understand that the physical and financial challenges you face can be overwhelming. We do not charge a fee for our in-depth case evaluation, and our attorneys can help you on a contingency basis.
The California SJS attorneys at SJS Firm can review your claim and help you to understand your rights and legal options. Our firm is committed to helping people seek justice for their injuries, and we have built our careers helping injury victims to get the compensation they need. Contact us today to see how we can put our experience to work for you.