One of the world's leading makers of contact lenses has decided to blink in a big lawsuit. Johnson & Johnson says it will pay a lot of money to settle charges that 6 million consumers spent more than $1 billion because of misleading advertising. CBS's Byron Pitts reports.
For years, contact lens manufacturer Johnson & Johnson told consumers to throw away their Acuvue 1-day lenses after a single use and put in a new pair.
This week the company agreed to pay up to a $860 million dollars to settle a lawsuit alleging that Johnson & Johnson misled consumers. The suit claimed the 1-day contacts could last up to 2 weeks.
"Johnson & Johnson misrepresented to consumers [and] to eye care professionals like eye doctors that 1-day contact lenses had some type of special physical property that limited its use to 1 [day] when, in fact, Johnson & Johnson knew very well that that's not true," says Jay Eisenhoffer, the plaintiff's attorney.
Johnson & Johnson refused to talk on camera, but it issued a statement instead. It said: "Some of our consumers may have been confused about the use of our daily disposable lenses. We regret this."
One person who is happy with Johnson & Johnson's daily lenses is medical student Emily Rosenbush. Every morning she pops in a new, sterile pair. Even after the lawsuit, she insists that won't change.
"I like the convenience of popping them out, throwing them in the garbage and not worrying about cleansing solutions, or chemicals, or anything like that, says Rosenbush.
As for the settlement on the case, a superior court judge could finalize it by tomorrow and order Johnson & Johnson to notify consumers how they can apply for compensation.
Eye care professionals are encouraging people to check with their doctors first regarding the proper use of contact lens products, regardless of what the lens manufacturer has recommended.
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