Thompson v. 1-800 Contacts, Inc. 

United States District Court, District of Utah, Central Division — Case No. 2:16-cv-01183 

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If you purchased contact lens online between January 1, 2004 and September 12, 2019, you may be able to benefit from class action settlements.

What is this litigation about?

The lawsuit alleges that Defendants entered written agreements that affected the online retail market for contact lenses in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. §1. The lawsuit was brought by individuals who made at least one online purchase of contact lenses from one or more of the Defendants. 

The Court supervising the case is the United States District Court for the District of Utah. The case is called Thompson v. 1-800 Contacts, Inc., Vision Direct, Inc., Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., Walgreen Co., Arlington Contact Lens Service, Inc., National Vision, Inc., Luxottica of America, Inc. (f/k/a Luxottica Retail North America, Inc.), No. 2:16-cv-01183. 

The individuals who are prosecuting this lawsuit, referred to as “Class Plaintiffs,” are J Thompson, Iysha Abed, Daniel J. Bartolucci, William P. Duncanson, Tyler Nance, Leia Pinto, Jill Schulson, and Edward Ungvarsky. 

Class Plaintiffs allege, among other things, that 13 online contact lens retailers entered into bilateral written agreements with 1-800 Contacts to not compete in certain online advertising. These retailers included Defendants Vision Direct, Inc., Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., Walgreen Co., Arlington Contact Lens Service, Inc. National Vision, Inc., and Luxottica of America, Inc. 

Class Plaintiffs allege that online advertising is an effective tool for allowing e-commerce retailers to market directly to consumers at the moment the consumer is interested in making a purchase or expressed an interest in a particular item. Class Plaintiffs further allege that these agreements prohibited the parties to the agreements from bidding in their online paid search advertising campaigns on the Defendants’ trademarks and other related terms as “keywords” through search engines such as Google. Class Plaintiffs claim that the agreements also committed the agreeing parties to use “negative keywords,” which are instructions to the search engine that a company’s advertisement should not appear in response to a search query for Defendants’ registered trademarks and other related terms. 

These restraints, Class Plaintiffs allege, and Defendants deny, prevented consumers from receiving the benefits of additional paid search advertising. As a result, Class Plaintiffs allege that Defendants were able to charge, and all Class Members paid, higher prices for contact lenses in the online market than they would have paid had there been additional paid search advertising among Defendants. 

As mentioned above, Defendants deny any wrongdoing. 

How do I know if I am part of the Settlements?

The Court has preliminarily certified Settlement Classes in each of the Settlements. Settlement Class Members include persons falling within one or more of the following groups:

All persons in the United States who do not timely exclude himself, herself, or themselves and who made at least one online purchase of contact lenses from 1-800 from January 1, 2004 to September 12, 2019 or any of the following entities during the specified time period: (i) Vision Direct, Inc. (“Vision Direct”), Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., Walgreen Co. (“Walgreens,” collectively with Vision Direct referred to as “WAG/VD”) from January 1, 2004 to September 12, 2019; (ii) Arlington Contact Lens Service, Inc. or National Vision Inc. (collectively, “AC Lens/NVI”) from March 10, 2010 to September 19, 2017; or (iii) Luxottica of America, Inc. (f/k/a Luxottica Retail North America, Inc.) (“Luxottica”) from December 23, 2013 to July 5, 2019. Excluded from the Settlement Class are Defendants, their parent companies, subsidiaries and affiliates, any alleged Agreement Counterparties, governmental entities and instrumentalities of government, states and their subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities; 

All persons in the United States who made at least one online purchase of contact lenses from 1-800 Contacts, Inc. or Walgreen Co., Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., or Vision Direct, Inc. from January 1, 2004 to September 12, 2019, who do not timely exclude himself, herself, or themselves from the Class. Excluded from the Settlement Class are Defendants, their parent companies, subsidiaries and affiliates, any alleged Advertising Agreement Counterparties, governmental entities and instrumentalities of government, states and their subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities; 

All persons in the United States who made at least one online purchase of contact lenses from 1-800 Contacts, Inc., Arlington Contact Lens Service, Inc., or National Vision, Inc. from March 10, 2010 through September 19, 2017, who do not timely exclude themselves from the Class. Excluded from the Settlement Class are Defendants, their parent companies, subsidiaries and affiliates, any alleged co-conspirators, government entities and instrumentalities of government, states and their subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities; and 

All persons in the United States who made at least one online purchase of contact lenses from 1-800 Contacts, Inc. or Luxottica of America, Inc. (f/k/a Luxottica Retail North America, Inc.) from December 23, 2013 through July 5, 2019, who do not timely exclude himself, herself, or themselves from the Class. Excluded from the Settlement Classes are Defendants, their parent companies, subsidiaries and affiliates, any alleged Advertising Agreement Counterparties, governmental entities and instrumentalities of government, states and their subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities. 

Which contact lens purchases are covered by the Settlements? 

In order to qualify under the terms of the Settlements, you must live in the United States and have made one or more contact lens purchases online through a retailer’s website or mobile application, during the time period(s) set forth in the Settlement Classes. Websites operated by Defendants included: www. contactsdirect.com, www.targetoptical.com, www.lenscrafters.com, www.walgreens.com, www.aclens.com, www.visiondirect.com, and www.1800contacts.com. 

Contact lens purchases made over the telephone or at a brick and mortar retailer do not qualify for the Settlements. 

What do the Settlements provide?

Defendants will collectively pay $40 million to settle the claims against them.  The Settlement Amounts agreed to by each of the Defendants are as follows:

The $40 million Settlement Fund, plus interest, will be divided among all the Settlement Class Members who send in a Claim Form after the following costs are deducted from the Settlement Fund: taxes, the cost of notifying Settlement Class Members, the costs of Settlement Administration, court-awarded attorneys’ fees and expenses, and Service Awards to Class Representatives. 

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

SUBMIT A CLAIM
Deadline:
December 4, 2020

The only way to receive your share of the Settlement Fund. To qualify for payment, you must submit a Claim Form to the Settlement Administrator. You may submit a Claim Form online through the settlement website, www.onlinecontactlenssettlement.com. You must complete the Claim Form verifying under penalty of perjury the total dollar value of the contact lenses you purchased online from one or more of the Defendants during the Class Period(s). You must complete the Claim Form verifying under penalty of perjury the total dollar value of contact lenses you purchased online from one or more of the Defendants during the Class Period(s). The Settlement Administrator may ask for documentation to support your claim.

Read the instructions carefully, fill out the form, sign it, and submit it. Claim Forms must be submitted by December 4, 2020. 

Click here to submit a Claim Form. 

exclude yourself
Deadline:
september 21, 2020 

Get no payment. This is the only option that allows you to ever be part of any other lawsuit against Defendants about the legal claims in this case for the time period covered by this case.  

For more information on excluding yourself from the Settlements, please read the Long Form Notice, by clicking here

OBJECT
Deadline:
september 21, 2020 

Write to the Court about why you do not like the Settlements. 

For more information on objecting to the Settlements, please read the Long Form Notice, by clicking here

go to the hearing

Ask to speak in Court about the fairness of the Settlements. The hearing will be held on October 20, 2020 at 10:00 a.m., at the United States District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division, United States Courthouse, 351 S. West Temple, Courtroom 3.400, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101 to consider whether to approve the proposed Settlements, the Plan of Distribution, and Co-Lead Class Counsel’s application for an award of attorneys’ fees, expenses, and service awards to Class Plaintiffs. You or your lawyer may ask to appear and speak at the hearing at your own expense, but do not have to. The Court might decide to hold the hearing telephonically. 

do nothing

Get no payment and give up your rights to be part of any other lawsuit against Defendants about the legal claims in this case. 

CPT GROUP, Inc.

50 Corporate Park, Irvine, CA 92606

Email: OnlineContactLensSettlement@cptgroup.com

CONTACT INFORMATION

Toll-Free Class Member Support:
1-888-506-0436

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