Lawsuit Alleges Infection From Recalled Eye Drops Caused Permanent Vision Damage, Light Sensitivity

The antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria found in recalled Artificial Tears eye drops can lead to inflammation and destruction of eye tissue, resulting in irreversible blindness, according to allegations raised in the complaint.

A product liability lawsuit filed by a California woman claims she has been left with potentially irreversible vision damage after using Ezricare Artificial Tears eye drops, which were recalled shortly after she purchased them through Amazon.com, following reports of similar infections linked to bacterial contamination.

The complaint (PDF) was brought by Shannon Urioste in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on June 26, pursuing damages from the manufacturers of the recalled eye drops, including Ezricare LLC, EzrRx LLC and Global Pharma Healthcare Private Ltd.

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

The strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa linked to recalled 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.

Urioste now joins a growing number of consumers who are pursuing Artificial Tears eye drop vision damage lawsuits, alleging that bacteria in the bottles 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, and a number of other users required surgical removal of their eye due to infections from the recalled Artificial Tears.

EYE DROPS RECALL LAWSUITS

Did you or a loved one use recalled eye drops?

Lawyers are investigating EzriCare Artificial Tears lawsuits for individuals who experienced eye infections, blindness or other problems following use of the recalled eye drops.

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The lawsuit indicates Urioste, of San Bernadino, purchased two bottles of Ezricare Artificial Tears eye drops in early January 2023 through Amazon.com. A little more than a month later, the eye drops were recalled.

However, Urioste had already used them, and began to suffer redness, irritation and swelling in both eyes. It was only when she visited her doctor that Urioste became aware that the eye drops had been recalled due to infection risks.

According to the complaint, Urioste was diagnosed with acute bacterial conjunctivitis in both eyes.

“As a result of Ms. Urioste’s use of EzriCare Artificial Tears and the subsequent infection she was diagnosed with, Ms. Urioste suffered from injury to both her eyes and to her vision,” the lawsuit indicates. “Her eyes are potentially permanently affected by the infection, as she now suffers from light sensitivity, constant dryness, burning, and itching, and she also sees spots within her field of vision.”

She presents claims of failure to warn, design and manufacturing defect, negligence, gross negligence, negligent misrepresentation/omission, fraud, fraudulent concealment, breach of warranty, negligent failure to timely recall, and violation of New Jersey consumer protection laws. Urioste seeks both compensatory and punitive damages.

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