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Jax Daily Record Friday, Oct. 19, 201803:39 PM EST

Former Johnson & Johnson Vision Care director suing company

Colleen Jones says she was fired because she was a whistleblower.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

The former director of the Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Institute in Jacksonville is suing the company, claiming she was fired in violation of the Florida Private Whistleblower Act.

Colleen Jones, who began her career with the company in 1992 as a sales representative, filed a complaint Wednesday in the 4th Judicial Circuit. She is represented by the Morgan & Morgan Law firm,

Johnson & Johnson did not return a phone call for comment.

The complaint alleges that in the months before she was terminated in November, Jones became aware of and reported numerous instances of Johnson & Johnson distributing contact lenses without a prescription or the authorization of a Florida licensed and certified optometrist in violation of state law.

The suit also contends that the distribution of the contact lenses to senior employees and executives violated Johnson & Johnson’s corporate health care compliance policies.

The lawsuit states that Johnson & Johnson maintained a “VIP Contact Lens Account” through which company executives, including the company group chairman and CEO would receive contact lenses at no cost and without a complete eye examination or follow-up examination. The complaint further states that the executives were provided with an annual or monthly supply that was received in and removed from the center, also in violation of company policy.

The lawsuit also contends that before Jones reported the violations in 2017, she already had been told to “De-Colleenify” her work and “loosen up” about compliance issues.

Jones is seeking back pay and benefits, interest on back pay, compensation for lost earning capacity and compensatory damages.

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