Couple Files Lawsuit Against Amazon Over Fake Eclipse Glasses

Picture of the Great American Eclipse on August 21, 2017. NASA/Carla Thomas

Before the recent total eclipse we, and thousands of other media outlets, couldn't stress enough how important it was to watch the eclipse safely, with the proper equipment. We even covered how in the approach to the eclipse, some horrible people started selling fake solar glasses to make a quick buck, and how the consequences are unfortunately very real for some people. Well, it looks like there might be some legal consequences for Amazon, which was one of the sites these glasses could be found online.

A US couple has filed a proposed class action lawsuit against the tech giant, claiming that Amazon did “tragically too little, too late” when it came to warning people they had been sold fake glasses. The lawsuit was filed in a US Federal Court in South Carolina last Tuesday.

Amazon has not commented on this lawsuit yet but, before the eclipse, it did claim to have emailed customers who bought products whose manufacturing was not verifiable to let them know of a recall. It is unclear how many people bought counterfeit glasses and Amazon did not disclose the list of vendors that supply them to the public. The online retailer claimed that specific brands or products couldn’t be named because real solar glasses were possibly listed under the same name.    

Corey Payne and Kayla Harris, the couple who filed the lawsuit, said that they had not been contacted regarding the recall. In the hours after the eclipse, the couple said they both experienced visual impairment and headaches after they watched the eclipse using the glasses they bought online. The couple hopes to represent other customers that also didn’t receive an appropriate warning from Amazon. They want the tech giant to cover the medical cost of eye checks for the people affected.

Watching an eclipse without proper eye protection could lead to serious and permanent eye damage. Several people after the eclipse suffered from sore eyes and blurred vision. These are common effects of solar retinopathy, a condition where your retina develops a chemical burn due to too much direct sunlight.

Other symptoms include seeing objects in the wrong colors, your vision becoming distorted, and developing blind spots. Even mild solar retinopathy might have symptoms that can persist for weeks, if not months. And in the most serious cases, the condition might become permanent. Please don’t be a fool and look directly into the Sun.

[H/T: BBC News]


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