MoisturePlus Multi-Purpose Solution is a type of cleaning solution for contact lenses manufactured by Advanced Medical Optics. In 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a recall alert for the MoisturePlus Solution product. The recall was issued because the manufacturer had received many reports of consumers experiencing a rare but serious eye condition called acantahmoeba keratitis (AK), which can result in permanent impairment of vision or blindness.
The company initiated the recall voluntarily, because of reports of the serious eye infections, which are caused by a parasite. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) conducted an investigation and established the link between MoisturePlus and the parasitic infection.
Consumers who wear soft contact lenses were directed to stop using MoisturePlus and throw away all partly-used and even unopened bottles. In addition, consumers were told to replace their soft contact lenses and their soft-lens storage containers.
The eye condition, AK, is caused by a parasite and has been linked to the MoisturePlus Solution. Research estimates that AK affects about 2 out of every 1 million contacts lens users. However, another investigation has disclosed that consumers who used the MoisturePlus solution were at seven times greater than normal risk of developing AK.
What Are the Health Risks Associated with MoisturePlus?
Acantahmoeba keratitis affects otherwise healthy people, including those who wear contact lenses. It occurs due to a type of parasitic amoeba that attacks the cornea of the eye. The amoeba can survive in spaces between the eye and the contact lens; therefore, proper lens care and cleaning should be performed regularly.
Symptoms of AK can include the following:
- Loss of vision;
- Diminished vision, blurred vision, or other similar symptoms;
- Pain or discomfort in the eye;
- Red eyes;
- An unusual amount of tearing;
- A feeling that there is something in the eye;
- Inflammation of the front of the eye;
- Corneal ulcer (in the later stages of the disease);
- Sensitivity to light.
Advanced cases of AK can result in permanent loss of sight. In some cases, if AK is detected early, the disease can be cured by a variety of treatments including a transplant of the cornea.
What Legal Remedies Are Available for Those Injured by MoisturePlus?
Although the FDA has recommended that people discard unused bottles, legal experts advise people who have suffered an eye infection after using the product to keep any remaining solution so it can be analyzed.
If a person decides to pursue a claim for damages for personal injury, it could be quite helpful to have the solution that may have caused the injury to submit to experts for analysis. A person should mark the solution, so they are sure not to use it any longer, and then store it in a safe place where it can be accessed later when needed.
If a person has experienced any of the symptoms listed above, they should consult an ophthalmologist, a doctor who specializes in eye care, to determine whether they are suffering from AK. Getting an accurate diagnosis of AK is an important first step, because it is reportedly often diagnosed incorrectly. Apparently it can be confused with other forms of keratitis that are caused by bacteria, fungi or viruses such as herpes.
If a person has suffered an infection of the cornea and it has not gotten better with treatment, they may want to suggest that their eye doctor consider the possibility that they have AK.
The next step would be to investigate to determine whether the AK may be related to the person’s use of MoisturePlus Solution for soft contact lenses. A personal injury lawyer would be able to connect a person with a medical expert of the kind who could tell if there is a connection between a person’s AK and their use of MoisturePlus Solution. So, if a person has suffered an AK infection and used MoisturePlus, they should contact a personal injury lawyer for further guidance.
A personal injury lawyer would file a lawsuit alleging strict product liability. In a strict product liability case, a person seeks compensatory damages for economic losses they have suffered because they were injured by a defective product.
Usually, a product is defective in one of the three following ways:
- Design Defect: A design defect is simply a defect in a product that arises during the design phase of its production. In the case of a contact lens cleaning solution, for example, a company chemist may have formulated the solution incorrectly, so it does not work as it should;
- Manufacturing Defect: A manufacturing defect arises during the production phase of a product. It may be that the materials used in the production were defective. In the case of a product such as contact lens solution, it might be that the right chemicals were used but they had been contaminated in some way and the contamination was not discovered during production;
- Warning Defect: A warning defect is a defect in the directions for assembling or using a product that makes them inadequate. The inadequate warning about how to use or not use the product can lead a person to suffer injuries. The defect may affect the directions for assembling a product that can lead a person to assemble it incorrectly and then suffer injury when the defect causes an accident.
When a person files a lawsuit claiming strict product liability, they must allege in what way the product was defective and how the defect led to their injuries. Then, at trial, they would have to prove the existence of the defect and the fact that the defect was the cause of the person’s injury.
What Is the Remedy for an Injury Caused by a Defective Product?
Compensatory damages would compensate a person for the losses they suffered because they were injured by a defective product. Damages would cover the cost of all necessary medical treatment the person received, any wages they lost, future medical care and wage loss. In the case of AK caused by MoisturePlus, if a person has become blind or suffered a permanent loss of vision, this would probably affect their earning capacity in the future. They would be able to recover compensation for this loss. Of course, it would affect their life in other significant ways, and compensatory damages would cover those losses as well.
If a person plans to file a complaint, they should want to prepare by keeping copies of all medical reports related to any AK symptoms they have shown. They would also want to keep complete records of the medical treatment they have received and the billing for that treatment. A person would want to include in their records any doctor’s reports and laboratory test results, as well as records of prescriptions they were given and filled.
It would also be helpful to a person’s case if they can produce a proof of their purchase or a receipt for the MoisturePlus Solution. Again, the CDC says that consumers should not continue to use MoisturePlus. However, if a person is thinking of a lawsuit for damages to compensate them for their losses, they would want to keep any unused solution they have.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with a MoisturePlus Solution Problem?
If you believe that you have suffered injury because you used MoisturePlus Solution or any other contact lens product, you should consult a defective products attorney for advice. Your attorney can review the facts of your case and tell you if you have a claim based on strict product liability for compensatory damages against the manufacturer and distributors of any contact lens solution you may have used.
This is the type of case for which you would need experts to establish the defect in the product and the connection between the defect and your injuries. Other experts may be needed to testify to the way in which the injury affects your life and to put a dollar value on this loss. This is the kind of expertise that an experienced personal injury attorney can bring to your case. It would be vital to your success.