Amazon Artificial Tears Lawsuit Filed Over Bacterial Keratitis Infection from Contaminated Eye Drops

Louisiana woman began suffering vision problems days before the FDA announced an Artificial Tears recall for eye drops she purchased from Amazon.com, which caused a bacterial keratitis infection.

After using Artificial Tears eye drops from Amazon.com, a Louisiana woman indicates she developed permanent injuries to her eyes and vision loss, due to toxic bacteria that was in the eye drops.

Jessica Herndon filed a complaint (PDF) on February 13 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, presenting claims not only against the manufacturers of the Artificial Tears, EzriCare LLC, Ezrirx LLC, Global Pharma Healthcare Private LTD., and Aru Pharma, Inc., but also against Amazon.com, Inc., which is where she purchased the contaminated eye drops.

The eye drops were part of a massive EzriCare Artificial Tears recall first announced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February 2023, after at least 55 reports were confirmed involving users who had suffered eye infections after exposure to bacteria in eye drops.

The strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa linked to recalled Artificial Tears eye drops poses a major health risk due to its antibiotic resistance and capability of mutating quickly. In severe cases, Pseudomonas aeruginosa may cause endophthalmitis, which is a rare but serious infection of the eyeball that can cause inflammation and destruction of the tissue throughout the eye, resulting in irreversible blindness.

Herndon now joins a growing number of consumers who are pursuing Artificial Tears lawsuits, alleging that bacteria in the eye drops caused a wide range of health problems, including vision loss, eye infections, bloodstream infections and other injuries. At least four deaths have now been linked to the eye drops, as well as a number of users who required surgical removal of their eye.

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Eye Drops Recall Lawsuits

Lawyers are investigating EzriCare Artificial Tears eye infection lawsuits for individuals who experienced problems following use of recalled eye drops.

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According to the lawsuit, Herndon purchased EzriCare Artificial Tears eye drops on Amazon.com in December 2022. However, in February, after using the eye drops, she began experiencing redness, itching, and pain in her eyes. She was diagnosed with corneal edema on February 10, 2023, just eight days after the recall was announced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

About a month later, in March 2023, Herndon was diagnosed with bacterial keratitis, central corneal ulceration and corneal scarring. In subsequent weeks, she was also diagnosed with temporal punctal occlusion, suffered vision loss and eye pain, and indicates that she now has debilitating and permanent injuries, the lawsuit claims.

“Due to Defendants’ negligent, reckless and/or intentional misconduct, consumers, like Plaintiff, purchased and used Defendants’ Product which was adulterated and contaminated with ‘a rare, extensively drug-resistant strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria’,” the lawsuit states. “These violations, along with the presence of this rare and, in some cases, deadly, bacteria pose a significant and severe health risk to consumers, such as Plaintiff, who purchased and used Defendants’ Product.”

Herndon presents claims of failure to warn, defective design and manufacture, negligence and gross negligence, negligent misrepresentation and omission, fraud, fraudulent concealment, breach of warranty, negligent failure to timely recall, and violations of New Jersey consumer fraud laws. She is seeking both compensatory and punitive damages.

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