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Consumers plan lawsuit against contact lens maker

Jul 11, 2006 | China Daily

Nearly 80 Chinese citizens who claim they suffered eye infections caused by a contact lens solution made by Bausch & Lomb plan to sue the company in the United States.

They believe they contracted fungal keratitis, which can lead to blindness, after using ReNu MoistureLoc Multi Purpose Solution.

The lawyer representing the group, told China Daily yesterday that less than 10 had so far provided sufficient evidence to back up the claims.

"I have sent full medical documents of three infections to my partner in the United States," he said yesterday.

Sources with Bausch & Lomb China said they would not comment over the cases until they had been processed, China Business News previously reported.

The Chinese lawyer, said he believes the company made a mistake by not informing Chinese consumers of the quality problem after it recalled products in Singapore in February.

Where exactly to sue the US company has not yet been decided, the lawyer said.

"To sue Bausch & Lomb in New York State, where its headquarters are located, is a possibility. But we are also considering suing the company in a state where higher compensation is likely," the  lawyer said. A date has yet to be fixed to file the lawsuit, he added.

In the United States, the number of confirmed cases of the rare fungal eye infection that can cause blindness has climbed to 122. Most of them are contact-lens wearers who reported using Bausch & Lomb's ReNu MoistureLoc Multi Purpose Solution, US authorities said in May.

It is believed that some American consumers have brought lawsuits against Bausch & Lomb for compensation. No judgements have been reported yet.

Reports in April said that Bausch and Lomb found no eye infections in China linked to the cleaning solution. Company chief executive Ronald Zarrella said that in China the solution was made locally and not imported from the United States.

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