Eye drops are supposed to treat eye problems, but now consumers are experiencing the unthinkable – vision loss from defective eye drops.
The FDA is now recalling eye drops and other eye products from three companies: Global Pharma Healthcare, Pharmedica USA, and Apotex. All products were recalled based on the likely risk of sanitary and packaging issues. There are likely more.
The defective products from Global Pharma Healthcare are allegedly contaminated by a rare, drug-resistant bacterial strain “Pseudomonas aeruginosa.” In addition to severe eye infections, consumers are also experiencing:
- Vision loss
- Eye infections (of the cornea)
- Bacterial infections that spread to the bloodstream which has led to at least one death
- Respiratory infections
- Urinary tract infections
- Surgery for eyeball removal
- Blurry vision
If you or someone you love is experiencing vision loss or other side effects after using eye drops, contact a Florida product liability lawyer now. You won’t want to waste any more time if you are eligible to file a lawsuit for damage compensation.
What Brand of Eye Drops and Which Specific Products Have Been Recalled?
Global Pharma Healthcare PVT Limited
The manufacturing company Global Pharma Healthcare PVT Limited has recalled their Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops and Artificial Eye Ointment. The products are distributed by EzriCare and Delsam Pharma. While the products are marketed most commonly as “EzriCare Artificial Tears,” they have also been sold by different brands.
The rare bacterial strain is becoming more difficult to combat due to its growing antibiotic resistance. It’s usually spread in hospital and healthcare settings and is known to have caused an outbreak of 32,000 infections and 2,7000 deaths in 2017. As the eye drops are made in India, the bacteria is believed to have originated from there.
Following FDA recommendations, Global Pharma has been cooperative and agreed to recall its products in February 2023. Their eye drops are over-the-counter, and preservative-free, which is the ingredient that prevents bacterial growth.
According to the FDA, Global Pharma violated two essential manufacturing protocols:
- Microbial testing
- And packing with adequate preservatives
If you experienced adverse effects after using Global Pharma Healthcare or EzriCare eye products, contact our Florida product liability lawyers. We may be able to help you pursue a claim to get financial recovery for your pain and suffering.
Pharmedica USA has recalled anti-inflammatory eye drops due to concerns about the products being unsterile. The company has recalled their “Purely Soothing 15% MSM Drops,” warning that they could cause blindness. Furthermore, the company urgently recommends people stop using the product and return it to the place of purchase.
Apotex has recalled six products, including prescription eye drops for eye conditions like glaucoma and hypertension. One product that has been recalled is Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution 0.15%. The company recalled its defective products due to cracks in bottle caps. Like Pharmedica USA, Apotex recommends immediately stopping the use of its eye products. They also urge consumers to get emergency medical attention if they are experiencing symptoms from recalled eye products.
A Case Example: Florida Woman Gets Eye Removal Surgery After Severe, Untreatable Eye Infection
Clara Oliva is one of the millions of Americans who were using eye drops she believed would provide relief to her eye problems but experienced a nightmare instead. After using defective eye drops provided by her healthcare plan, she developed an infection. The Miramar woman claims she tried everything to treat the infection, including antibiotics and surgery.
After an entire year of struggling with the infection, she had to get surgery to remove her right eyeball. After that, her clinic notified her to stop using the eye drops – but it was too late. She is now suing the manufacturer, distributor, and the clinic that gave her the defective eye drops.
There are at least five other confirmed cases of permanent blindness and one case of death.
If you are experiencing severe injuries or vision loss after using eye drops, you need to speak with a knowledgeable Florida product liability attorney.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Strongly Urge Consumers to Stop Using Recalled Eye Drops and Get Medical Attention
FDA and CDC guidelines warn consumers to stop using recalled eye drops, including Artificial tears from EzriCare or Delsam Pharma. Additionally, any persons with signs of eye infection after using eye drops are strongly encouraged to get medical attention. Signs of an eye infection include:
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty opening eyes completely
- Eye pain or discomfort
- Impaired vision
- Blurry vision
- Feeling like something is “stuck” in your eye
- Redness of the eye
- Uncontrollable itchiness of the eyes
- Red or swollen eyelids
- Eye discharge of any color
- Crusting around the eye
An untreated eye infection can lead to permanent or long-term damage, so it’s best to get treatment as soon as you experience any symptoms. After you ensure your health and get the medical attention you need, contact a Florida product liability attorney.
Where Are People Getting Infected With Recalled Eye Drops?
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is collecting data from state and local health departments to track cases of eye drop-related outbreaks. The latest data as of March 14, 2023, has confirmed 68 cases of infections, including 8 cases of blindness, four eye removal surgeries, and one case of death.
Infected patients are in at least sixteen states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
American Academy of Ophthalmology Eye Drop Safety Tips
Following the recent eye drop recalls, the American Academy of Ophthalmology has announced the importance of taking precautions when using eye drops. Moreover, everyone using eye drops should practice good hygiene and know how to use them safely to help prevent the spreading of bacteria. AAO guidelines for using eye drops:
- Stay away from eye drops that don’t contain preservatives. Preservatives are necessary to prevent bacterial growth.
- Stop using eye drops if you believe they are defective or contaminated, as bacteria grows rapidly once it enters the bottle. In addition, transmission to the eye is very easy once it’s in the bottle.
- Wash your hands before and after using eye drops and before you touch your face.
- Do not touch the tip of the eye drop bottle to your eye.
- Don’t use expired drops.
If you are experiencing infection or possible blindness from defective eye drops, get legal help now. You do not have to suffer in silence for a botched product that caused you unnecessary losses. We can help you hold the responsible party accountable and get you compensation for everything you’ve endured.
Do I Have Legal Recourse If I Was Injured or Infected by the Eye Drops?
Yes, Since Florida laws enforce strict liability for defective products, if you experienced vision loss or other severe injuries from the eye drops, you likely have a case. To ensure you make informed decisions and protect your rights, it’s best to seek professional legal counsel.
Our experienced Florida product liability lawyers will review your case to find out what we can do for you. If you used bad eye drops and sustained injuries, we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. This is an unexpected tragedy that shouldn’t happen to anyone. We will find out who is liable and hold them accountable for selling you a defective product and causing you harm.
Florida’s Laws on Product Liability Claims
As a Florida consumer, you have a right to file a civil action based on any theory for damages, including strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty, or nuisance.
Florida law protects consumers who get harmed by dangerous products. Under Florida 2021 Statutes 768.81(1)(d), any of the following parties can be liable for a consumer who gets harmed by a dangerous or defective product:
Any party involved in the assembly, design, manufacturing, formulation, prep, or installation of a defective product is subject to liability.
Three Different Types of Product Liability Claims You Can File in Florida
There are three types of product liability claims you can file in Florida. Find a reputable Florida product liability attorney with experience handling these cases. They will be able to best advise you on how to proceed with your case.
If a product gets contaminated or compromised during the manufacturing process and therefore becomes unsafe, you can file a manufacturing defect liability claim. Manufacturing defects can affect one single item or an entire product line.
Product Design Defect
Design defect liability claims are appropriate when the product design or formula is defective. If the actual configuration of the product causes harm, the customer can file a claim for defective design liability. Design defects are often a result of inadequate testing before a product is approved for retail and usually affect an entire line or batch of products.
Inadequate Warning, Improper Labeling, or Marketing Defect
Even a well-designed product can cause harm if it lacks proper instructions or warning labels. Manufacturers are legally responsible for providing clear and understandable warnings of all potential risks associated with product use. Failure to warn the public or misleading marketing can give rise to a liability claim.
Don’t Delay Any Longer – There Is a Time Limit to File a Florida Product Liability Claim
If you have experienced severe impairments after using contaminated eye drops, you need to act quickly. By law, Florida consumers have a time limit to file a product liability claim. The time limit is usually four years, but there may be exceptions depending on your case circumstances. Four years may seem like a long time, but legal processes can take time. Therefore, it’s better to get started sooner rather than later.
For wrongful death claims, surviving family members have two years from the death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you or someone you love experienced severe adverse consequences from recalled eye drops, contact a Florida product liability lawyer as soon as possible.
I Need to File Florida Product Liability Claim for Defective Eye Drops. What Should I Do Now?
- Stop using the eye drops immediately and follow FDA and CDC guidelines.
- Get medical attention to treat any infections or eye complications.
- Keep the eye drops, as they may serve as evidence for your case.
- Take a picture of your injuries and the defective product.
- Contact a Florida product liability attorney.
We will help protect you and your legal rights and stand up to big companies. They pay a lot of money to their legal teams to deflect liability, but we will not let them up easily. Do not accept a settlement offer from any companies until you speak with an attorney. It’s very likely that they will offer you a lowball settlement that does not fairly compensate you for your losses.
Coping With Vision Loss
Permanent vision loss requires huge adjustments that can significantly impact you and your loved ones. You will need to adjust to new circumstances and restore mobility and functioning. Daily tasks like getting dressed and preparing a meal become new challenges after losing your vision.
On top of that, you’ll have to grapple with the emotional toll of acquired blindness, overwhelming medical expenses, and lost independence. The worst part is knowing your pain and suffering could have been prevented. But the good news is that we can help you get financial reimbursement for everything you’ve endured.
If you are experiencing vision loss after using recalled eye drops, here are some tips for coping with it:
- Learn more about the condition and resources to help you.
- Get therapeutic counseling. This is a major life event that can induce strong emotions like anxiety, depression, loneliness, or helplessness.
- Be prepared for the grieving process and understand the stages.
- Consider adjustment classes and assistive devices.
- Call a Florida product liability lawyer for professional help with your case.
Contact a Florida Product Liability Attorney For Help With Your Case
We understand how difficult these times are and are sorry for all of your troubles. That’s why we want to help you get the maximum compensation possible for any undue harm you experienced as an innocent consumer. Our legal team will investigate your case to find out who is responsible for your losses and help you hold them accountable.
If you experienced severe complications after using defective eye drops, give us a call today. We offer a free initial case review to determine how we can best help you.