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 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. She 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 later diagnosed her with iridocyclitis, an inflamed iris condition. Guarisco was also 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 subsequently diagnosed with a corneal ulcer in her right eye and reported decreased vision.
Despite undergoing several unsuccessful surgeries to repair the ulcer, Guarisco now has a permanent prosthetic in her right eye socket. She claims that Hubble contact lenses caused her vision loss because they are made in Taiwan using Methafilcon A, a silicone-based polymer that many optometrists deem inappropriate for making contact lenses due to its lack of oxygen supply to the eye. Although Hubble’s contact lenses are FDA-approved, the lawsuit argues that methafilcon A is an inferior material 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.
In response to the lawsuit, Vision Path stated that it takes the allegations seriously and began an internal investigation upon learning of the claims. The company, which sells Hubble branded contact lenses online through a mail-order subscription model, was founded in 2016.
This is not the first legal trouble for Hubble Contacts. In January 2022, Vision Path 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. The company also paid nearly $375,000 in a settlement in Texas last June for deceptive marketing practices.
The lawsuit filed by Guarisco against Vision Path and Hubble Contacts highlights the importance of ensuring the safety and quality of contact lenses, as well as the need for companies to follow proper procedures and regulations in the industry.