In what is apparently the largest jury award in New Hampshire history of this kind, a woman who went blind after taking a drug for shoulder pain has won $21 million in court for her injuries.

Karen Bartlett, 51, took the FDA-approved non-steroidal drug Sulindac (also known under the brand name Clinoril) for shoulder pain. Things went bad almost immediately and according to the Associated Press story on her dangerous drug product liability case, she wound up suffering extreme burns to her skin, mucous membranes, eyes, and other organs, all symptoms of potentially fatal Stevens-Jonson Syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolyis. Her lawyer claimed that she was “literally burned alive.”

Bartlett, who is now legally blind, spent months in the hospital being treated for burns and scarring and also endured 12 horrible eye surgeries.

Bartlett sued the drug manufacturer Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. and convinced the jury that Mutual was liable because it should have known that the Sulindac was unreasonably dangerous to consumers and was the cause of her permanent disabilities. The verdict in her favor was a culmination of a 14-day trial and three days of jury deliberations.

Drug makers have a duty to warn patients fully about the side effects of prescription medications. When companies fail to meet this duty, patients injured or even killed by a drugs have an undeniable right to compensation for their pain and suffering and medical expenses. The jury that considered Bartlett’s product liability claim recognized this obligation on the part of the manufacturer and ruled accordingly.

Our firm has also written extensively about other dangerous drugs/medications such as Fentanyl/Duragesic pain patch accidental overdose deaths, and the serious side effects/complications of Yaz/Yasmin birth control pills/medications.