Attorney Alex Arteag-Gomez, Attorney Natasha Cortes, and Attorney Ryan Yaffa of Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen are representing a South Florida woman who lost her eye after using eye drops that have since been recalled for bacterial contamination. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the voluntary eye drops recall in recent weeks, but not until dozens of people had reported severe eye infections and permanent blindness. At least one death caused by severe infection complications has been linked to the unsafe eye drops. The lawsuit filed by our firm in the Miami-Dade Circuit Court is demanding compensation and justice for the plaintiff, Clara Oliva, and was filed against defendants Global Pharma Healthcare Private Ltd., EzriCare LLC, Aru Pharma Inc, Leon Medical Centers LLC, and HealthSpring of Florida Inch. We are hopeful that it will help act as a guideline for many other similar lawsuits that are likely to soon follow.
Details of the Eye Drop Eye Loss Case
Our client, Clara Olivia, often suffered from dry eyes after being prescribed contact lenses about 30 years ago. She uses eye drops frequently, sometimes daily, to help lessen the irritation caused by dry eyes.
In May 2022, Clara was given EzriCare Artificial Tears through her healthcare insurance plan. Shortly after she started to use the eye drops, her right eye began showing symptoms of infection, including significant redness and swelling. Her healthcare provider prescribed an antibiotic and antimicrobial treatment, but nothing seemed to help. By the summer, she had attempted more than a dozen treatments, all of which failed, which resulted in the necessary surgical removal of her right eye. Due to poor visual acuity in her left eye, Clara can be considered legally blind.
What Caused the Eye Loss?
The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have determined that the recalled batches of eye drops from various brands were contaminated by the antibiotic-resistant bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. It is believed that the same type of bacterium infected Clara’s right eye, which is why it did not respond to the numerous treatment attempts by her medical care team.
Clara’s exposure to the dangerous bacteria by using eye drops is not unique, either. So far, more than 50 cases of eye infection and damage caused by bacteria-contaminated eye drops have been confirmed.
“This lawsuit is about safety and protecting everyone,” Attorney Yaffa said. “It’s a standard over-the-counter product that a huge portion of the general population is using. No one should be subjected to this unreasonable risk of harm just by getting products they need on a daily basis.”
Lawsuit to Pursue Compensation & Justice
In a 42-count lawsuit, our South Florida recalled eye drops attorneys from Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen allege numerous violations by the defendants, including but not limited to strict liability for a manufacturing defect and the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. Our legal team noted that EzriCare knew that its products had been linked to serious eye damage after the CDC first began its investigation, yet it did nothing to protect consumers. It was not until the CDC announced a larger swath of eye injury reports did EzriCare stop distributing the eye drops for consumer use.
As for Global Pharma, the FDA has admitted that the company’s response to the reports of eye injuries and blindness caused by unsafe eye drops was lacking. This inadequate response negligently put more consumers at risk of harm, we allege in the lawsuit.
Were you or a loved one seriously injured by an eye drop product? It could be related to the large-scale recall that is prompting legal action in multiple states. Learn if you can file a compensation claim by dialing (866) 629-1061 and speaking with the South Florida eye drop recall lawyers of Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen. Initial consultations are FREE for inquiring clients.