Online contact lens company ordered to pay $3.5 million in civil penalties and consumer relief for violating federal contact lens laws | Takeover bid
The Department of Justice, in conjunction with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), today announced that the government will collect $1.5 million in civil penalties and $2 million in consumer relief from the lens company online contact company Vision Path Inc., dba Hubble Contacts (Hubble), in a settlement to resolve allegations that Hubble violated the Contact Lens Consumer Fairness Act and the Rule on FTC contact lenses.
In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the government alleged that Hubble violated the federal Contact Lens Consumer Fairness Act and the FTC Contact Lens Rule by selling contact lenses online without taking the necessary steps to verify the subscriber’s contact. prescription lenses, falsely replacing Hubble’s own brand of contact lenses with those originally prescribed by consumer ophthalmologists and obtaining what it falsely presented as independent consumer reviews of its products and services . In addition to requiring Hubble to pay civil penalties and reparations for consumers, the stipulated order issued by the court today requires Hubble to refrain from varying orders to change the prescribed brand, verify the order for contact lens orders submitted without a written prescription, to cease other deceptive practices, and to meet ongoing record keeping, certification and compliance obligations.
“The Department of Justice will not tolerate the violation of laws intended to ensure that consumers receive the products prescribed to them,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The department is committed to protecting consumers from companies that engage in deceptive practices.”
“Hubble’s business model has boosted its bottom line, but created an unnecessary risk to the eye health of its customers,” said Director Samuel Levine of the FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau. “Today’s action makes it clear that companies will pay a price for misleading customers, flouting the contact lens rule and using misleading reviews.”
This case is being handled by Claude Scott of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch and Alysa S. Bernstein and Paul Spelman of the FTC.
For more information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts, visit its website at https://www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch. For more information about the FTC, visit its website at https://www.FTC.gov.