Lawsuit Filed in Tampa against Bausch Lomb by Mitch E. Perry04/27/06
Today in Tampa, a New Port Richey woman filed a civil lawsuit against the contact Lens solution provider Bausch & Lomb.
The eye-care products maker suspended shipments of its ReNu with MoistureLoc solution in the US 2 weeks ago , when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed it was scrutinizing a flurry of Fusarium keratitis infections in Americans using the product.
Pinellas County based attorney Joseph Saunders spoke with reporters minutes after filing the suit at the Federal Courthouse in Tampa, discussing the suit on behalf of his client, Mary Scorzafava (roll tape#1 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?which is her dominant eyeÃ¢â‚¬?)
The number of suspected cases of the infection has risen to 186 in 27 states The CDC and the FDA are both investigating the outbreak and have NOT identified the Bausch product or anything else yet as the cause.
The Tampa based lawsuit comes on the same day that the Wall Street Journal reported that Hong Kong authorities notified Bausch & Lomb that eye infections in users of the companyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s product last November several months before the company stopped selling the product there.
Attorney Joseph Saunders told WMNF that fact alone is somewhat of an indictment against US health agencies (roll tape#2 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬? all made in the same placeÃ¢â‚¬?)
Saunders says he Ã¢â‚¬Ëœs had close to 100 calls complaining about infections, and is working with 40 individuals, but because Ms. Scorzafava had already been diagnosed with the specific infection, made her an ideal client to pursue a case against the contact lens solution company.
The suit says that Scorzafava began suffering pain and tearing in her left eye back in July of 2004, and was diagnosed a month later with the disease.
The CDC and FDA agencies said it could take a month to determine if MoistureLoc was the cause of the infections. Inspectors have been combing the Greenville, S.C., plant where the solution is made for Far East and U.S. markets, and extensive microbiological tests could take weeks to analyze.
On its web site, Bausch & Lomb emphasize that Only ReNu with MoistureLoc has been voluntarily withdrawn from the market. They recommend 2 other ReNu brands Ã¢â‚¬Å“or to another respected brandÃ¢â‚¬?Ã¢â‚¬Â¦.Attorney Joseph Saunders says their reaction has been less than forthcoming (roll tape#3 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?todayÃ¢â‚¬?)
MoistureLoc generated $45 million in U.S. sales last year. More than 30 million Americans wear contact lenses, and analysts estimate that nearly 10 million of them use Bausch & Lomb lens care solutions.