A woman from Florida has filed a lawsuit against Walmart and three pharmaceutical companies who sold bacteria-tainted eye drops.
The lawsuit was filed on February 9 by Teresa Phillips, a 60-year-old woman from Bradford County who was infected with the highly antibiotic-resistant bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
According to the lawsuit, she bought EzriCare Artificial Tears Lubricating Eye Drops from Walmart a few weeks before the infection.
Her eyes became “itchy” and she suffered “unrelenting pain in her eyes.” Despite taking antibiotics, “it became apparent that the antibiotics weren’t working to stop the infection.”
She eventually had to have surgery to remove some of the infected tissue, but continues to experience symptoms to this day.
Two brands of eye drops — EzriCare and Delsam Pharma Artificial Tears — have been linked to a deadly outbreak of infections, with at least 56 victims in 12 states.
At least one person died when the infection spread to their bloodstream, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Others suffered permanent vision loss, complete blindness, or had to be hospitalized for IV antibiotic therapy.
The defendants include Walmart Inc., EzriCare LLC, EzriRx LLC, Aru Pharma Inc., and Wal-Mart Stores East, LP.
The lawsuit was filed on February 9, 2023 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida — Case Number 2:2023-cv-00153.