UPDATE 9/5/2017: The Hannon Law Firm Has Filed A Class Action Against Amazon For Non-Complaint Eclipse Glasses
UPDATE 9/2/2017: The Hannon Law Firm Has Filed A Class Action Against Europtics For Non-Complaint Eclipse Glasses
On August 21, 2017, the United States experienced a once-every two generation event: a total eclipse of the Sun by the Earth’s moon – a Solar Eclipse.
Great American Eclipse (Photo: USA Today)
The rods and cones in the human retina are very sensitive to light, so it is not safe to look directly at the sun, even during a Solar Eclipse, when the sun is partially covered. The sun’s surface is so bright that staring at any portion of it directly produces enough light to cause retina damage. You will likely see a dark spot in your vision where you looked at the sun. Depending on how badly your retinal cells were damaged, the spot will either fade away with time, or will remain permanent.
Properly manufactured, certified and inspected eclipse glasses had to be worn to safely view the eclipse.
After the eclipse, people are learning that the eclipse glasses they bought were in fact not safe, even when they may have represented that they had the proper certification or were safe.
For example, Amazon began a recall of Solar Eclipse Glasses, offering a full refund to affected customers. According to PBS, Amazon’s recall email included the following statement:
“To protect your eyes when viewing the sun or an eclipse, NASA and the American Astronomical Society (AAS) advise you to use solar eclipse glasses or other solar filters from recommended manufacturers. Viewing the sun or an eclipse using any other glasses or filters could result in loss of vision or permanent blindness.
Amazon has not received confirmation from the supplier of your order that they sourced the item from a recommended manufacturer. We recommend that you DO NOT use this product to view the sun or the eclipse.”
These glasses were distributed not just to Amazon, but also to numerous other retail sources, ophthalmologists, optometrists and others.
Now, after the eclipse, people are reporting injuries from non-compliant sunglasses or eclipse glasses they purchased or received from a number of different sources.
Injuries from Non-Compliant Eclipse Glasses
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (“AAO”) states unequivocally that “… looking directly at the sun can seriously damage your eyes.” The AAO continues its admonition that “[s]taring at the sun for even a short time without wearing the right eye protection can damage your retina permanently.” Even short exposures can cause blindness, which known as solar retinopathy.
A TIME article explains, “According to experts, viewing the sun without proper protection during the eclipse could have burned your retina, damaging the images your brain can view. This phenomenon, known as “eclipse blindness,” can cause temporary or permanent vision impairment, and in worst-case scenarios can lead to legal blindness, which entails significant loss of vision.”
Eye Injury or Damage from Viewing the Eclipse Through Non-CompliantGlasses
Symptoms of eye damage aren’t immediate. In fact, it can take up to two weeks after exposure for symptoms to appear. Here are some symptoms to be aware of:
- Blurred vision that doesn’t improve in one or both eyes, especially the central part of your visual field.
- Wavy or otherwise distorted vision
- Difficulty discriminating colors from each other
- Sensitivity to light
- Seeing “spots” or “holes” in your vision
- Flashes of light in one or both eyes
- A curtain-like shadow over your visual field
- Distorted vision
- Changes in the way you see colors
If you viewed the eclipse and have experienced any of these symptoms, you should have your eyes checked by a professional.
Experienced in Products Liability Cases
You may have certain legal rights for any injuries you have suffered from non-compliant eclipse glasses. We can help advise you of those rights. Products liability cases can require the use of experts and many other resources. The attorneys at the Hannon Law Firm, LLC have the skill and resources to ensure that your rights are protected.
Please fill out the form below or call our office at 303-861-8800 for a free consultation.