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J&J AcuVue Class Action Settlement Immaterial Due To Existing Reserves

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

A proposed settlement of a Johnson & Johnson AcuVue contact lens class action suit valued at up to $860 mil. will not have a material impact on financial results due to existing litigation reserves, the firm says. A preliminary hearing on the settlement proposal, announced April 17, is set for May 18.

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Johnson & Johnson

Firm agrees to sell AcuVue contact lenses through alternative distribution channels such as mail order companies as part of a $60 mil. settlement of a 1994 antitrust class-action lawsuit. Brought by 32 states attorneys general in Jacksonville, Florida federal court, the suit alleged J&J conspired to refuse to sell lenses through entities other than eye-care specialists, resulting in higher prices. J&J denies the charges. Competitors Ciba Vision and Bausch & Lomb reached separate settlements (1"The Gray Sheet" Feb. 26, 2001, p. 14). Granted preliminary court approval May 22, the J&J settlement will include a $25 mil. payment to plaintiffs, a $30 mil. current customer benefits package, and a $5 mil. fund for former customers. A separate $860 mil. AcuVue proposed class action settlement, announced April 17, relates to marketing identical lenses as both one-day and two-week disposables (2"The Gray Sheet" April 23, 2001, p. 17)

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