The nationwide solar eclipse last month was a once in a lifetime event for many. It had been 38 years since the last total eclipse in the country and 99 years since an eclipse had been visible across the continental US. While there are no Nielsen ratings for the sky, polls leading to the event suggested that half of the US population would watch it live.
Staring at the sun, of course, is very bad for the eyes. A solar eclipse is even more severe, with the potential for retina burns and permanent damage. As manufacturers and retailers rushed to sell enough special eclipse-viewing glasses, many knockoff or poor quality products were sold under the guise of protection.
Now, a South Carolina couple has filed a class action suit against Amazon, claiming vision damage from watching the eclipse through glasses they bought online. Since August 21, they have experienced blurred vision, headaches and other symptoms. Amazon sent a letter and refunds in response to suspected fake glasses shortly before the eclipse, but the couple says they never got the email. It’s likely that thousands of others wore unsafe spectacles as the market was flooded with cheap imitations leading up to the event.
For a credible product liability lawsuit, the user needs to prove injury as a direct result of a defective product. Amazon is a global company that works with many third party vendors. While the online giant may not have manufactured the glasses, retailers are responsible for the products they sell. Liability extends through the entire distribution chain, from manufacture to wholesale and retail.
A class action lawsuit may apply when the same product injures many people. In South Carolina, the couple’s lawyer has filed suit. Now a judge must certify that it meets legal standards. Anyone who is injured by misleading promises or a defective product may deserve compensation for your injuries.