A couple from Charleston, South Carolina has sued online retail giant Amazon over what they claim were defective solar eclipse glasses that they bought from the company.
Couple Did Not Receive Recall Notice
Corey Thomas Payne and Kayla Harris, claimed to have bought a three-pack of the eclipse glasses on Aug. 1 in the hopes that the glasses would allow them to safety view the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse visible in the United States in a century.
Amazon attempted to recall the eclipse glasses on Aug. 19 telling those who purchased the glasses not to use them. The company sent emails to customers to warn about potentially dangerous solar eclipse glasses that it was not able to verify as being manufactured by reputable companies.
The lawsuit claims that the couple did not receive a recall notice from Amazon before the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 so they wore the glasses manufactured by American Paper Optics during the astronomical event.
Too Little, Too Late
The lawsuit says that the Aug. 19 recall of the eclipse glasses was too little, too late.
"Its email notification was insufficient to timely apprise customers of the defective nature of their glasses, and resulted in Plaintiffs and members of the proposed class using defective Eclipse Glasses to view the August 21, 2017 [Total Solar Eclipse] unknowing that the glasses were unfit for their intended purpose," the lawsuit said.
Dangers Of Fake Eclipse Glasses
Payne and Harris allegedly started to experience headaches and eye water after using the recalled eclipse glasses and in the following days, developed vision impairment, which include distorted vision and blurriness.
The two plaintiffs claimed that Amazon's negligence in selling the glasses it later recalled caused thousands of customers, including them, headaches and physical injuries that include temporary and permanent loss of vision.
They said that they are seeking to represent other Amazon customers who did not receive a warning and suffered injuries due to the company's alleged negligence.
Prior to the eclipse, NASA and health experts have already warned about the danger of using fake glasses during the natural event, even for a few seconds.
"It's common sense not to stare directly at the Sun with your naked eyes or risk damaging your vision, and that advice holds true for a partially eclipsed Sun. But, only with special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer, you can safely look directly at the Sun," NASA said.