Several contact lens manufacturers were sued on March 3 over allegations that the businesses worked together to fix prices.
John Machikawa, Bernadette Goodfellow and Georgina Lepe filed the lawsuit against Cooper Vision, Alcon Laboratories, Bausch + Lomb and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. The plaintiffs also sued ABB Optical Group, a wholesaler and independent eye care businesses, alleging the businesses worked with ABB Optical to lock in the price of contact lenses under so-called “Unilateral Pricing Policies (UPP).”
The lawsuit alleged the UPPs would eliminate competition from other companies that sold contact lenses, such as Wal-Mart, Costco, Meijer, and from Internet companies such as 1-800-Contacts and LensDiscounters.com by preventing the companies from discounting the products.
Unlike prescription drugs, where doctors prescribe the drugs and pharmacies sell them, eye care professionals prescribe and sell contact lenses. In the prescription, eye care professionals name a certain type of contact brand, which the patient is required to get.
The lawsuit alleged the price fixing began on June 1, 2013 and is ongoing. It seeks class status over that period of time. The plaintiffs also seek an unspecified amount of damages plus court costs.
Machikawa, Goodfellow and Lepe are represented by Michael P. Lehmann, Bonny E. Sweeney, Christopher L. Lebosck, Michael D. Hausfeld, James J. Pizzirusso, of Hausfeld, LLP in San Francisco, California, and Washington, D.C.; Dennis Stewart, of Hulett Harper Stewart, LLP in San Diego, California; Jeffrey D. Kaliel, of Tyco & Zavareei, LLP of Washington, D.C.; Jeffrey M. Ostrow and Scott A. Edelsberg, of Kopelowitz Ostrow, P.A. of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Timothy G. Blood and Paula M. Roach, of Blood Hurst & O'Reardon, LLP of San Diego, California.
United States District Court Northern District of California San Francisco Division case number 3:15-cv-01001.