Class Certification Denied in Antitrust Litigation

Transitions Optical, Inc. makes photochromic lenses, or prescription eyeglasses, that darken automatically when exposed to ultraviolet light, and then fade back to clear indoors. Plaintiffs alleged Transitions conspired with Essilor of America, Inc. and Essilor Laboratories of America, Inc. to restrain competition and enforce exclusive arrangements for Transitions lenses at all levels of the distribution chain.

Both direct and indirect purchasers sought to certify different classes of purchasers of prescription eyewear with Transitions lenses. Dr. Gregory Leonard, working with Edgeworth Partner Dr. Laila Haider, submitted expert reports in both cases challenging the appropriateness of plaintiffs’ class-wide methodologies.

Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Jenkins, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, recommended denying both motions for class certification. Citing Edgeworth's analysis, the Judge found that “given the multiple models, the changing regression analyses, the price card data, and the use of a 50% statistical significance level, plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence a workable methodology to gauge impact on all members of the class through methods based on common evidence.”

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