Dangerous Fungal Infections
In March of 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received a message from an eye doctor in New Jersey concerned about an abnormally high number of patients with a dangerous fungal infection of the eye. These patients had all used the same contact lens solution — Bausch & Lomb’s ReNu with MoistureLoc. As the CDC investigated, it eventually found more than 150 other Americans that it confirmed or suspected had the infection, Fusarium keratitis. Every one of the patients the CDC interviewed in the next month had used ReNu. In Asia, similar reports had been rolling in since the fall of 2005; Bausch & Lomb suspended sales there, but did not tell U.S. or European health authorities. On April 14, 2006, Bausch & Lomb pulled the product from shelves in the U.S., but did not recall it. A month later, after the CDC announced more than 100 confirmed cases of the infection due to ReNu, the manufacturer finally issued a worldwide recall of the tainted contact lens solution.
Fusarium keratitis is a fungal infection of the cornea, a part of the human eye. It is normally quite rare, and more common among people who don’t use contact lenses than those who do. Infected people can develop corneal ulcers, severe eye pain, excessive fluid leaking from the eye, oversensitivity to light, scarring of the cornea, and partial or complete blindness. Hundreds of lawsuits were filed by injured contact lens users who believe the company knew about the problem more than six months before the recall, yet failed to warn consumers. Legal experts expect many more, particularly since another Bausch & Lomb product, ReNu MultiPlus, was recalled in early 2007 because it contained too much iron.
For more information on the Fusarium keratitis outbreak and the Bausch & Lomb ReNu MoisturePlus recall, please see the FDA press release on the recall; general information on Fusarium, the Fusarium keratitis FAQ from the CDC and this article on the iron-related MultiPlus recall.
Eye infections are extremely serious and can have lifelong consequences for their victims. Because doctors often confuse Fusarium keratitis with less serious eye infections such as pinkeye, treatment is sometimes unnecessarily delayed until it’s too late to prevent partial or total blindness. Victims left untreated too long may need corneal transplants to see again.
When it fails in that duty, victims may hold the company liable for the injuries their products caused. That can include the cost of past and future medical treatment, medical devices to help accommodate blindness and financial losses such as loss of livelihood. They may also be able to collect compensation for non-financial damages such as pain and suffering or lost of quality of life.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with Fusarium keratitis or another form of eye infection related to contact lens solution, you should contact the Louthian Law Firm as soon as possible to protect your rights. Our experienced product liability attorneys can help you evaluate your unique case and pursue it through the legal system. We will work tirelessly to help you get the best possible outcome. We are proud to have represented injured South Carolinians since 1959; we understand the needs of people and families in a time of crisis. Call us today at toll free at (803) 454-1200. for a free, no-obligation consultation.
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If you have been injured by the Bausch & Lomb Renu lens solution product, contact the South Carolina personal injury attorneys at the Louthian Law Firm today. We have helped South Carolina accident victims win the compensation they deserve since 1959, and we are committed to providing personalized service. Call us today toll free at (803) 454-1200. You can also fill out our confidential online consultation form.