First lawsuit filed against the maker of EzriCare eyedrops linked to bacterial infections
By: April Carson
On Thursday evening, a woman from Florida launched legal action against the manufacturer of EzriCare artificial tears and Walmart due to suffering a bacterial infection that she asserted was provoked by using their eye drops. This is the first lawsuit of its kind to be filed against the two companies, and it could set a precedent for future legal action.
The Houston-based Lange Law Firm is representing Teresa Phillips, 60 of Bradford County in a lawsuit that has been filed against eyedrops linked to Pseudomonas aeruginosa - the drug-resistant bacterial infection. This case marks the first nationwide lawsuit related to injuries caused by this particular bacteria.
The lawsuit claims that Phillips used the eyedrops for at least 2 weeks before she noticed irritation and pain in her right eye. She then consulted with a physician, who diagnosed her with a Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection.
Phillips submitted a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, revealing that she acquired EzriCare artificial tears shortly before her infection.
According to the lawsuit, Phillips voiced her misery of "constant itching" and "torturous pain in her eyes," despite a regimen of antibiotics. Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that these weren't powerful enough to stop the infection after one week.
As a result of the infection, Phillips underwent surgery and is still facing lingering effects, reported the firm.
The lawsuit also states that in 2015 and 2018, the FDA issued warnings to the maker of EzriCare about "certain lots" due to an increase in complaints regarding contamination with bacteria. The lawsuit is seeking compensation for injuries allegedly caused by the product.
A staggering 56 cases of bacterial infection have been associated with EzriCare artificial tears in 12 states, with five patients suffering from vision loss and one fatality due to the bacteria entering their bloodstream. Doctors warn that the likelihood of more victims is not out of the question.
On February 2nd, Global Pharma Healthcare boldly and voluntarily issued a recall of their eyedrops due to potential contamination.
With the risk of contamination still unknown, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration are collaborating with local health officials to assess this outbreak. Last week's alert from the CDC revealed that samples have been collected since May 2022 up until January to uncover further details regarding this matter.
Neither Global Pharma nor Walmart responded to inquiries regarding the lawsuit at first. In December, the FDA initially identified an outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and traced it to EzriCare drops in January, per Audra Harrison from the FDA.
At the moment, 46 cases have been confirmed across 23 states in the United States. In addition to this, Global Pharma has issued a nationwide recall of EzriCare products manufactured by their facility located in India and distributed to Walmart stores.
EzriCare drops have not been approved by the FDA, but are legally sold under a regulatory guideline that permits over-the-counter products to be distributed if they abide by certain criteria. The FDA does not thoroughly examine and accept these specific goods in advance.
In response to the damning news, Global Pharma released a statement that day saying: “We are deeply concerned about the reports of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections associated with our product and take these matters very seriously.
The lawsuit, filed by Harrison's family and several other individuals who had developed infections after using EzriCare eyedrops, seeks damages from Global Pharma for negligence, breach of an implied warranty, and unjust enrichment. The plaintiffs believe that the company was aware of potential contamination issues with their product but failed to take corrective action. They are now seeking compensation and justice for the individuals affected by these infections.
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April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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