Eye Drop Lawsuits: Artificial Tears Linked to Infection, Blindness
Last Updated on February 9, 2023
At A Glance
- This Alert Affects:
- Anyone who used an artificial tears eye drop product, including those sold under the EzriCare and Delsam Pharma brands, and developed an eye infection that led to vision loss or blindness.
- What’s Going On?
- Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are investigating whether lawsuits can be filed on behalf of individuals who lost their vision (partially or completely) after using artificial tears, which may have been contaminated with dangerous bacteria.
- What Harm Could Be Caused by Contaminated Eye Drops?
- Infection of the eyes or other body parts, which may lead to blindness, hospitalization and/or death.
- What Could I Get from a Lawsuit?
- Money for medical expenses, inability to work, pain and suffering and more.
- What You Can Do
- If you or a family member developed vision loss or blindness after using an artificial tears product, find out more about your rights and what you may be owed by filling out the form on this page.
If you or a family member developed vision loss after using an artificial tears product, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover money for medical expenses and more.
On February 2, 2023, Global Pharma Healthcare announced it was voluntarily recalling certain artificial tear eye drops sold under the EzriCare and Delsam Pharma brand names due to possible bacterial contamination.
The company, which has previously come under fire from the FDA for poor manufacturing practices, stated that use of contaminated artificial tears products could cause eye infections that may result in blindness. It has also been reported that use of the drops may cause infections elsewhere in the body, such as the urinary tract, respiratory system or blood. At least one death has been linked to the contaminated products.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are now investigating whether lawsuits can be filed against the manufacturer.
Did you or a loved one develop an eye infection that led to vision loss or blindness after using EzriCare’s or Delsam Pharma’s eye drops?
If so, fill out the form on this page to learn more about your rights and why you may be owed money from the manufacturer.
Which Eye Drops Were Recalled, Exactly?
The recall covers all unexpired lots of EzriCare and Delsam Pharma Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops. Pictures of the products can be seen below.
The drops were reportedly sold at Walmart and Amazon.com, though some patients may have received them as part of medical visits.
Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Outbreak, Infections Spark Recall
The recall of the artificial tears products was initiated shortly after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it was investigating a multistate outbreak of infections involving a rare strain of drug-resistant bacteria known as Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Specifically, the CDC stated that it had identified 55 patients in 12 states who had been infected with the bacteria and that “most” had reported using artificial tears. While the majority of patients said they used the EzriCare drops, more than ten brands were mentioned in total.
Patients identified as part of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa outbreak were said to have suffered:
- Eye infections, including keratitis and endophthalmitis, that, in some cases, led to permanent vision loss
- Respiratory infections
- Urinary tract infections
- Sepsis, leading to one death
On February 2, 2023, the FDA warned consumers and healthcare providers to stop using EzriCare’s and Delsam Pharma’s artificial tears due to the risk of bacterial contamination.
The CDC also cautioned that consumers should be on the lookout for signs of eye infection, which may include eye discharge, blurry vision, eye pain, redness, increased sensitivity to light and the “feeling of something in the eye.”
Pseudomonas Aeruginosa & Bacterial Infections
Pseudomonas refers to a type of bacteria commonly found in soil and water. The CDC states that although there are several types of pseudomonas, the one that most commonly causes disease in humans is Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections, which most commonly develop in healthcare settings through contaminated equipment (e.g., catheters, ventilators), surfaces and hands, are generally treated with antibiotics. The CDC notes, however, that these bacterial infections are becoming more difficult to treat due to antibiotic resistance.
Importantly, infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa can occur in any part of the body, including the ears, skin, bloodstream and lungs, which is why infections reported as part of the CDC’s artificial tears investigation were not limited to the eyes.
What’s Involved in Filing a Lawsuit Over the Eye Drops?
If you or a family member developed vision loss or blindness as a result of using artificial tears, your attorney may begin by asking you a few questions. For instance, he or she may ask:
- Which artificial tears products were used? When and how often were they used?
- What diagnosis was made and how did it come about?
- How did the individual’s life change as a result of the diagnosis?
Your attorney will also collect medical records and other documentation to support your statements. He or she will then put together what’s known as a “complaint,” a legal document that is filed with the court and officially begins your lawsuit. The complaint will outline who you are suing, the damages (or “losses”) you should be compensated for and the allegations you are making. Your complaint may allege, for instance, that the manufacturer was negligent in developing the eye drops and failed to warn that they could cause blindness, infection and other side effects.
Once your lawsuit is on file, your attorney will engage with those representing the defendants and the court in an attempt to resolve the matter. Your attorney may file motions and other paperwork, issue subpoenas, take depositions, exchange and request documents, attend court hearings and hire medical experts. If a settlement cannot be reached and the case is not dismissed, the matter will proceed to trial.
Is This a Class Action Lawsuit?
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are looking to handle this matter on an individual basis – and not as a class action lawsuit. This is because they believe the harm caused by the eye drops is serious enough – and different enough – to warrant individual cases.
What Could I Get from a Lawsuit?
If filed and successful, a lawsuit could award money for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Loss of life’s enjoyment
- Physical pain and mental distress
- Funeral expenses, in the event of death
How Much Does a Lawyer Cost?
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are handling these cases on a contingency-fee basis. This means you’ll only pay if you win, and your attorney’s payment will come as a percentage of your settlement or judgment.
What You Can Do
If you or a family member used an artificial tears product and developed an infection that led to vision loss, fill out the form on this page to learn more about your rights.
It doesn’t cost anything to get in touch, and you’re not obligated to move forward with a lawsuit if you don’t want to.
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