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Contaminated Eye Drops Lawsuits

Learn About Filing an Artificial Tears or EzriCare Eye Drops Infection Lawsuit

Our law firm is handling lawsuits against EzriCare, LLC and Delsam Pharma LLC, involving the companies’ sale of contaminated eye drops. These companies’ eye drops (or labeled as Artificial Tears and Artificial Eye Ointment) have been discovered to contain dangerous bacteria that have caused vision loss, total blindness and even death in some cases.

If you or a loved one has suffered from an infection caused by contaminated eye drops sold by EzriCare or Delsam Pharma, you should speak with a lawyer promptly. You or your family may be entitled to significant financial compensation. It costs nothing to learn about your legal rights, and, if you have a claim, you will pay nothing out-of-pocket for your legal representation.

What Eye Drops are Being Recalled?

EzriCare and Delsam Pharma have recalled their Artificial Tears and Artificial Eye Ointment eye drops following multiple consumer warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other health authorities.

Both companies are under the umbrella of Global Pharma, which first initiated a recall of the companies’ Artificial Tears eye drops on February 2, 2023. In its recall statement, Global Phara wrote:

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alerted FDA to an investigation of a multi-state cluster of Verona Integron-mediated Metallo-β-lactamase (VIM)- and Guiana-Extended Spectrum-β-Lactamase (GES)- producing carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (VIM-GES-CRPA) infections possibly associated with the use of the artificial tears manufactured by Global Pharma Healthcare. To date, there are 55 reports of adverse events, including eye infections, permanent loss of vision, and death with a bloodstream infection.”

Since then, the recall has expanded to include Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Eye Ointment. The FDA issued a warning to consumers and healthcare professionals not to use Artificial Eye Ointment on February 21, 2023, and Global Pharma agreed to issue a recall for Artificial Eye Ointment the following day.

Currently, the Delsam Pharma and EzriCare eye drop that are subject to recalls are:

  • Artificial Tears (carboxymethylcellulose sodium) Lubricant Eye Drops, 10 mg in 1 mL, ½ fl oz (15 ml) bottle (Ezricare NDC 79503-0101-15, UPC 3 79503 10115 7)
  • Artificial Tears (carboxymethylcellulose sodium) Lubricant Eye Drops, 10 mg in 1 mL, ½ fl oz (15 ml) bottle (Delsam Pharma’s NDC 72570-121-15, UPC 3 72570 12115 8)
  • Artificial Eye Ointment (mineral oil 15%, white petrolatum 83%, 3.5 grams / 1/8 oz.) (Delsam Pharma’s NDC 72570-122-35, UPC 3 72570 12235 3)

Due to the risks involved, the FDA recommends that consumers immediately stop use of these products, and it is advising healthcare providers not to use these eye drops with their patients. The CDC describes the current situation as an “outbreak” and has identified 81 patients in 18 states who were diagnosed with “a rare strain of extensively drug-resistant P. aeruginosa” caused by VIM-GES-CRPA infections from Artificial Tears, Artificial Eye Ointment, and other eye drops as of May 15, 2023.

The recalls apply to eye drops distributed through health care providers and pharmacies as well as those sold in retail stores and over the Internet. This includes those sold at Walmart and on Amazon.

How Were the Eye Drops Contaminated?

According to the CDC, it is currently unclear whether EzriCare and Delsam Pharma’s eye drops were contaminated during the manufacturing process or became contaminated after opening. This lack of clarity is due in large part to the fact that Global Pharma did not adequately test its products for bacterial contamination before selling them to healthcare providers, pharmacies and retailers. The CDC also found that Global Pharma packaged Artificial Tears in multiple-use bottles without necessary preservatives in violation of the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP).

As a result of these violations, among others, the FDA recently added Global Pharma to its “red list” of high-risk overseas pharmaceutical manufacturers. Global Pharma is based in India and has run into issues with the FDA previously. According to news reports, after the EzriCare and Delsam Pharma eye drop recalls, FDA agents visited Global Pharma’s facilities in India, where they “found the company failed to take basic steps during sterilization, relied on deficient manufacturing processes and methods to ensure and verify sterility, and did not have adequate systems to create aseptic conditions, among other issues.”

Regardless of the specific reason for contamination, if Global Pharma should have taken additional steps to protect consumers who used its Delsam Pharma and EzriCare eye drops, it can be held legally accountable. Manufacturers that sell products to U.S. consumers have a legal duty to ensure that their products are reasonably safe for their intended use. This means that eye drops need to be sterile.

While it appears that Global Pharma may have knowingly flouted the FDA’s requirements for selling eye drops in the United States, proof that the company ignored its legal obligations isn’t necessary to file a contaminated eye drops lawsuit. These lawsuits fall under the law of products liability, which holds manufacturers “strictly liable” for selling dangerous and defective products.

But Global Pharma’s apparent blatant disregard for the law raises other questions as well. For example, did Walmart and Amazon know, or should they have known, that Global Pharma was selling non-compliant (and thus potentially dangerous) eye drops? Major retailers cannot turn a blind eye to the risks associated with the products they sell, and if Walmart or Amazon ignored warning signs when doing business with Global Pharma, they could potentially share legal responsibility for customers’ diagnoses.

Common Side Effects of Contaminated Eye Drops

Contaminated eye drops present several serious risks. Due to these risks, the CDC and FDA are recommending that consumers immediately stop using Artificial Tears and Artificial Eye Ointment distributed by EzriCare and Delsam Pharma. According to the CDC, early warning signs of bacterial eye infections caused by contaminated eye drops include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Clear, green, or yellow discharge from the eye
  • Eye pain or discomfort
  • Foreign body sensation (feeling like you have something in your eye)
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Redness of the eye or eyelid

Anyone who is experiencing these symptoms after using Artificial Tears or Artificial Eye Ointment should see a doctor promptly. While the bacteria contained in these eye drops are highly drug-resistant, prompt treatment can mitigate patients’ risk, and it can help protect patients from the most severe consequences of eye drop-related infections in some cases. These consequences include:

Partial Vision Loss

Partial vision loss is among the most common long-term consequences of using contaminated eye drops, according to the CDC. Even if you do not experience any of the symptoms listed above, if you notice visual impairments after using Artificial Tears or Artificial Eye Ointment distributed by EzriCare or Delsam Pharma, you should seek treatment immediately.

Total Blindness

The use of contaminated Artificial Tears and Artificial Eye Ointment has also been linked to total vision loss in some cases. Blindness caused by bacterial infections can be permanent, and partial vision loss can lead to total blindness without effective treatment.

Surgical Eyeball Removal

According to the CDC’s May 2023 data, four patients diagnosed with bacterial infections from contaminated eye drops were forced to undergo enucleation or surgical removal of the eyeball. This, obviously, is a painful and life-changing procedure that negatively impacts all aspects of patients’ lives.

Wrongful Death

The CDC has also reported at least four cases of wrongful death resulting from contaminated eye drop bacterial infections. Infection-related deaths can occur when the infection spreads from the eye to other parts of the body.

Do You Have a Contaminated Eye Drop Lawsuit?

If you have been diagnosed with an infection after using Artificial Tears or Artificial Eye Ointment, do you have a contaminated eye drop lawsuit? What if you have tragically lost a loved one to a bacterial infection caused by one of these dangerous products?

In both of these scenarios, you should discuss your legal rights with an attorney as soon as possible. You may have a contaminated eye drop lawsuit—and if you do, you will need to work with an experienced attorney to seek the financial compensation you deserve. Several individuals and families are already pursuing lawsuits against EzriCare, Delsam Pharma, and Global Pharma, and we expect the number of lawsuits to rise significantly in the future.

When you contact us for a free consultation, our attorneys will work with you to carefully assess your legal rights. If possible, during your free consultation, you should have your (or your loved one’s) medical records available, and you should also try to locate your receipt, bottle or other proof of purchase. If you don’t have these, that’s okay, but it is worth putting in some effort to see what you can find (if you are able to do so).

If you have a contaminated eye drop lawsuit, our attorneys will handle your case for you, and we will work with trusted experts to calculate just compensation for your financial and non-financial losses. These include your medical expenses, other out-of-pocket costs, lost earnings, and loss of consortium and enjoyment of life. We will also help you make informed decisions throughout the process—including your decision regarding settlement (if a settlement offer is on the table).

FAQs: Filing a Contaminated Eye Drop Infection Lawsuit

What Should I Do if I Have Been Diagnosed with an Infection from Contaminated Eye Drops?

If you have been diagnosed with an infection from contaminated eye drops (i.e., Artificial Tears or Artificial Eye Ointment), you should speak with an attorney about your legal rights. Companies can—and should—be held liable for selling dangerous and defective products, and several individuals and families have already succeeded in filing lawsuits for contaminated eye drops. We provide free initial consultations for all claims, and you can contact us 24/7 to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys.

Do I Need to Meet with a Lawyer in Person About Filing a Contaminated Eye Drop Lawsuit?

No, at least not initially. We can conduct your free initial consultation over the phone, and you can contact us for an appointment regardless of where you live. While we enjoy getting to know our clients in person, the most important thing is that you take action to protect your legal rights as soon as possible.

How Much Can I Recover for an Infection from Contaminated Eye Drops (i.e., Artificial Tears or Artificial Eye Ointment)?

The amount you can recover from your infection depends on your individual circumstances. These include the immediate and long-term health effects of your infection, your lost earnings (presently and in the future), and various other factors. When you choose our firm to represent you, we will provide an estimate of the amount we believe we can help you recover, and then you can make an informed decision about whether to move forward.

How Long Do I Have to File an EzriCare Eye Drops Infection Lawsuit?

The amount of time you have to file an EzriCare eye drops infection lawsuit also depends on your individual circumstances. All claims are subject to a statute of limitations, and once the statute of limitations for your claim expires, you will no longer be able to assert your legal rights. Fortunately, the statute of limitations is years long, and most people who have recently been diagnosed with infections caused by contaminated eye drops still have time to file.

What is the First Step to File a Contaminated Eye Drop Lawsuit?

If you think you may have a contaminated eye drop lawsuit, your first step is to speak with an attorney. At Searcy Denney, we have decades of experience handling defective product claims against major manufacturers. Our attorneys can thoroughly assess your legal rights, explain everything you need to know, and fight to recover just compensation on your behalf.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

Are you entitled to financial compensation for harm caused by contaminated eye drops? Contact us to find out. For a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced attorney at Searcy Denney, call 800-780-8607 or tell us how we can reach you online today.

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