Walgreens has reached a tentative settlement with consumers who took faulty Theranos blood tests, according to a court document filed Monday.
The proposed settlement agreement will be filed in about three weeks, according to the court document. The details of the agreement are not known.
In 2017, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Walgreens and Theranos, alleging that that the two companies made “pervasive misrepresentations” in their marketing and knew that Theranos’ tests were “dangerously unreliable, had not been validated as advertised and did not meet federal guidelines as advertised”.
According to the lawsuit, the people who used the Edison, a faulty device made by Theranos that performed blood tests on a tiny blood sample, received “unreliable and inaccurate” test results, causing many of them to undergo “unnecessary or potentially harmful treatments” or even to refrain from seeking treatment for the diseases they did not know they had.
Walgreens declined to comment on the preliminary settlement.
In 2013, Walgreens partnered with Theranos and allowed its customers to use the Edison for a variety of blood tests. However, the device was faulty, and according to several lawsuits, people were given incorrect results of their blood tests. The story has been the subject of films, television shows, podcasts and articles, and in early 2022 Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was found guilty of defrauding investors and sentenced to more than 11 years in prison. She must turn herself in by the end of the month.
In another lawsuit, Kimberly Toy alleged that Walgreens knew that the Edison machine from Theranos used to perform the blood tests was faulty. In early 2016, Toy had a blood test done by Theranos to test for diabetes and the test indicated that she was borderline diabetic. When she had the same test done by Quest Diagnostics, the reading was “substantially lower” and indicated that she was “at the low end of the scale for increased risk of diabetes, borderline non-diabetic and clearly not near the diagnostic criteria for diabetes”, the lawsuit said.