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Two Types of Illinois Products Liability Claims May Arise from Various Dangerous Contact Lenses

It’s not a good month for contact lens-wearers.

Just last week, our Chicago personal injury lawyers discussed serious injuries arising from a lens cleaning solution manufacturer’s failure to warn consumers that their product had the potential to cause serious eye burns. Now, according to MSNBC, two more instances of Illinois products liability claims have arisen from products also related to these seemingly innocuous vision correction devices.

In the first instance, amid growing reports of eye problems ranging from blurry vision to torn corneas, federal health officials are threatening to issue a public warning about recalled contact lenses manufactured by CooperVision Inc. which were sold widely at stores such as Costco, Wal-Mart and LensCrafters, reported MSNBC.

CooperVision, Inc., the world’s third-largest contact lens maker, and the number one manufacturer of toric lenses – or lenses that have two strengths of prescription correction perpendicular to each other – has yet to obey a request from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to broaden notification of problems associated with lenses that were recalled in August. Approximately 780,000 contact lenses were affected by the recall due to an unidentified residue that made its way into the lenses.

Because of this residue, dozens of consumers have suffered impaired vision, excruciating pain, or landed in emergency rooms for corneal tears and abrasions after wearing the contact lenses.

Under Illinois law, when a company knows that its product is potentially dangerous, the failure to warn consumers of those latent hazards places liability directly on the corporations who were negligent in their duty to caution against the danger. Critics are claiming that CooperVision has downplayed the recall of hundreds of lots of contact lenses in the United States, exposing vulnerable consumers to ongoing injury, reports MSNBC. For that reason, Illinois personal injury lawsuits may arise.

The second incident of contact lens-related product liability also involves a brand of lenses manufactured by CooperVision. MSNBC reports that, in a situation separate from the earlier recall, CooperVision is retracting more than 5 million contact lenses produced under a different brand, because they are contaminated with silicone oil residue and linked to blurred vision, eye injuries and severe pain. Whereas the earlier recall and failure to warn concerned CooperVision’s toric lenses, this latest withdrawal from the market affects spherical lenses, or single-correction contact lenses.

Consumers of these lenses endured severe injuries as well, ranging from torn corneas which required emergency medical treatment, to isolated incidents of temporary blindness. MSNBC states that the company expects to spend $23.2 million on the Avaira recalls, according to a press release issued by CooperVision, which may or may not include the costs of litigation following this recall.

An Illinois personal injury claim arising from this second situation would likely stem from the fact that the contacts were sold with a manufacturing defect, which occurs when an otherwise safe product is assembled carelessly. Here, CooperVision allowed silicone oil into the lenses which caused harm to consumers.

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers have extensive experience handling claims arising from injuries caused by defective products. If you have been harmed by either of these CooperVision products, or endured harm from another dangerous product, contact an attorney to be advised of your rights under the law. You may be entitled to compensation for your suffering.