Exposing the LASIK Scam

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 Post subject: Illinois Attorney General lawsuit against LVI
PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:27 pm 
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http://www.ag.state.il.us/pressroom/200 ... 51128.html

For Immediate Release
Contact: Melissa Merz
312-814-3118
877-844-5461 (TTY)
mmerz@atg.state.il.us
November 28, 2005

MADIGAN REACHES SETTLEMENT WITH LASER EYE SURGERY PROVIDER TO ENSURE ADVERTISEMENTS REFLECT ACTUAL COST OF PROCEDURES


Chicago ? Following a statewide advertising campaign that allegedly misrepresented the actual cost of corrective laser eye surgery, Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that a settlement has been reached with a Florida company that performs the surgeries to ensure that future advertisements reflect the actual cost of its procedures.

Madigan?s office filed the lawsuit against Lasik Vision Institute, LLC, on Monday, November 21, and filed the settlement agreement today, November 28, both in Sangamon County Circuit Court. The lawsuit charged Lasik Vision Institute with violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Illinois Administrative Rules on Retail Advertising.

In signing the settlement agreement, Lasik Vision Institute agreed that all future advertisements will be in full compliance with Illinois law. In addition, the company has agreed to pay a voluntary contribution of $17,500 to the Attorney General Court Ordered and Voluntary Compliance Payment Project Fund for Consumer Enforcement and Education.

?Patients considering a surgical procedure should never be swayed by deceptive advertisements or false promises,? Madigan said. ?This settlement will provide that Lasik?s future advertisements reflect the actual cost of procedures.?

Madigan?s lawsuit alleged that between June 2003 and June 2004, Lasik Vision Institute advertised surgeries for ?as low as $299? in newspapers statewide, including The Springfield State Journal-Register, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Peoria Journal Star and the Rockford Register Star. After June 2004, advertisements promoted ?Lasik $499 per eye.? Madigan?s lawsuit alleged that the advertisements did not adequately disclose the limitations on the advertised price, nor did they disclose the range of prices of surgeries offered and the conditions for each. As a result, may consumers ended up paying more than the advertised price.

Madigan?s lawsuit alleged that prospective patients were required to pay a $100 non-refundable deposit before learning if the lower-cost procedure was appropriate for their vision needs. The Nidek laser procedure is a lower-cost option for corrective laser eye surgery; however, patients with certain prescriptions as well as pre-existing medical conditions, such as cataracts, diabetes and glaucoma, may not be eligible to undergo the surgery. Finally, Madigan?s lawsuit alleged Lasik Vision Institute advertised that screening exams would be conducted by a doctor of ophthalmology when, in fact, the exams were conducted by doctors of optometry.

The consent decree does not constitute an admission of guilt by Lasik Vision Institute.

Assistant Attorney General Cassandra Karimi is handling the case for Madigan?s Consumer Protection Division.

_________________
Broken Eyes

"The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato


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