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Bausch & Lomb beats back lens-cleaner lawsuits

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A federal court says there's no reliable scientific basis for linking a Bausch & Lomb contact lens cleaner to a flurry of bacterial, viral and other non-fungal infections in 2006.

The Rochester, N.Y.-based optical products maker has already paid out more than $250 million to settle roughly 600 lawsuits blaming its ReNu with MoistureLoc solution for a potentially blinding infection known as Fusarium keratitis.

After a hearing on the admissibility of expert evidence, however, a federal judge in South Carolina has excluded testimony by a doctor who claims MoistureLoc also caused hundreds of non-fungal infections.

The new-formula lens cleaner was withdrawn from markets worldwide in spring 2006.