A South Carolina couple says faulty eclipse glasses purchased through Amazon left them with dark spots and distorted vision following last month’s eclipse.
A proposed class-action lawsuit filed last week now accuses the retail giant of negligence for marketing “inherently defective and extremely dangerous” glasses.
Looking at the sun without sufficient eye protection for even a few seconds can result in severe damage that may not heal. Immediately after viewing the eclipse with glasses purchased from Amazon, the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim that “headaches and eye watering gave way to blurriness, changes in color and ‘a central blind spot.’”
Is Amazon Responsible for the Eye Damage Suffered by Eclipse Viewers?
They probably are responsible. They marketed the glasses as safe for eclipse viewing. There is no question that Amazon was aware of the danger posed by viewing the eclipse and the need for protective eyewear, and they assured buyers that their glasses would protect them.
It is possible that a third-party manufacturer may also be responsible for the injuries caused by the defective glasses. It does not appear that a third-party manufacturer was named in the lawsuit, but whoever provided the glasses to Amazon may be added as a defendant as the case moves forward.
Did Amazon Warn Their Customers After They Discovered the Defect?
Before the eclipse last month, Amazon admitted that it had been selling unverified glasses that may not be safe, and they emailed customers offering a refund. Was that enough for Amazon to avoid liability?
If Amazon knew that the glasses had to be verified, they knew that unverified glasses would damage viewers’ eyesight, and they sold unverified glasses anyway, can they escape liability by issuing a recall just before the eclipse?
Many customers may not have received the recall email, and many pairs of glasses surely found their way to other individuals who did not receive an email from Amazon. Was it too little, too late?
I haven’t seen any reporting on the actual number of eclipse glasses sold by Amazon, but the USA Today article says that Amazon purchased at least 10 million eclipse glasses from one company alone, American Paper Optics. Did someone at Amazon decide that the payout from lawsuits after the eclipse would be less than the profits earned from selling unapproved eclipse glasses?
What Should I Do if I Was Hurt by a Product with a Design Defect?
When you buy a product from a company, at a minimum that product should work for its intended purpose. When the product not only doesn’t work for its intended purpose but also causes injuries, the manufacturer of the product, the retailer of the product, and possibly others may be liable for the damages caused by the product.
If you have been injured by a defective product, our personal injury attorneys at Coastal Law, LLC are here to help you. We can help you to determine whether you have a claim and who is responsible in the Myrtle Beach, Conway, Columbia, and Charleston, S.C. areas. Schedule a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case by calling (843) 488-5000 or filling out our online form.