HomeNewsCalifornia Investigation Results in $23.8 Million Settlement over Illegal Incentives For Eyecare...

California Investigation Results in $23.8 Million Settlement over Illegal Incentives For Eyecare Merchandise



California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara announced that Essilor Laboratories of America Inc. has agreed to a $23.8 million settlement in a lawsuit alleging the company violated the Insurance Frauds Prevention Act .

The lawsuit alleged that Essilor offered bribes and other illegal inducements to eye care providers that ultimately harmed consumers by unfairly pushing them towards more expensive services.

Essilor manufactures, markets and distributes optical lenses and equipment used to produce optical lenses throughout California and the country.

The settlement ends a 2016 whistleblower lawsuit against Essilor. After investigating the allegations, the commissioner filed an intervention complaint in 2021.

The lawsuit alleged that Essilor illegally bribed eye care providers, with an upfront payment sometimes in the hundreds of thousands of dollars in return for providers promising to send business to Essilor for a period of three to five years.

The lawsuit also alleged that Essilor further provided bribes to California eye care providers through a program called “PracticeBuilder,” in which providers received cash payments for lens use. Essilor and laboratory services.

Payments through the PracticeBuilder program were made to reward eye care providers for prescribing and dispensing Essilor’s most expensive lenses and treatments and for using its laboratory services.

The lawsuit further alleges that Essilor knowingly submitted false claims to California private payers, including insurance companies, health savings plans and vision protection organizations.

The resolution is the result of a collaborative lawsuit between the commissioner and the whistleblower’s attorney, Baron & Budd, PC, The Weiser Law Firm and Keller Grover, LLP.


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