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Can Fake Solar Eclipse Glasses Cause Blindness?

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 6-Oct-2017

August’s solar eclipse that traversed the United States will be remembered for years to come. Thousands of people across the country rushed to stores and online retailers to buy special glasses that were required to safely view a solar eclipse.

According to NASA, safe eclipse glasses have a designated 12312-2 ISO number, are free from scratches, do not use homemade filters and list the manufacturer’s contact information. NASA maintains that these are the types of glasses that are necessary to safely view a solar eclipse. However, some retailers sold defective or fake solar eclipse glasses that did not meet these safety specifications. Amazon even initiated a recall for defective glasses almost two weeks before the solar eclipse.

Some people who bought the defective glasses were not notified of the recall in time. A South Carolina couple has filed a lawsuit against Amazon, claiming the retailer sold them defective or counterfeit glasses that caused vision problems after viewing the eclipse. According to the lawsuit, the couple developed spotty vision, headaches and blind spots in their center of vision. A Tennessee-based company is responsible for making the glasses, but they are not named in the lawsuit.

The couple is hoping for their lawsuit to achieve class-action status. Depending on the validity of the claims, it is possible other people could be affected.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has warned that staring at the sun without proper eye protection, even for a short time, can lead to permanent retinal damage. According to the Royal College of Ophthalmologists in the United Kingdom, solar retinal damage can cause blurriness, sensitivity to light, blind spots in the center of vision and changes in perception or color.

It is possible that other retailers or manufacturers who were hoping to cash in on the solar eclipse also created or sold defective glasses. The Washington DC product liability lawyers at Regan Zambri Long, PLLC have decades of combined experience helping victims of defective products.

Categories: Product Liability
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