A New Mexico woman 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 of Clovis 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, 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. An optometrist 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 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 claims that Hubble contact lenses are made with Methafilcon A, a silicone-based polymer that many optometrists consider inappropriate for making contact lenses due to its lack of oxygen supply to the eye.
While Hubble’s contact lenses are FDA-approved, the lawsuit argues that Methafilcon A is an inferior material that is no longer prescribed for contact lenses in the United States. The complaint 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 responded to the lawsuit by stating that it takes the allegations seriously and has initiated an internal investigation. The company expressed sadness over Guarisco’s situation and emphasized that it was unaware of her claims until the lawsuit was filed.
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 its Hubble branded contact lenses online through a mail-order subscription model. The company emphasizes its rigorous inspection process for each set of lenses on its website.
It remains to be seen how this lawsuit will unfold, as both parties continue to investigate the claims and gather evidence.