Fusarium fungus is a type of fungus that is commonly found in soil and plant material in subtropical and tropical locations. Somehow this fungus made its way into eye care products from a major United States eye care product manufacturer leading to serious complications for a number of unsuspecting patients.
If eye drop medications are not used for a period of two to three months after becoming infected with fusarium fungus, the infection can cause scarring of the cornea leading to blindness. Symptoms of an infection can include pain and redness of the eyes, sensitivity to light, excessive amounts of discharge coming from the eye, and blurry vision.
In April of 2006, a major eye care product manufacturer in the United States voluntarily stopped shipping one of its most popular contact lens solutions after federal health officials found it was linked to a fungal eye infection that caused temporary blindness. The CDC has reports of fungal infections in hundreds of patients across the United States, and health officials in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia have also received reports of contact lens wearers being affected with this type of fungal infection.
As if it were not bad enough to suffer a fungal infection of the eye, it is further complicated because the fungus can be difficult to diagnose. This is because in order to diagnose the infection, a lab culture is needed and not all doctors know how to do this or how to read it. The fungus can also grow so slowly that it can weeks for a culture to be returned. On top of all of these issues, the medication needed to treat fungal infections is not always stocked at pharmacies and many times has to be special ordered.
Fusarium fungal infections can be extremely serious and can cause a variety of symptoms such as eye strain, irritation, pain, and swelling, to more serious issues such as permanent corneal damage which can lead to permanent blindness. These issues can cause people to have to undergo serious medical procedures such as corneal transplants in order to have some of their vision restored.
The major manufacturer appears to be aware of the concern with its products, but failed to report a number of fungal eye infection cases that were linked to their contact lens solutions. Because of this failure, which was a direct violation of the law, consumers were not immediately made aware of the problem and continued to use the product as sales were not suspended as they should have been.
The FDA sent the manufacturer a condemnatory letter because the fungal infections were serious in nature, were not properly reported as is mandated, and was directly related to manufacturing conditions at one of its plants. An inspection revealed a large number of quality control problems, as well as a number of violations for the manufacturing process in general.
If you or someone you know is a contact lens wearer who developed a Fusarium fungal infection because of using a contact lens solution, you should understand that you have legal rights that need to be protected. The best way to go about doing this is to consult with a personal injury attorney who specializes in product liability. These professionals are quite skilled in this area of the law and know how to get the most compensation for your injuries.
Compensation can be sought for a variety of issues such as past, present, and future medical bills, a loss of income, loss of quality of life, for permanent disabilities and loss of vision, as well as pain and suffering. Punitive damages can also be sought since the manufacturer was negligent in reporting the infections early on and warning the general public about the imminent threat.
Personal injury attorneys who specialize in product liability will review all of the details of your case and will manage it appropriately from start to finish. This will include gathering medical information, data from other people who have suffered the same consequences, as well as talking with experts and officials to determine what was known by the manufacturer and when. Your attorney will make a determination as to who should pay for damages, and will take proper steps to make sure all those responsible are brought to justice.
Fungal infections of the eye are not something to take lightly as serious; potentially lifelong consequences are possible. When such injuries are suffered because of the negligence of a product manufacturer it is extremely important to bring forth legal action to not only protect yourself, but to also protect others from falling victim to a similar situation in the future.
Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis in most cases. This means that no payment is due in advance or as your case progresses through the legal system. In most instances, no payment is made until the time your case is settled. Removing the financial burden from a stressful ordeal such as this can mean so much and will allow you to focus your attention on more important matters such as your personal recovery and well being.
Since these cases are quite complex and are often based on a great deal of information and many small details, they should not be filed without the professional assistance of a qualified personal injury attorney. There are many criteria that must be followed as well as various statutes of limitations that need to be met. Missing just one detail can cause your case to become disqualified or dismissed entirely. This is not something that you should risk.
While a personal injury attorney cannot undo the harm that has been done because of a Fusarium fungal infection of the eye, they can help you to rebuild the broken pieces of your life and move forward in a more positive direction. Taking the appropriate steps to stop product manufacturers from harming innocent consumers is extremely important. Manufacturers should never be allowed to get away with knowingly harming people and must be accountable for their actions.