A five-year journey for justice is finally coming to an end for an
11-year-old girl and her family after the girl was left legally blind
following an allergic reaction to Children’s
Motrin. The lawsuit led by Dan Balaban of the Law Offices of Brian D.
Witzer and co-tried with Browne Greene of the Law Offices of Greene
Broillet & Wheeler is expected to end in a verdict that
brings awareness to consumers and some relief to Sabrina Johnson’s
MALIBU, Calif.–(EMWNews)–Like many mothers and fathers would do, Sabrina Johnson’s
parents gave her Children’s Motrin when she
came home from school with a slight fever. Within 36 hours, she was
admitted to Cedars-Sinai Hospital for the chemical burns to her eyes
caused by the drug. This severe allergic reaction was the result of a
rare condition called Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
According to the plaintiff’s attorneys, as
many as 20 people had been blinded, seriously injured, or killed by
Children’s Motrin between its introduction to consumers in the 1990s and
2003 when Sabrina Johnson took the drug. However, the lawsuit (Los
Angeles Superior Court — Court Case No.: TC 018540) claims that Johnson
& Johnson failed to warn parents and physicians of the possible side
effects such as blisters, redness, and rash-like symptoms that ibuprofen
could cause. Anthony R. Temple, former executive medical director for
Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Products subsidiary, said he was
aware of more than 40 cases of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome since Sabrina’s
hospitalization. According to the lawsuit, warnings about the full
extent of these serious allergic side effects are still missing from the
labels, despite a 2006 FDA order that McNeil Consumer Products, the
manufacturer of Children’s Motrin, list them
on the label.
However, that may be about to change, thanks to the efforts of Dan
Balaban of the Law Offices of Brian D. Witzer (www.witzerlaw.com).
Balaban has led a five-week lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson that is
expected to end in a verdict that brings awareness to consumers and some
relief to Sabrina Johnson’s family. Balaban
believes that Sabrina Johnson represents just one of hundreds of victims
of Children’s Motrin. He comments, “There
are probably many more cases that go unreported due to the lack of
awareness on the part of consumers, and even healthcare providers such
as doctors, clinics, and hospitals.”
One might not have predicted that Balaban would be leading this crusade.
In 2006, he was simply an assistant in the law offices of Brian D.
Witzer. But his intellectual curiosity quickly won him a role
contributing insights and advice to Witzer’s
cases. He completed law school only two years ago, has become a partner
in the law firm, and now is bringing Sabrina Johnson’s
case — his second as lead attorney —
to a successful completion.
Balaban’s success is no surprise to Brian
Witzer, who began taking him to arbitrations, trials, and settlements
just two months after he hired Balaban. Witzer explains, “Dan
is absolutely brilliant. He has skills I didn’t
think existed until I met him and would not have believed existed until
I personally observed them.”
Balaban is an integral part of the law offices of Brian D. Witzer, which
began as a boutique practice specializing in medical malpractice and
premises liability actions. Now the firm is a nationally recognized and
formidable force in pharmaceutical product litigation, environmental
spoliation, and pioneers in toxic mold litigation. The firm also
practices in construction defect cases, insurance bad faith, and complex
personal injury matters. The firm is known for its extremely high level
of preparation for trial and persuasive trial presentation that relies
on state-of-the-art equipment for exhibit presentation.
These strengths have been critical in bringing justice to Sabrina Johnson’s
family and protection to the potential victims of Children’s
Motrin. Dan Balaban of Law Offices of Brian D. Witzer Law Firm and
Browne Greene, multiple-time winner of the Trial Lawyer of the Year
honors in California tried the case to verdict. Browne Greene is a
partner at the law offices of Greene Broillet & Wheeler.
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