Amazon Hit with Lawsuit Over Eclipse Glasses

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Amazon is in hot water after a couple from South Carolina filed a lawsuit against it. The pair claims that they purchased protective glasses from the online retailer to view the recent solar eclipse but have since suffered damage to their vision.

What Does the Amazon Lawsuit Claim?

The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, August 30, 2017 in South Carolina’s US District Court in Charleston. Thomas Corey Payne and his fiancée, Kayla Harris, claim that they bought the glasses from Amazon and later discovered them to be defective. They state that Amazon was negligent in selling the items and accuse the online retailer of unfair and deceptive trade practices.

The couple has requested the court grant their lawsuit class-action status, which would allow other people who purchased the glasses from all around the country to join in. As of right now, the lawsuit is seeking damages that are unspecified. Payne and Harris have also requested a jury trial.

Amazon has not responded to the allegations or the filing of the lawsuit.

The Amazon lawsuit came about just short of a week after the historical total solar eclipse of August 21st. This was also just slightly more than two weeks after Amazon sent out an email warning customers about glasses that were potentially unsafe for using during the eclipse.

Why Did People Want These Special Glasses?

Special eclipse glasses were in high demand prior to the eclipse because they are meant to protect the eyes while people stare up at the sun when it is partially eclipsed. Protective glasses are necessary during such an event to prevent serious eye injuries and vision damage.

Unfortunately, some of the glasses that were marketed as being “protective” either offered inadequate protection or none at all. According to the American Astronomical Society, some vendors incorporated fake ISO labels to make consumers believe that certain glasses met international standards in order to cash in on the demand as the date of the eclipse approached.

Amazon’s Response to the Knowledge of the Glasses’ Inadequacy

In response to the concerns about the glasses offering not enough protection, Amazon sent notices via email to a broad number of its customers in the middle of August, warning them that the items were certified as safe to use during the eclipse. The company urged customers not to use the product and said it would offer refunds.

According to Amazon, it sent the emails “out of abundance of caution.”

Payne and Harris have stated in their lawsuit that they never received any warning from Amazon about the glasses they purchased, which came in a three-pack. They say they wore the glasses to watch the eclipse in South Carolina and that later that day, they started having symptoms like pain, watery eyes and headaches.

Additional Claims in the Amazon Lawsuit

Still later, according to the lawsuit, the couple started having even more serious symptoms, including dark spots within their line of vision, visual impairment, blurriness, central blind spots, increased sensitivity, changes in their perception of color and visual distortion. The suit calls Amazon’s attempt to warn customers “woefully inadequate.”

The plaintiffs seek not only compensation for their damages but a judgment that would require Amazon to pay for medical monitoring for anyone who joins in on the class-action suit.

There is no mention in the lawsuit about the company that manufactured the glasses. Generally, eclipse glasses on Amazon’s website were marketed by third-party sellers.

Learn more about defective product lawsuits.

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