Foreseeable Misuse? Hospital Reports Eye Injuries From People Who Put Sun Screen Directly In Eyes To Look At Solar Eclipse

imagesWhen I teach the reasonable person and the rational actors standards in torts and economics, I often remind my students that they will be shocked how many people fall well below such standards in their daily activities.  This is a case in point.  According to Forbes and other sites, hospitals report that they are treating people for eye damage after they put sun screen directly into their eyes to allow them to look at the recent solar eclipse.  They said that they could not find special glasses.

Trish Patterson, a nurse practitioner at Prestige Urgent Care in Redding, California, told KRCR that various patients came in with eye damage due to the sunscreen used on August 21.

It will be interesting is anyone claims that this is foreseeable misuse under product liability in a lawsuit against the sun block companies.


So much for a rational actor model in economics.

53 thoughts on “Foreseeable Misuse? Hospital Reports Eye Injuries From People Who Put Sun Screen Directly In Eyes To Look At Solar Eclipse”

  1. Total eclipse of the sun. And we walked into the party. I had one eye on the mirror. Someone said Theyd be my partner. It was all so vain. You probably think the song was about you.

  2. A product warning from a Coppertone label.

    How to use Coppertone:

    Use Coppertone as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

    •Coppertone is for external use only. Avoid getting Coppertone in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you get Coppertone in your eyes, rinse immediately with cool tap water.

    •Use this product exactly as directed on the package labeling unless directed otherwise by your doctor.

  3. Never underestimate the human brain. Wondering how these poor souls voted..


  4. I bought a pair of good binoculars for surveillance back in the 90’s. They had a warning “DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY INTO THE SUN W/ THIS PRODUCT.” Apparently that warning needs now to be put on sun screen. You’ll have to excuse me now, my eyes have been itchy from ragweed allergies so I need to put some hydrocortisone cream in them.

    Having worked personal injury cases for almost 40 years now, I’m shock proof as to the stupidity of humans. And, I believe all these warnings are screwing up Darwinism, allowing the stupid to live and procreate.

    1. Nick,
      You probably have some fantastic stories about human stupidity and personal injury. I can only imagine some of the truth is stranger than fiction stories you could tell.

      1. Prairie Rose, We miss you here. If your schedule permits, try and comment more often. I do indeed have many stories of human stupidity, and greed.

  5. “It will be interesting is anyone claims that this is foreseeable misuse under product liability in a lawsuit against the sun block companies.”

    Or perhaps someone will try to sue the Sun ??

  6. These kinds of mishaps can be so frustrating.

    I have horses, and the equine sites were blowing up with people sincerely wondering if they needed to protect their horses’ eyes from the solar eclipse. Well, if your horse doesn’t normally stare into the sun and go blind, he should be OK. Clearly, equines have more of a self preservation instinct than some humans. And dogs, because dog owners, too, were freaking out.

    I got the ISO 12312-2 glasses labeled “safe for direct solar viewing” for my son and I to see the eclipse. But, in retrospect, I should have just used the cardboard box viewers where you see the eclipse shining inside and don’t look at the sun at all. Why tempt fate?

    So I guess these people were very careful to cause maximum eye damage by squirting in chemical sunscreen to their eyes so they’ll be good an irritated before they detach their retina by staring into the sun, ignoring their own tears. How many of these people did this to their kids?

    1. Karen, We just got back from the Minnesota State Fair. Our 2 year old granddaughter seemed uninterested in all animals but the horses. She was particularly attracted to a year old quarterhorse. Horses are great animals.

      1. Ahhhhh, she sounds like good people. Did you show her how to feed a carrot without feeding fingers and how to pet the horses?

  7. This is what NP Patterson is quoted as saying: “”One of my colleagues at moonlight here stated yesterday that they had patients presenting at their clinic that put sunscreen on their eyeball, and presented that they were having pain and they were referred to an ophthalmologist,” Patterson said.”

    Who uses the phrase “at moonlight”? This doesn’t pass the sniff test.

  8. Willfully ignorant , there are still people that believe the world is 6,000 years old. And trickle down economics works. And Trump tells the truth.

    1. You know, Every Single Thread does not have to be politicized. Seriously. Maybe next time your candidate will win. In the meantime, try to find some joy in life.

      1. Politicized? Everything and any thing is used by Trump sycophants on this site when it suits them. By the way, where’s JT’s post on sheriff Joe?

  9. It’s important to remember that half of the population is of below average intelligence.

    1. Excellent. I’m reminded of my income status which is dead center median as a retiree ….but my ability to live in the USA on that income – after taxes put me in the upper lower class. not the middle middle class. the two systems apparently do not correlate. But then neither does much of the propaganda.

      It’s a hard life when one is often the only person in a group that can read and not only uses but knows what a dictionary is. Parse that.

      1. Your income might be median, but hopefully your net worth is way above median because you smartly maximized your 401(k) contributions instead of driving a Mercedes-Benz 401(k) during your working years.

  10. This presents the old problem of how to deal with idiots after they have caused themselves harm. So now the ‘victim’ is blind or partially blind and society, be it immediate or as a whole, has to lend assistance. Denying assistance is mean spirited yet somehow???

    The same predicament is found when idiot gun toting parents leave a loaded gun for a child to kill itself or others. The parents should be jailed and never again allowed near children, yet there is the grieving and perhaps lessons learned. Sometimes it’s dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t.

    In any case, wanna bet on how long before the first lawyer presents a lawsuit against the sunscreen company, the media for not warning, anybody; the good old ‘shotgun’ lawsuit.

    1. Depends if they can prove which product and was the product not labeled with safety warnings It’s not the responsibiity of the company to cater to illiteracy or the lazy or the stupid. That’s the responsibility of their Programmer. Never mind the flood of warnings in the weeks and days prior. so great another tort lawyer makes a few million and prices go up on insurance and the product again as a result. Stupid is as stupid does.

  11. Well, this story makes my day. I need a good laugh ! Recall the old saying, “If you think it’s idiot-proof, you haven’t seen our idiots.”

    1. Jay S wrote: Well, this story makes my day. I need a good laugh ! Recall the old saying, “If you think it’s idiot-proof, you haven’t seen our idiots.”

      Thanks for that, Jay S.

  12. I couldn’t even have imagined that people would do that. Put me on the jury and I will clear the sun screen company of any liability.

    1. Paul, Juries have hugely disparate attitudes. Generally, rural juries tend to have a lot more conservative views, common sense, and not conned by dog a pony shows. Big city juries generally want to give away money to plaintiffs, no matter how stupid. I worked in Chicago and defense attorneys HATED having to try personal injury cases there. These are generalities[except for Chicago] and there are exceptions.

  13. Not only the fifth largest economy on the planet but could single-handedly defeat the New Confederacy in one day. Some people never learn and need to have it beat into their empty little heads repeatedly.

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