The FDA has recalled bands of eyedrops linked to patients with severe infections. The most commonly reported brand used by infected consumers is EzriCare’s “Artificial Tears.” It’s an over-the-counter, no-preservative eye drop product packaged in multidose bottles.
The Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops manufactured by Global Pharma Healthcare and distributed by two different companies were found to have a rare strain of bacteria. In light of the infections and other damages, the eye drops were recalled in February 2023.
The contaminating bacteria in the eyedrops is a drug-resistant strain called “Pseudomonas aeruginosa.” There are no previous reports of these bacterial strains in the US prior to this outbreak. Other consumers have experienced more severe side effects, including:
- Vision loss
- Cornea infection
- Bloodstream infection that led to death
- Respiratory and urinary tract infections
- Surgical removal of eyeballs due to severe and chronic eye infection
If you experienced any of the above side effects from defective eyed drops, you need to contact a Florida product liability lawyer immediately. You may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer for damage compensation.
Florida Woman Gets Eyeball Removal Surgery
Clara Oliva developed an infection in her right eye last year after using the eye drops that she received through her healthcare plan. The Miramar resident claims she tried everything to cure the infection, still struggling to understand what happened. From antibiotics to surgery, nothing seems to work. She eventually had surgery to remove her eyeball.
Then, she received a call from her clinic in November 2022 encouraging her to stop using the eye drops. She also found out that the eyedrops she’d been using are now being recalled by the FDA for possible bacterial contamination that can cause “blindness or death.”
The woman is now filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor, and clinic that gave her the eyedrops.
If you used eye drops that caused adverse effects, you may qualify to file a Florida product liability claim. Contact a Florida product liability lawyer today if you’ve used any of the eye drops below and experienced negative side effects.
What Brand of Eye Drops Were Recalled by the FDA?
The FDA has recalled the following brands of eye drops (effective February 2023):
- Brand: Global Pharma Healthcare
- Distributor: EzriCare and Dslam Pharma
- Defective Product: Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops
- Defective Product: Artificial Eye Ointment
- Brand: Pharmedica USA
- Defective Product: Purely Soothing 15% MSM Drops
- Brand: Apotex
- Defective Product: Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution 0.15%
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the following symptoms after using these eye drops, contact a Florida product liability attorney. We might be able to help you get compensation for injuries and suffering:
- Vision loss
- Eye, respiratory, urinary, or blood infection
- Other complications
- Death of a loved one
There has been one reported case of a consumer who developed a blood infection from the eyedrops and died. If you believe your loved one died from complications related to these eye drops, please call us to see how we can help you. Our Florida personal injury lawyers assist you in holding responsible parties accountable and getting financial reimbursement for everything you’ve been through.
In Which States Are Consumers Being Affected by the Contaminated Eye Drops?
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has collaborated with state and local health departments to track cases of eye drop-related complications. As of March 14, 2023, the CDC has confirmed a total of 68 cases of consumer infections. Among the confirmed infections, there have been eight reports of vision loss, four patients needing eye removal surgery, and one death due to a blood infection.
The following sixteen states have been confirmed to have patients with infections or other difficulties after using eye drops:
- North Carolina
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- South Dakota
- And Wisconsin
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Strongly Urge Customers to Stop Using Recalled Eye Drops
Both the FDA and CDC have released warnings against using the recalled eye drops. They urge consumers to immediately stop using artificial tears from EzriCare or Delsam Pharma. Furthermore, they advise getting emergency medical attention for any of the following symptoms after using eye drops or artificial tears:
- Feeling extra sensitive to light
- Difficulty opening eyes
- Eye pain
- Eye discomfort
- Impaired vision
- A feeling of particle or debris in the eye
- Red eyes
- Red or swollen eyelids
- Eye discharge (clear, yellow, or green)
- Crusting around the eye
These can be signs of an infection. If left untreated, the symptoms can exacerbate and cause long-term damage. Once you get the necessary medical care to treat your symptoms, contact an attorney ASAP.
You may have grounds to pursue legal action against the manufacturer, distributor, provider, or other party affiliated with the defective eye drops. An experienced Florida product liability lawyer can review your case and advise you on the best course of action. If you are eligible to seek damage recovery, we will fight aggressively to get you the maximum amount.
What Brands and Which Products Have Been Recalled?
Global Pharma (Distributed by EzriCare and Dslam Pharma)
Following recommendations from the FDA, Global Pharma voluntarily recalled two products due to manufacturing violations. According to the FDA, Global Pharma violated manufacturing protocol by:
- Failing to perform adequate testing for microbes
- Failing to package with sufficient preservatives
As a result, Global Pharma recalled their “Artificial Tears” and “Artificial Eye Ointment” due to potential bacterial contamination.
Pharmedica USA recalled two products as well. Both are anti-inflammatory eyedrops, which the company claimed were not sterile. One of the products is “Purely Soothing 15% MSM Drops”. The company urgently recommends people stop using their recalled products and return them to the retailer.
Apotex recalls six products, one of which is a prescription eye drop to treat glaucoma and ocular hypertension (Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution 0.15%). They recalled on the basis of alleged cracks in some of the eye drop bottles. The company advises consumers to stop using the products and get medical care right away if they used any recalled items.
How to Safely Use Eye Drops and Prevent Infection (Tips From the American Academy of Ophthalmology)
Millions of US consumers need eye drops and use them daily. From dry eyes to itchiness or prescription uses, eye drops are a staple in many peoples’ daily routines.
Sadly, the outcome is devastating when a product you use for comfort and relief does the exact opposite. When consumers use eye drops safely, they can be extremely beneficial for people with various conditions. However, the recent recall reminds us to always take precautionary measures when using eye drops. Here are some tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology:
- Never use preservative-free eye drops as they are more vulnerable to contamination and can cause infection
- If you think your eye drops are contaminated, stop using them. Once bacteria enter the bottle, they multiply rapidly and can easily get transmitted to the eye
- Wash your hands frequently, especially before and after eyedrop use and before you touch your eyes.
- Do not touch your eye with the tip of the bottle
- Discard expired eye drops
- Call a knowledgeable Florida product liability attorney if you experience a recurring infection or other symptoms connected to eye drop use.
Can I File a Lawsuit if I Was Injured or Infected by the Eye Drops?
If you experienced vision loss or worse side effects from defective eye drops, you might be eligible to file a product liability lawsuit. You need to speak with a knowledgeable Florida product liability lawyer to get solid legal counsel for your case.
We can assess your case details and advise you on the best way to proceed. No matter what, we will fight to protect your rights and help you seek justice for this unexpected mishap.
Florida upholds strict liability laws for defective products, so if you experienced vision loss or something more severe, you likely have a case.
Florida Product Liability Laws
Florida’s product liability statute (Florida 2021 Statutes 768.81(1)(d) allows consumers to hold any of the following parties legally responsible for injuries caused by their products:
Injured consumers have a right to file a civil action based on the following:
- Strict liability
- Breach of warranty
- Or other theories for damages caused by faulty manufacturing, design, formulation, preparation, assembly, or installation of a product.
Furthermore, if a loved one died due to a defective product, surviving family members could file a wrongful death claim.
There Are 3 Types of Product Liability Lawsuits in Florida
There are three main routes for filing a product liability claim in Florida. The type of claim you file depends on the specific circumstances of your case.
Product Design Defect Liability Claim
Design defect liability claims arise when a product’s formula or design is flawed. The actual design or configuration of the product is what causes harm to the consumer. If the faulty design is harmful and causes injuries, consumers have a right to seek damage recovery.
Such liability claims often result when products do not undergo proper quality assurance testing before hitting the market. Therefore, it’s usually a batch of products that have undiscovered design defects.
Inadequate Warning or Marketing Defect Liability Claim
It’s possible for a product to be well-designed and manufactured but still harm consumers. Manufacturers have a legal obligation to warn customers of all potential risks that come with using the product. Failing to warn the public or lack of sufficient warning labels can lead to a liability claim. A product that lacks proper or sufficient instructions for use is also subject to a marketing defect liability claim.
Manufacturing Defect Liability Claim
Perhaps a product has no design flaws but gets contaminated or otherwise compromised during the manufacturing process. If the product becomes unsafe due to a manufacturing error, you might have a case for manufacturing defect liability. This can occur for a single item or jeopardize an entire line of a product.
To determine exactly which type of product liability claim is appropriate for your case, speak with an attorney.
Florida’s Product Liability Statute of Limitations
Florida allows product liability or defective product injury victims four years to file a claim. The deadline or statute of limitations may have exceptions depending on your unique circumstances.
Furthermore, if you need to file a wrongful death claim, you have two years.
Four years seems like a lot of time, but legal processes can have unexpected turns or obstacles. Therefore, it’s best to start sooner rather than later. If you or someone you love was injured by recalled eye drops, please contact a Florida product liability attorney right away.
I Think I Need to File a Florida Product Liability Claim. What Should I Do Next?
If you have been using any of the recalled eye drops or are still using them, follow FDA guidelines and discontinue use now. Then, see a medical professional as soon as possible. Once you get the treatment you need for any infections or eye complications, you need to consult an experienced Florida product liability attorney. We will help you hold the responsible companies accountable for your injuries.
Be sure to keep the eye drops if you haven’t discarded them yet. Store it in a biohazard-safe, sealed container to prevent further contamination. You’ll want to keep the eyedrops as evidence for your case. Take pictures of your injuries and defective eye drops.
If you have permanent vision loss or need to get eye removal surgery, your life will be affected permanently. Not only will you have medical bills piling up, you now have to miss work and live with compromised abilities. On top of that, you may experience emotional anguish from all the damage, all while having to learn to live without vision or with impaired vision. What you’ve suffered is unfair, and you have a right to financial reimbursement.
Secure your rights and protect yourself by gearing up with legal representation. Big companies are prepared with legal teams that work to avoid liability, but we won’t let them off easy. Most importantly, don’t accept any settlement offers without consulting an experienced attorney. Your case is likely worth much more than they initially offer.
Contact a Florida Product Liability Attorney Today
We are sorry to hear about your losses due to seemingly safe eye drops. While we understand how difficult it has been to deal with the negative side effects, there’s good news. Our legal team can help you or your loved one file a Florida product liability claim to get rightful damage recovery for all your damages.
If you experienced severe complications after using Global Pharma eye drops, give us a call today. We are happy to give you a free initial case review to determine how we can best help you.