Bausch & Lomb, Walgreen named in ReNu suit

Ann Knef Nov. 5, 2007, 5:54am

Bausch & Lomb, Inc. and Walgreen Co. are being sued in St. Clair County Circuit Court by a Chicago plaintiff who claims her use of the contact lens product ReNu with MoistureLoc caused an eye infection.

Courtney Malone claims she had to undergo antibiotic and steroid treatment and now requires medical monitoring. She claims she is at risk for further injury including corneal surgery and even vision loss without effective treatment.

Through her mother Alicia Blanding, Malone is represented by John Driscoll of Brown & Crouppen in St. Louis, a plaintiff's attorney who has filed dozens of personal injury/product liability cases against major corporations over the years in St. Clair and Madison counties.

He's taken on Merck over Vioxx and Johnson and Johnson over Ortho Evra, for instance. He's also filed numerous cases against defibrillator maker Medtronics, so many perhaps that language meant for a defibrillator lawsuit was accidentally pasted into Malone's claim.

On page 26 of Malone's suit against Bausch & Lomb and Walgreen, Driscoll writes that, "Defendants' offer for sale of a consumer product, defibrillators/pacemakers, in trade or commerce, constitutes a representation that the product, the defibrillators/pacemakers, is reasonably safe for its intended purpose."

Seeking in excess of $300,000, Malone claims ReNu with MoistureLoc was a dangerous and defective product that placed her at an unreasonable risk of injury. She also claims the defendants failed to warn her of the danger associated with the product.

ReNu with MoistureLoc was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on Nov. 17, 2005, the complaint states.

Bausch & Lomb was aware of an unusual number -- at least 25 -- of fungal keratitis eye infections among ReNu with MoistureLoc users by the end of 2005, the complaint states.

"As of May 18, 2006, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) had received reports of 130 confirmed cases of fusarium keratitis infection reported from 26 states and one territory," the complaint states.

"As a result of these infections, corneal transplantation was required in 37 of these confirmed cases. Among the 130 patients with confirmed cases, 75 reported using Bausch & Lomb's ReNu alone and 14 reported using ReNu in combination with other products."

More News