Amazon hit with lawsuit over eclipse glasses

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Solar eclipse sunglasses are pictured in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni )

Amazon.com  has been hit with a proposed class action lawsuit by a couple who claims defective eclipse glasses purchased through the online retailer damaged their eyes.

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In the lawsuit, filed in federal court in South Carolina on Tuesday evening, Corey Payne and his fiancée, Kayla Harris, said they purchased a three-pack of eclipse glasses on Amazon in early August, assuming that the glasses would allow them to safely view the United States' first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in a century on Aug. 21.

Later that day, Payne and Harris began to experience headaches and eye watering. In the following days, they developed vision impairment, including blurriness and distorted vision, their lawsuit said.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

The couple said they did not look into the sky without wearing the glasses when they viewed the eclipse.

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Starting on August 10, Amazon said it began to email customers to issue a recall of potentially hazardous solar eclipse glasses it was unable to verify as having been manufactured by reputable companies. Amazon did not disclose the scale of the recall or a list of affected vendors.

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Payne and Harris said they did not receive notice of the recall. They are seeking to represent other customers who never received a warning from Amazon and suffered similar injuries from the company's alleged negligence.

Experts cautioned the public to steer clear of unsafe counterfeits flooding the United States in the runup to the event. While no data exists for how many eclipse glasses were in circulation overall, shady distributors of purportedly solar-safe shades abound on the Internet, experts said.

 

(Reporting by Tina Bellon; Editing by Anthony Lin and Cynthia Osterman)