A woman from New Mexico has filed a lawsuit against Hubble Contacts, claiming that she had to have her eye removed due to defective contact lenses sold by the company. Stephanie Guarisco alleges that she experienced severe pain and injury after using the lenses for only a few weeks, ultimately resulting in the loss of her right eye. Guarisco is suing Hubble’s parent company, Vision Path, for negligence, consumer fraud, and other counts.
According to the lawsuit filed on June 30 in New York State Supreme Court, Guarisco purchased Hubble contact lenses through the company’s website in early 2020. She wore the daily lenses until late July of that same year. Weeks later, she experienced severe pain in her left eye and sought medical attention at a hospital emergency room. An optometrist subsequently diagnosed her with iridocyclitis, an inflamed iris condition. Guarisco was later diagnosed with a corneal ulcer in her left eye. However, her eye issues worsened, and she had to visit the emergency room again for allergy-like symptoms in her right eye, including discharge, redness, itching, and visual disturbances. She was diagnosed with a corneal ulcer in her right eye and reported decreased vision.
Despite undergoing several surgeries to repair the ulcer, they were unsuccessful, and Guarisco now has a permanent prosthetic in her right eye socket. She attributes her vision loss to the fact that Hubble contact lenses are made in Taiwan using Methafilcon A, a silicone-based polymer. Many optometrists argue that this material is not suitable for making contact lenses as it does not provide enough oxygen to the eye. While Hubble’s contact lenses are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, methafilcon A is considered an inferior material that is no longer prescribed for contact lenses in the United States.
The lawsuit also accuses Vision Path of not following proper procedures for verifying customer prescriptions and paying customers for positive reviews of the lenses on its website. Vision Path has stated that it is taking the allegations seriously and has initiated an internal investigation.
Vision Path, the parent company of Hubble Contacts, has previously faced legal troubles. In January 2022, the company paid a $3.5 million settlement to the Federal Trade Commission for various violations, including failing to obtain proper optometrist prescriptions for customers’ contact lenses. This settlement was the largest ever paid by a company for violating U.S. contact lens rules. Vision Path also paid nearly $375,000 in a settlement in Texas last June for deceptive marketing practices.
Founded in 2016, Vision Path sells Hubble branded contact lenses online through a mail-order subscription model. The company claims that every set of lenses undergoes a thorough inspection process.