In the first complaint filed under the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act of 2003 (FCLCA), the Federal Trade Commission charged that Walsh Optical and its owner, Kevin Walsh, of Hoboken, N.J., violated the FCLCA and the Contact Rule of 2004.

Walsh Optical operates three Web, and Contactlens­world.comthat sell contact lenses directly to consumers. The FTC alleges that the sites failed to verify consumers prescriptions. The FCLCA requires that sellers either obtain a copy of the prescription or directly verify it with the prescriber before selling contact lenses to consumers.

Although Mr. Walsh did not admit to any wrongdoing, the company is settling charges and will pay $40,000 in civil penalties. The settlement contains provisions that allow the FTC to monitor compliance.

The FTC says the company will be prohibited from violating the FTCs Contact Lens Rule in the future.

The complaint and proposed order are available on the FTCs Web site:

Vol. No: 143:09Issue: 9/15/2006