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Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) is a rare, but potentially fatal condition. Most SJS cases are triggered by an allergic reaction from taking over-the-counter or prescription drugs. Symptoms usually appear within 1-3 weeks, and affected patients should seek immediate medical attention. The only difference between SJS and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN) is how much of the patient’s skin is affected (10% or less for SJS, 30% or more for TEN). Due to the high mortality rates associated with SJS (up to 5%) and TEN (25-35% result in death), most patients require hospitalization in burn units to receive proper medical treatment.
Hundreds of victims and their families have filed lawsuits due to drug-induced cases of SJS/TEN. Depending on the patient’s outcome, claims have been filed across the U.S. for medical malpractice, wrongful death, and failure to warn. As a result, many injured plaintiffs have already won significant SJS/TEN settlements. A New York jury awarded $120 million in damages — the largest SJS/TEN medical malpractice settlement to date — to Jacqueline Martin in 2012.