4 People Lose Eyeballs from EzriCare Artificial Tears due to Bacterial Outbreak
Sixty-eight people in 16 states have been sickened by an outbreak of drug-resistant bacteria that’s been linked to EzriCare Artificial Tears eye drops and Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Eye Ointment, which are produced by Global Pharma Healthcare. As of the writing of this article, 16 patients have been hospitalized, 8 have experienced vision loss, and 4 required surgery (enucleation) to have their eyeballs permanently removed. So far, one death has been reported as a result of the bacterial outbreak – a patient in the state of Washington.
The CDC first released a health alert about these products in early February, when the manufacturer recalled the eye drops due to reports of sickening in 55 people across 12 states. The outbreak involves a rare, drug-resistant strain of
, which is believed to have occurred during the manufacturing process in Chennai, India, where Global Pharma is based. By February 22, case counts had increased from 55 sickened users to 68, with 5 cases of permanent vision loss and one case of enucleation.
The Food and Drug Administration has asked consumers to stop using both products immediately. According to the agency, there were serious violations by the manufacturer, such as “lack of appropriate microbial testing, formulation issues (lack of preservatives for multi-use bottles), and lack of proper controls concerning tamper-evident packaging.”
Unfortunately, the threat of infection won’t necessarily go away even if the eye drops are thrown out. This type of bacteria can lay low and spread without the patients showing any signs of illness, which is especially alarming in health care facilities. So far, 37 of the 68 cases that have been reported are linked to several health care facilities. With the widespread and potentially fatal effects of these eye drops, it remains to be seen how many people will be affected by Global Pharma’s negligence.
If you or a loved one suffered health complications, including death, from using EzriCare Artificial Tears or Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Eye Ointment, please take a moment to learn about your legal rights from one of our attorneys. As the victim of a catastrophic injury that was caused by the manufacturer, you are entitled to monetary compensation, which we can help you obtain. To schedule a free case evaluation with a defective product injury attorney, contact our law firm as soon as possible.
Your Right to Sue the Manufacturer for a Product-Related Injury
The state of California operates under the law of strict liability when it comes to a manufacturer’s responsibility for their product. Essentially, a manufacturer can be sued for making, designing, or selling a defective product, even if there was no negligence on their part. In short, the fact that there was a problem during the manufacturing process, and you were injured as a result is all that’s needed to file a product liability injury claim.
Under California’s strict liability law, companies are liable for an unsafe / defective product under the following circumstances:
They played a role in designing, manufacturing, or distributing the product in question.
The defect in the product occurred while it was still in the manufacturer’s possession (i.e., not caused by the seller or consumer).
The consumer did not use the product in an unsafe manner, which could have led to their injury.
As someone that was harmed by this product through no fault of your own, various forms of compensation may be available to you, which we will cover in the next section. If you would like to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury lawyer, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Restitution from a Defective Product Injury Claim
Through a successful product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer, you can obtain economic and non-economic damages, which will compensate you for the harm you’ve suffered. Below is a list of the damages that may be awarded to you:
Medical expenses for physical injuries and mental health issues
Lost wages / income
Pain and suffering
Emotional distress / mental anguish
Loss of consortium
While your physical injury serves as the foundation of your case, non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, make up a significant portion of these settlements. That’s understandable, as losing your eyes and your ability to see will undoubtedly cause severe emotional trauma for the victim and their loved ones. Victims will also lose their ability to perform basic tasks, like driving, going to work, and crossing the street without assistance. These and many other changes bring about all sorts of hardship, which no one should have to pay for when someone else is responsible for their injuries. Our lawyers are ready to fight for you, and we will not rest until you receive justice, and the manufacturer is brought to account for their careless actions.
Wrongful Death Compensation for Loved Ones
As we’ve mentioned, there has one death so far which is believed to have occurred as a result of the bacterial outbreak during the manufacturing of these eye drops. If you have lost a family member, spouse, or registered domestic partner to an infection that was caused by this product, you may have grounds for a wrongful death compensation claim against the responsible parties. This is a legal action that allows loved ones to obtain compensation for:
Medical bills associated with the decedent’s injuries
Loss of expected savings / benefits
Loss of consortium
Pain and suffering
Making a case for wrongful death can be quite challenging, as it’s based on the losses that are suffered by the victim’s loved ones as a result of their unexpected passing. In particular, it’s difficult to put a dollar value of emotional damages, like loss of consortium, which refers to the loss of companionship, support, intimacy, and other non-tangible benefits. DTLA Law Group has lawyers with extensive experience in wrongful death lawsuits, who can fight to bring you maximum payment in each of these categories.
Is there a Class Action Lawsuit on these Cases?
Within the past few weeks, we’ve received a number of calls from concerned users of EzriCare Artificial Tears and Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Eye Ointment. Some people are already in the process of filing a lawsuit against Global Pharma Healthcare, EzriCare, and Delsam Pharma. Others have expressed interest in class action lawsuits, which is certainly a possibility as more consumers come forward.
If you are interested in joining or starting a class action on these cases, contact us right away to learn about the class action claims process. Keep in mind that other legal options are available to you, including mass torts and personal action claims (filing a lawsuit on your own). Our goal is to help you understand your rights and choose the course of action that’s in your best interest.
Settlement Value of an Eye Injury / Vision Loss Injury Case
Cases involving permanent injuries to the eyes, including eyeball removal and blindness, are generally high value cases. The majority of verdicts range from $1 million to $3 million when there is damage to or removal of one eye. If both eyes are affected, a settlement from a product liability claim may exceed $5 million. These amounts make sense when you consider all the things that our eyes allow us to do. There are significant changes you will need to make in many areas of your life, and your settlement needs to reflect the damage that was done to you by the manufacturer. Of course, what you can recover from a lawsuit is specific to your injuries and their impact on your life. A personal injury lawyer at our office can help you determine the value of your case during a free consultation.
How Long is the Settlement Process for These Cases?
We know that it’s impossible to truly move forward from this incident until you’ve obtained the payment you deserve. Our main priority is to bring you a resolution as soon as possible, but how long that will take depends on numerous factors. The type of legal action you are filing certainly plays a role (class action versus personal injury claim), along with the extent of your injuries and the amount you are seeking. Some cases may be resolved within 6 months, but others will take around 2 years or longer, especially if a trial is needed due to the manufacturer’s refusal to make a fair settlement offer.
Is There a Deadline to File a Defective Product Lawsuit?
Yes, the deadline to file a lawsuit is two years in the state of California, starting from when you discovered the injury that was caused by this product. This can be complicated to figure out, as some people have multiple injuries that are diagnosed at different times. Or, they may start out with one type of injury that develops into a more serious condition, or additional complications over a period of time. To verify the correct deadline to file your lawsuit, just give us a call at our office.
DTLA is Here for You, 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week
You can count on us to be there when you need immediate assistance from a product recall lawyer that’s experienced in catastrophic injuries. Our law firm is available to take your calls 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, so you can contact us anytime if you or someone you know suffered eye injuries from EzriCare Artificial Tears eye drops or Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Eye Ointment.
The attorneys of DTLA are ready to take immediate action on your claim and bring you every penny you deserve for the harm you’ve suffered. However, you won’t have to worry about legal fees, as we are a contingency-based law firm. Our payment comes to us directly from the defendant, so it’s the manufacturer that’s paying our bills, not you. If it turns out that we fail to recover your settlement, you owe us nothing, since we don’t believe in getting paid unless you receive justice.
For a free case review to learn about your rights and legal options, contact our law firm as soon as possible.
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