OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a lawsuit in opposition to an Illinois-based COVID-19 testing company, accusing it of improperly dealing with checks and offering pretend outcomes.
The lawsuit introduced Monday and filed in King County Superior Court stated the Center for COVID Control “failed to deliver prompt, valid and accurate results,” made misleading guarantees of outcomes inside 48 hours, and reportedly instructed its staff to “lie to patients on a daily basis,” The Seattle Times reported.
It describes how the company expanded to about 300 areas all through the United States and picked up tens of 1000’s of checks a day.
“Center for COVID Control contributed to the spread of COVID-19 when it provided false negative results,” Ferguson stated in an announcement. “These sham testing centers threatened the health and safety of our communities. They must be held accountable.”
The lawsuit additionally stated the Center for COVID Control saved checks in rubbish baggage – relatively than correctly refrigerating them – backdated sample-collection dates so stale samples would nonetheless be processed and instructed its staff to lie when Washington residents requested about delayed outcomes.
The Center for COVID Control didn’t reply to a request for remark Monday from the newspaper or from The Associated Press. All of its areas are closed “until further notice,” in response to its web site.
The company stated in a information launch on the web site that it was utilizing “this operational pause to train additional staff.”
The Center for COVID Control websites had been working in Washington state since October and was more and more widespread notably after the fast unfold of the omicron variant prompted an increase in demand for checks.
Locations in Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, Lakewood, University Place, Auburn, Lynnwood, Everett, Port Orchard and Yakima in Washington promised free check outcomes inside quarter-hour for a fast check and inside 48 hours for a extra delicate PCR check.
But just lately, prospects all through the nation have been complaining in regards to the middle’s delayed or lack of outcomes, main well being authorities in a number of states, together with California and Illinois, to launch investigations.
City officers in In Lakewood, Washington, issued a stop-work order at their native website in mid-January after receiving complaints in regards to the company and discovering it was working and not using a enterprise license, “among other concerns,” town stated.
The company didn’t have a license to function a enterprise in any Washington cities besides Yakima, in response to the legal professional common’s workplace.
Ferguson’s workplace plans to file a movement for preliminary injunction “soon to immediately stop the Center for COVID Control’s unlawful conduct,” his assertion stated.
The lawsuit asks the court docket to order the Center for COVID Control to pay civil penalties of as much as $12,500 per violation of the Consumer Protection Act and relinquish any earnings the company made out of its “unlawful conduct,” along with completely closing all areas, the assertion stated.
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