AG Ferguson files lawsuit against Center for COVID Control over invalid and false test results

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Center for COVID Control stored
week-old tests in garbage bags
OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today filed a lawsuit against Center for COVID Control, an Illinois-based company that ran several testing centers in Washington state, for providing invalid, false and delayed COVID-19 test results to Washingtonians, or sometimes providing no results at all. 

The company’s unlawful practices included storing tests in garbage bags for over a week rather than properly refrigerating them, and backdating sample collection dates so that stale samples would still be processed.

Employees reported that the company instructed them to “lie to patients on a daily basis” when Washingtonians complained about their delayed results.

Ferguson’s lawsuit, filed in King County Superior Court, asserts the company violated the Consumer Protection Act when it deliberately failed to deliver prompt, valid and accurate results. 

Moreover, the company also violated the Consumer Protection Act when it made deceptive promises that it could deliver results within 48 hours. 

The Attorney General’s Office plans to file a motion for preliminary injunction soon to immediately stop the Center for COVID Control’s unlawful conduct. The office will request a preliminary injunction hearing for the soonest available date.

“Center for COVID Control contributed to the spread of COVID-19 when it provided false negative results,” Ferguson said. “These sham testing centers threatened the health and safety of our communities. They must be held accountable.”

Center for COVID Control operated about 300 testing sites nationwide. 

The company had at least 13 testing sites in Washington, located in Lakewood, Tacoma, University Place, Seattle, Bellevue, Auburn, Lynnwood, Everett, Port Orchard and Yakima. The company provided COVID-19 tests to thousands of Washingtonians.

The company did not have a license to operate a business in any municipalities in Washington, except for Yakima, at the time they conducted COVID-19 tests. These testing sites paused all operations on or about Jan. 13, and are still closed.

The company advertised that they could provide COVID-19 test results within 15 minutes for a rapid antigen test, and within 48 hours for a more accurate PCR test.

However, in reality, the company was aware it could not actually process tests at this speed. Former employees reported that the company was receiving between 8,000 to 10,000 tests per day, and data entry staff could not keep up. The company’s owners refused requests to hire more staff to keep up with the demand for testing.

Employees began storing tests in garbage bags and piling them up in various corners of the office with no semblance of organization. Some former employees reported regularly finding tests sitting in trash bags that were over a week old, never refrigerated properly and never tested by the company’s lab.

More here


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