A New Jersey man is suing CVS pharmacy, alleging that a store sold him eye drops that contained bleach.
Gregg Schwack says he purchased CVS Redness Relief Eye Drops at an Edgewater store on March 30 to alleviate his allergies, and when he put them in, felt burning and stinging that became "unbearable," according to his lawyer.
"He got blisters in his eyes, tearing in his eyes, swelling in his eyes," said Schwack's attorney, Rosemarie Arnold, who says her client has been "plagued with blurry vision, glare blindness, pain, teary eyes ever since the day he put the drops in his eyes."
Schwack said: "I wish there was a word I could explain of the burning sensation. There's not a word I can think of, except maybe a third or fourth degree burn on your hand."
Schwack says the drops smelled like bleach, and a doctor told him he had burns on his eyes.
"Nothing else could have caused that effect," said Arnold.
Schwack, a consulting chef for the Food Network and NBC-owned Bravo TV, claims his injuries have affected his job and that he cannot be near a cooking station where he risks getting smoke into his eyes.
CVS spokesman Mike DeAngelis said the company has not been served with the lawsuit and cannot comment on pending litigation, but said that there haven't been any other complaints about the eye drops that Schwack used.
"Based on our initial investigation, we have no reason to believe there is a risk for customers to continue using these products," DeAngelis said.
The eye drops were still stocked at the Edgewater store on Monday.
Arnold said she's sent the bottle of eye drops out to a lab to be tested. Schwack said he didn't notice anything wrong with the bottle when he opened it.
The lawsuit is alleging negligence on the part of the pharmacy and manufacturer, and is seeking damages to cover Schwack's medical bills.