JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Bringing a long-running price-fixing case closer to a conclusion, a federal judge in Florida this week gave preliminary approval to proposals from Alcon Vision LLC and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care that would settle their roles in the matter, according to a May 9 court filing. The proposals would allow the two companies to pay a combined $75 million to resolve the complex price-fixing lawsuit related to disposable contact lenses. U.S. District Court Judge Harvey E. Schlesinger of the Middle District of Florida federal court granted preliminary approval to a $20 million settlement with Alcon and a $55 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, according to the filing.

The court filing noted that the “court hereby preliminarily approves the settlements, subject to further consideration at the “Fairness Hearing [90 days after notice date].”
Johnson & Johnson Vision and Alcon have denied any wrongdoing or liability in connection with the allegations in the action, the court filing noted. The settlement, if approved, would end the long-running class action litigation that involved minimum pricing on contact lenses.
According to a Reuters report, the case stems from a complaint filed initially in 2015 that alleged the largest contact lens companies had agreed between 2013 and 2018 to restrain competition for certain disposable contact lenses. The lawsuit claimed manufacturers “conspired to eliminate discounting of contact lenses by ensuring that all retailers charged the same minimum price.”
Three companies have already reached settlements that, overall, would result in payments totaling $43.2 million, according to Reuters. The companies and settlements are: CooperVision, ABB Con-Cise Optical Group and Bausch + Lomb Inc. The companies denied liability as part of the settlements.
VMAIL reported on the B+L settlement in September 2019.