Tuesday, September 6, 2011

CooperVision Recalls Avaira Toric Disposable Contacts

Defective Contact Lenses - CooperVision Recalls Avaira Toric Lenses

Pittsburgh residents should know that CooperVision, maker of disposable contact lenses, has issued a recall for its Avaira Toric disposable contact lenses.  You can go to CooperVision's website to see if your lot number was affected by the recall.  These contacts have been sold in stores in Pittsburgh.  I imagine there will be some lawsuits arising from this recall.

I am representing a gentleman who was one of the unfortunate users of these contacts.  He put one contact in his and experienced immediate pain from the contact.  He took it out.  Unfortunately, he has continued to suffer from significantly blurred vision for more than a month and now has extreme difficulty with bright lights at night, specifically while driving.  Hopefully, this is a temporary injury that will resolve in the near future.

While it is good that CooperVision has opted to voluntarily recall its defective product, I take issue with how they have chosen to explain the recall to its customers.  The Questions & Answers section of CooperVision's recall page leaves customers with a lot of questions and few answers.

For instance, CooperVision has posted the following:  

What is the cause of the Avaira Toric recall?

"The recall was initiated because of the unintended presence of a residue on certain lenses. The residue was identified after investigating a small number of complaints of temporary hazy vision. "

Seriously?  First off, how about telling your customers what the residue is?  Was this an innocuous byproduct of the manufacturing process or was it an acid or destructive biological agent?  By determining that, in fact, there was a residue causing a problem we know CooperVision has isolated the substance.  But they have not disclosed what it is.  CooperVision has a responsibility to its customers peace of mind to tell everyone what went into their eyes.

Second, what were the results of the investigation?  What does CooperVision constitute a small number of complaints?  Let the consumers determine whether they should be concerned with the results of the investigation.  And temporary hazy vision?  What does that mean?  Have these people been diagnosed with an optical condition?  What are the medical results?  What is the prognosis for these individuals?


What happens if a contact lens wearer puts an impacted lens in their eye?

"In those small number of reported complaints, wearers and practitioners reported temporary hazy or blurry vision. In many cases, the symptoms went away after the lens was removed."

Again, what constitutes a small number?  How many people are we dealing with here?  "Hazy or blurry"  OK, so now its blurry as well?  And then the kicker "In many cases" the symptoms went away after the lens was removed?  Well what about the other cases when it did not?  Has anyone had longstanding problems like my client?

In reality if you have purchased these contacts and experienced pain and or blurry, hazy vision, you need to visit the emergency room or opthamologist IMMEDIATELY!  You do not want to mess around with your vision.  And hang onto the affected contacts.  You may need them to receive appropriate compensation for your injuries from CooperVision.  You may also need them in order for your eye doctor to diagnose what harmed your eye.

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