Eye Drops Vision Damage Lawsuit Filed Over Bacteria in Recalled Artificial Tears

Massachusetts woman was left with permanent vision damage from eye drops contaminated with bacteria, which were sold through Amazon.com

According to allegations raised in a recently filed product liability lawsuit, a Massachusetts woman was left with permanent and debilitating vision damage from recalled Ezricare Artificial Tears purchased on Amazon.com, indicating that the eye drops were contaminated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria.

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Conceicao Gouveia last month in New Jersey federal court, alleging that her severe eye infection was caused by the manufacturer and on-line retailer’s failure to appropriately test the eye drops for bacteria.

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, 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 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.

Gouveia now joins a growing number of consumers who are pursuing Artificial Tears eye drop vision damage lawsuits, alleging that bacteria 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.


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.


According to her lawsuit, Gouveia, of Massachusetts, purchased Ezricare Artificial Tears eye drops through Amazon.com in May 2022. In January 2023, she began experiencing redness, itching, sharp pain, and burning in her eyes. She also began seeing floaters, light flashes.

In February 2023, Gouveia was diagnosed with dry eye syndrome, double vision, ocular headaches, posterior vitreous detachment and blurred vision, as well as vitreous membranes and strands.

“As a result of Plaintiff’s use of EzriCare Artificial Tears, she developed serious ocular irritation, which caused her vision to be blurred and/or diminished as well as extreme discomfort,” the lawsuit states. “Plaintiff’s injuries are debilitating and permanent in nature.”

When the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria outbreak began, the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) traced the contamination back to bottles of EzriCare Artificial Tears products. It was the first time this particular strain of the bacteria was discovered in an outbreak in the United States.

Gouveia’s lawsuit indicates EzriCare failed to properly test its products and ensure that they were sterile, resulting in at least 81 infection reports. She presents claims of failure to warn, defective design and manufacture, negligence and gross negligence, negligent failure to warn, negligent design and manufacture defect, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, fraudulent concealment, breach of warranty, negligent failure to timely recall, and violations of New Jersey consumer protection laws. The lawsuit seeks both compensatory and punitive damages.


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