Alaska shares in contact lens settlement

Posted: Thursday, February 22, 2001

JUNEAU (AP) -- Alaska residents who have bought some brands of replacement contact lenses would be eligible for cash rebates and other compensation from Bausch & Lomb under a proposed $17.5 million antitrust settlement with the contact lens manufacturer, Attorney General Bruce Botelho announced.

Alaska joined 31 other states and private consumers sued Bausch & Lomb, Johnson & Johnson Vision Products, CIBA Vision and the American Optometric Association. The lawsuit accused the companies, the association and certain optometrists of agreeing that consumers could only purchase replacement lenses from eye care professionals, causing artificially high prices.

The rebate and benefit package, valued at $120, would be available to Alaskans who purchased replacement contact lenses from the companies at any time since January 1, 1988. The rebate is for eye exams and future purchases of Bausch & Lomb lenses.

The lawsuit against the other defendants, Johnson & Johnson Vision Products, Inc., and the American Optometric Association, is scheduled for trial beginning March 19 in Jacksonville, Florida. CIBA Vision has already settled.


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