The concerns surrounding Global Pharma Healthcare’s defective eye drop products have once again been justified as the contaminated products claimed another life and infected additional users. A CDC investigation revealed that the company’s EzriCare Artificial Tears are responsible for an outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the U.S., an antibiotic-resistant bacteria that has led to deadly infections and loss of sight in EzriCare eye drop users across the U.S.
Users are filing EzriCare eye drop lawsuits seeking compensation for their damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. Whether or not they are successful will depend on if their product liability lawyers can offer sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the company neglected its duty of care, resulting in the plaintiffs’ life-threatening infections and significant damages. Plaintiffs in the EzriCare Artificial Tears lawsuits should seek out a product liability attorney to collect evidence, draft statements, document damages, and negotiate on their behalf to maximize their compensation.
Tainted Eye Drops Linked to Outbreak of Deadly Infections
EzriCare Artificial Tears is an over-the-counter brand of eye drops used to treat dry, irritated, or itchy eyes. The concerns over this particular product began after an unprecedented outbreak of carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa appeared. CRPA is a severe type of bacterial infection that does not respond to traditional antibiotic treatments. Pseudomonas aeruginosa has a thick outer membrane that makes it difficult if not impossible for antibiotics to penetrate. Typically, medical professionals would rely on carbapenem, a class of strong antibiotics, to combat the infection, but in this case, the infection has been resistant to even these antibiotics.
FDA Issues Multiple Recalls Related to Defective Eye Drops
The continued CRPA outbreak is happening in the context of other unrelated FDA recalls. While the EzriCare eye drop recalls pertained to insufficient microbial testing, substandard manufacturing practices, and inadequate safeguards for ensuring their packaging was safe, the recalls of Pharmedica’s Purely Soothing 15% MSM Drops and Apotex’s Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution related primarily to sterility issues.
Although unrelated, the issues across the industry highlight the need for rigorous safety testing to protect consumers from defective products. Consumers are entitled to products that are free from dangerous defects. When a company, such as Global Pharma Healthcare, fails to fulfill this duty to its customers, it can potentially be held for their damages in a product liability lawsuit.
More EzriCare Eye Drop Users Suffer Blindness
Since the CRPA infections were discovered, 81 people spanning 18 states have developed infections related to the contaminated EzriCare eye drops. Between March and May, an additional six people went blind and one person died as a result of eye drop-related CRPA. After narrowing down what the patients had in common, CDC investigators determined that they had used over-the-counter eye drops recently. The eye infections caused by the contaminated artificial tears were characterized by:
- Eye pain
- Swelling and redness
- Blurry vision
- Unusually wet or dry eyes
- Sensitivity to light
Once the patients contracted the eye infection, many experienced additional health issues. In some cases, the Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection caused permanent blindness, or spread to other parts of the body, causing sepsis, organ damage, and even death. Unfortunately, treatment options are extremely limited for antibiotic-resistant infections. Thus far, four people have died and fourteen have lost their vision after using Global Pharma Healthcare’s defective eye drops.
If you notice the signs of an eye infection and you have recently used over-the-counter eye drops, it is best to be overly cautious and contact your medical provider. The sooner you are examined, the sooner a healthcare provider should be able to offer you a treatment plan, likely giving you a better prognosis. Additionally, this creates a paper trail for your product liability lawyer to use to show that you took steps to mitigate your damages, which prevents the defendants from undermining your claim and trying to diminish your settlement for this reason.
Recovering Compensation in an EzriCare Eye Drop Lawsuit
The plaintiffs who have lost their vision will be required to adapt to a completely different lifestyle. For example, they will likely need professional assistance in learning how to navigate daily life, from cooking to grooming to grocery shopping. Others may have to forfeit their careers, leaving them without a source of income just as their medical bills are accumulating.
In addition to these losses, there is often a significant emotional toll associated with going blind.
People who have lost their sight after using defective EzriCare Artificial Tears may experience feelings of frustration, isolation, and even depression. Product liability lawsuits offer injured plaintiffs a pathway to recover financial compensation for the monetary, physical, and emotional costs associated with their injuries. This includes both economic damages, which acknowledge financial costs, as well as non-economic damages, which compensate plaintiffs for their intangible losses.
Examples of Damages in an EzriCare Eye Drop Lawsuit:
- Medical bills
- Lab tests
- Hospital stays
- Job-related losses
- Lost wages
- Missed promotions
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Wrongful death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of services and support
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of parental support and instruction
While losing your sight, even temporarily, is undoubtedly traumatic, you may be able to secure a degree of peace of mind knowing that your medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress have been compensated. The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the extent of your damages and your personal injury lawyer’s ability to demonstrate the value of those damages.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
That is why it is critical to carefully research product liability lawyers in your area and schedule a free consultation to evaluate their willingness to provide your claim with the attention it deserves. A reputable personal injury lawyer will have the respect of their peers and former clients, be able to show you a record of their previous settlements, and demonstrate expertise in the area of product liability, specifically. They will be able to assess the value of your damages and work to maximize your compensation in an EzriCare Artificial Tears lawsuit.