Mom sues Bausch & Lomb on behalf of daughter

Marilyn Tennissen Sep. 19, 2007, 12:00pm

A Jasper County woman claims her daughter enjoyed a normal, healthy lifestyle until she began using a contact lens solution made by Bausch & Lomb.

Kimberley Foley filed a federal personal injury/product liability lawsuit on behalf of her minor daughter against the maker of contact products in the Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas on Sept. 14.

According to the plaintiffs' original complaint, Brittany Foley began using Bausch & Lomb's ReNu with Moisture Loc contact lens solution in March 2005. Prior to using the product as part of her daily eye care regime, the suit says Brittany Foley was "an active and healthy female who enjoyed numerous activities."

But after using ReNu with Moisture Loc, Brittany Foley began experiencing redness, pain and irritation in her eyes and blurred vision, the plaintiffs claim.

The girl sought medical attention including ocular tests and treatment, but the suit says she suffered permanent injury, physical deformity, ongoing physical problems and mental anguish. The physical problems include ulcerated corneas and loss of vision. The injuries have also "substantially reduced plaintiff's ability to enjoy life," the suit says.

The Foleys have alleged that Bausch & Lomb committed negligence with the manufacture and distribution of its ReNu with Moisture Loc product and had a duty to exercise reasonable care to ensure the safety of the product.
"Defendant knew or should have known that the product created a high risk of unreasonable, dangerous side effects which could result in permanent injury," the suit states.

In addition, the plaintiffs allege that Bausch & Lomb "knew of the defective nature of its product … and continued to design, manufacture, market and sell its products so as to maximize sales and profits at the expense of public health and safety."

The wanton and reckless disregard for human life by Bausch & Lomb, the suit states, were a result of fraud, actual malice and a conscious and deliberate disregard of foreseeable harm that the plaintiffs are entitled to punitive damages.

The defendant also acted in breach of express and implied warranties, failed to properly warn about the side effects of the products and negligently misrepresented the safety of the product.

The Foleys are seeking a refund of all costs from the use of ReNu with Moisture Loc; compensatory, consequential and punitive damages; medical expenses; attorney fees and costs; injunctive relief and other relief that the court may deem just and proper. According to the original petition, the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, not including interest and costs.

Daniel Becnel Jr. of Reserve, La., is representing the plaintiffs.

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone.

Case No. 1:07-cv-00622-MAC

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