Three parties have been targeted by a federal class action complaint filed
by a group of eye care providers and professionals in the industry. Davis
Vision, HVHC, and Highmark Health – the parent company of the group
– has been accused within the lawsuit of making independent providers
choose a Davis Vision lab when ordering glasses, frames, or lenses. The
forced bottlenecking is twice as impactful since the insurer is also accused
of charging above-market prices to ramp up profits. At the time of the
class action’s filing, Davis Vision controls close to 70% of the
eye care patient market in Pennsylvania.
Attorney Richard Golomb of Golomb & Honik, P.C. is representing Alan Frank, the lead plaintiff
of the class action. Frank’s class action is representative of all
sorts of eye care professionals, from opticians to optometrists. He claims
that the funneling methods are harmful to patients, who usually end up
with a pair of glasses Davis Vision wants to sell out of its laboratory,
rather than the pair that would actually improve their vision the most.
The trouble began when Davis Vision implemented a mandatory policy that
sent frame orders to its lab. The company made the claim that patients
and professionals would both save money by only relying on its own laboratory
for lens and frame creation. Frank sees the move as monopolistic, and
one that actually increases prices. Large retailers are not restricted
by the mandatory laboratory policy, which unbalances the market further
by putting more burden on independent eye care providers. One company
– Visionworks – that is excused from having to use the Davis
Vision lab is actually a corporate affiliate of Highmark Health.
The plaintiff argument states that at least 11 counts of violations have
been enacted by the defendants. The class action cites unjust enrichment
and unlawful restraint of trade, among others. It is worth noting that
Davis Vision decided to settle a case of similar merit a year ago that
was filed by another optical laboratory.
For more information about this ongoing story, you can
click here to read a full article published by
Courthouse News Service. If you believe you can opt into this antitrust class action filed against
Davis Vision, be sure to
contact Golomb & Honik, P.C. and our Philadelphia class action attorneys.
We would also be happy to talk to you during a
free consultation about other potential lawsuits or claims that you have in mind.