Arthur L. Cartier Optics v. Transitions Optical, Inc., et al., Case No. 2 :10-cv-694 (W.D. Wa.)

On April 22, 2010, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC and Keller Rohrback P.L.C. filed a class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington on behalf of plaintiff Arthur L. Cartier Optics and a class of all similarly situated persons and entities alleging that Transitions Optical, Inc, Essilor of America, Inc. and Essilor Laboratories of America, Inc. monopolized, and conspired to monopolize, the market for the development, manufacture and sale of photochromic treatment for corrective ophthalmic lenses.  Lenses with photochromic treatments change from clear to dark in the presence of UV light, and revert to clear when removed from that light.  Plaintiff alleges that, starting no later than 1999 and continuing through at least March 2010, the defendants and their unnamed coconspirators engaged in exclusionary conduct, including entering into exclusive dealing arrangements and other restrictive practices at nearly every level of the photochromic lens distribution chain. This conduct substantially foreclosed existing and potential competitors from accessing distribution channels necessary to efficiently and effectively manufacture and market competing photochromic lenses, and thereby increased prices to purchasers of such lenses.  The complaint follows the Federal Trade Commission’s approval of a proposed consent order with defendant Transitions Optical, Inc. that will, among other relief, require Transitions to eliminate exclusive dealing practices that threaten competition.