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A $30.2 million settlement has been reached with ABB Optical Group LLC in a class action lawsuit over allegations companies engaged in a conspiracy to drive up the price of contact lenses.
Individuals who can make a claim include those who purchased disposable contact lenses made by Alcon, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care (JJVC), CVI or Bausch & Lomb between June 1, 2013, and Dec. 4, 2018. A list of contact lenses covered by the settlement is available on the settlement website. In addition, purchases of Bausch & Lomb contacts made from 1-800 Contacts after July 1, 2015, are excluded from the settlement.
The settlement concerns multidistrict litigation (MDL) alleging contact lens manufacturers entered into an illegal price-fixing conspiracy to artificially inflate the price of contact lenses for consumers. Defendants include Bausch & Lomb, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care and others, along with distributor ABB Optical Group.
The class action lawsuit alleged the manufacturers and independent optometrists, along with ABB, entered into “Unilaterial Pricing Policies” (UPPs) to stymie competition from online and discount contact lens retailers starting in June 2013.
According to the complaint, the effect of the UPPs was to prevent online sellers, as well as “big box” stores such as Walmart and Costco, from discounting disposable contact lenses.
According to the class action lawsuit, ABB, the largest distributor of contact lenses in the United States, along with manufacturers and optometrists, exploited the unique position of disposable contact lenses in the American market to force consumers to pay inflated prices.
Contact lenses, the plaintiffs pointed out, must be obtained using a prescription in the United States. The prescription not only mandates the power and type of contact lens, but also the brand. A consumer is not able to shop around for different brands unless they obtain another prescription, the complaint contended, limiting their ability to find less expensive options.
The contact lens manufacturers and ABB fought the class action lawsuit, arguing there is no evidence they conspired to drive up prices. However, a consumer Class was certified by a federal court in the MDL in December 2018.
In addition, the court recently certified proposed Classes in class action claims lodged against Alcon Vision, LLC and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. While some of the defendants have settled, these claims are currently still pending.
Recently, ABB agreed to pay $30.2 million to settle contact lens class action claims against it. The ABB settlement joins several others, including multimillion-dollar agreements with several contact lens manufacturers.
Under the terms of the agreement, the settlement money paid by ABB will be added to the claims made by Class Members under the previous settlements with contact lens manufacturers. After plaintiff awards, attorney fees and administrative costs are paid, Class Members will receive a proportionate share of the settlement fund.
Class Members who already submitted claims in settlements with Bausch & Lomb or CooperVision Inc. will be automatically entered into the settlement with ABB.
Class Members who have not yet submitted a claim will need to do so by March 10, 2021. Class Members can submit a claim online or by mail. Class Members must provide information about their purchases, including type of contact lens, quantity, price and place and date of purchase.
Class Members who wish to opt out of or object to the class action settlement must do so by March 10, 2021. The fairness hearing is scheduled for March 10, 2021, as well.
Those who purchased disposable contact lenses made by Alcon, JJVC, CVI or Bausch & Lomb between June 1, 2013, and Dec. 4, 2018.
- A list of contact lenses covered by the settlement is available on the settlement website.
- Purchases of Bausch & Lomb contacts made from 1-800 Contacts after July 1, 2015, are excluded from the settlement.
To be determined.
- The settlement money paid by ABB will be added to the claims made by Class Members under the previous settlements with contact lens manufacturers.
- Class Members will receive a proportionate share of the settlement fund.
Proof of Purchase
Class Members must provide information about their purchases, including the type of contact lens, quantity, price and the place and date of purchase.
NOTE: If you do not qualify for this settlement do NOT file a claim.
Remember: you are submitting your claim under penalty of perjury. You are also harming other eligible Class Members by submitting a fraudulent claim. If you’re unsure if you qualify, please read the FAQ section of the Settlement Administrator’s website to ensure you meet all standards (Top Class Actions is not a Settlement Administrator). If you don’t qualify for this settlement, check out our database of other open class action settlements you may be eligible for.
Claim Form Deadline
In re: Disposable Contact Lens Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 3:15-md-02626-HES-JRK, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
Disposable Contacts Antitrust Litigation
P.O. Box 2995
Portland, OR 97208-2995
Joseph P. Guglielmo
SCOTT+SCOTT ATTORNEYS AT LAW LLP
Edwin John U PC
KIRKLAND & ELLIS LLP
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Please note: Top Class Actions is not a settlement administrator or law firm. Top Class Actions is a legal news source that reports on class action lawsuits, class action settlements, drug injury lawsuits and product liability lawsuits. Top Class Actions does not process claims and we cannot advise you on the status of any class action settlement claim. You must contact the settlement administrator or your attorney for any updates regarding your claim status, claim form or questions about when payments are expected to be mailed out.