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Bausch & Lomb Insurer Wins ReNu Lawsuit

Jan 5, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP

A federal judge has ruled against Bausch & Lomb in another case stemming from the  ReNu with MoistureLoc Contact Lens Solution recall.

According to a report in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Bausch & Lomb had filed suit against Lexington Co., a subsidiary of American Insurance Group (AIG), in an effort to force it to pay ReNu personal injury claims. Bausch & Lomb had argued that Lexington policy’s coverage limits should apply to ReNu with MoistureLoc claims collectively, but Lexington had asserted that the insurance policy called for each claim to be considered on its own.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Michael Telesca found in favor of Lexington, ruling that each alleged injury must be treated as a separate claim. Because of this ruling, Lexington will only have to pay claims that reach a certain liability threshold.

Bausch & Lomb pulled ReNu with MoistureLoc from Asian markets in February 2006, and did the same in the U.S. in April of that year, after it was linked to an outbreak of Fusarium keratitis, a potentially blinding eye infection. The company would ultimately issue a worldwide recall of ReNu with MoistureLoc on May 15, 2006. A Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report on the outbreak found that those infected with Fusarium keratitis were 20 time more likely to have used the ReNu with MoistureLoc solution.  The CDC ultimately confirmed 180 cases of Fusarium keratitis in the U.S.

The ReNu debacle spawned nearly 2,000 personal injury lawsuits. Bausch & Lomb has said that it has settled most claims regarding ReNu and Fusarium keratitis. According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, those settlements have costs the company more than $200 million.

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