The suit alleges customer fraud
The blood-testing startup Theranos has been hit with a consumer fraud class action lawsuit, a week after the company voided two years’ worth of Edison blood test results.
The suit, which was filed today in the district of Northern California, alleges that Theranos’ proprietary blood testing device, Edison, "did not work" and that Theranos’ tests weren’t accurate. So patients who used Theranos’ services were subject to "unnecessary or potentially harmful treatments" or may not have been notified about a treatable condition, according to a complaint.
"The lawsuit filed today against Theranos is without merit," Theranos spokesperson Brooke Buchanan told The Verge. "The company will vigorously defend itself against these claims."
This is the first class action suit against Theranos — but it’s not yet clear if it will stand up to a judge’s scrutiny. For the suit to move ahead, the judge has to certify the class saying there is evidence that there are a number of similarly situated people who suffered the same damage. Even the suit moves ahead, it’s not clear how plaintiffs will show that they’ve suffered damages because of Theranos’ tests. A single Theranos customer is bringing this lawsuit on behalf of himself and two other potential classes of consumers — people who bought Theranos tests in Arizona as well as nationwide. The suit attacks Theranos’ practices on multiple fronts. For instance, although Theranos advertised proprietary technology, the company didn’t use its own blood-testing device, Edison, for most laboratory testing, the suit says. It also says that the company shared incorrect information with the public to attract customers. Finally, Theranos didn’t conduct its testing according to federal guidelines, according to the complaint....MORE