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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 1997
Owner of American Eyecare barred from running optical business in Washington

SEATTLE - August 19, 1997 - In an agreement with the State Attorney General’s Office, Leonard E. Vainio, owner of American Eyecare of Bellevue, has been barred from owning and operating any type of optical business in Washington for at least 10 years. The agreement is part of a settlement in an AG consumer protection lawsuit against Vainio.

The agreement applies to all 10 of the locations Vainio owns in Washington which may continue to operate provided they are owned and operated by a third party. Vainio operated five American Eyecare outlets in Northgate, Alderwood, Bellevue-Koll Center, Lakewood Mall, and Federal Way. He also owned and operated Quick Sight/Site of Bellevue, Bellevue Eyeworks, Issaquah Optical, Eyecare USA in Lakewood Mall and Look Optical in the University District.

The AG’s Office received 150 consumer complaints involving American Eyecare. The suit accused Vainio of violating the Consumer Protection Act through a variety of unfair and deceptive practices, including "bait and switch" tactics, false advertising, charging consumers for goods and services not provided by the company, selling defective products and failing to refund prepaid amounts after receiving payments from consumer’s health insurance companies.

The settlement permanently enjoins Vainio from engaging in any of these unfair and deceptive practices in Washington. Vainio has paid $18,694 in restitution, an additional $10,000 in attorney’s fees and costs to the state, and has promised to satisfy any consumer complaints which are submitted to the AG’s Office after the entry of the Consent Decree.

Consumers who have a claim against American Eyecare of Bellevue should contact the AG’s Office at (800) 551-4636 or (800) 833-6384 for the hearing impaired (TDD). If the claim occurred before June 16, 1997, it will be satisfied using the $18,000 restitution fund and must be filed no later than October 20, 1997.


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