$1,400,000 Settlement for Bausch & Lomb Eye Care / Contact Lens Products
- Date: Fall 2009
- Attorney: Mitchell J. Makowicz
- Settlement: $1,400,000
- Practice Areas: Product Liability, Eye Care Products
Blume Donnelly Partner, Mitchell Makowicz, Jr., represented a man in his late thirties who wore contact lenses without incident or difficulty for approximately twenty years. For all of that time, our client used Bausch & Lomb (B & L) eye care, contact lens products and solutions exclusively. In March of 2006, after returning from a visit to Puerto Rico, the man presented to the emergency room with complaints of severe pain and poor vision in his left eye. He was given antibiotic drops and discharged. Three days later, after getting no relief, he went to an ophthalmologist who, in turn, referred him to a corneal specialist. Our client was found to be suffering from a condition known as fusarium keratitis (FK), which is inflammation of the cornea due to a fungus called fusarium. The diagnosis was confirmed by testing performed at the Centers For Disease Control. In April of 2006, B&L removed the lens solution known as ReNu with MoistureLoc from the market after media reports surfaced of an unusually high incidence of FK infections in users of that product (especially those who live in warmer climates). Our client had indeed used that particular contact lens solution. Pre-trial discovery disclosed that B&L was aware of the unusual incidence of FK infections in users of their product, yet did not recall the solution from the market for nearly two months, nor did they notify doctors or the general public of the risk posed by the use of ReNu with MoistureLoc. Mr. Makowicz further discovered that this solution was marketed with a previously unproven disinfectant, and that test results of the solution’s efficacy raised issues that were not addressed prior to the product being placed on the market. Our client eventually underwent a corneal transplant and, after rejection of the tissue, three more transplants since. He has been left with poor vision in his left eye, which cannot be corrected by a prescription contact lens or with glasses. Mitch Makowicz settled this case before trial for $1,400,000.