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woman dropping eye lubricant to treat dry eye or allergy

A Florida woman recently filed a new EzriCare eye drops lawsuit in the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida.

She claims that after using the eye drops, she suffered catastrophic permanent injuries. She seeks compensation for her medical expenses, pain and suffering, rehabilitation expenses, disability, and mental distress.

Plaintiff Used Eye Drops Without Knowledge of the Dangers

According to her complaint, the plaintiff had a history of dry eyes related to her use of prescribed contact lenses, which she’d worn for about 30 years. To address the issue, she used eye drops, purchasing them from the medical center through her insurance plan provided by one of the named defendants, HealthSpring.

HealthSpring typically provided the plaintiff with eye drops manufactured by Bausch + Lomb, Inc. But in May 2022, the plaintiff noticed that the eye drops authorized by her insurer had changed. This time she was given EzriCare Artificial Tears.

On February 2, 2023, Global Pharma Healthcare—a company in India—recalled all lots within expiry of its Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops distributed by EzriCare and Delsam Pharma, due to concerns of bacterial contamination.

At the time that the plaintiff received these eye drops, there was no information about a possible recall. She started using the EzriCare eye drops she received and continued to use them over the next few months.

Plaintiff Suffers Lasting Injuries To Her Eye Caused by Infection

On August 1, 2022, the plaintiff developed swelling, redness, and tearing in her right eye, which had previously had no issues and provided good vision. She went to the medical center to be evaluated by an ophthalmologist. She was seen by several different providers and was told she had a corneal scratch. The doctors prescribed medications, including antibiotics.

Despite her adherence to the treatment, the plaintiff’s symptoms in her right eye persisted and worsened. She went to the emergency room on August 4th, 2022. The doctors there escalated the dosages and frequency of her antimicrobial and antibiotic treatment. They also performed tests on her eye and determined that she had a confluent peripheral corneal ulcer. They obtained a culture and told her to return in three days.

On August 7, 2022, the plaintiff went back. Her doctors noted that her eye was not improving and that her visual acuity was deteriorating. The size of the ulcer had grown and they also found the presence of a fungus. They were still waiting on the results of the culture, so they started her on antifungal therapy, as well as an antiviral regimen.

Three days later, the plaintiff returned to the clinic. The results of the culture had come in and showed the growth of a particular antibiotic-resistant bacteria called pseudomonas aeruginosa. This is the same bacteria that would later be found in opened bottles of EzriCare and that resulted in the product recall. Her doctors changed her treatment once again.

Plaintiff Rendered Legally Blind

From August 12th to August 27th, the plaintiff returned to the clinic 10 times. Despite multiple attempts at treatment, her case didn’t improve. On August 29, 2022, she underwent a penetrating keratoplasty procedure (the surgical removal of a damaged or diseased portion of the cornea).

During the operation, the surgeon noted abscesses that went well beyond the capacity of the procedure to remove, so the procedure was aborted. Given the exhaustion of the treatment methods and the risk of the infection spreading through her body, her doctors recommended enucleation (removal) of her right eye.

On September 1, 2022, the plaintiff underwent surgical removal and replacement with a plastic implant. She is now legally blind and blames the whole ordeal on her use of EzriCare Artificial Tears.

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