New Jersey Lab Facing Lawsuit Over False COVID Tests
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
A lab in Ventnor, New Jersey is facing a class action lawsuit over falsely advertising a finger prick antibody blood test as a “rapid COVID test”, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised directly against it.
Infinity Diagnostics Laboratories has been issuing finger-stick blood tests since March of 2020 and has allegedly tested thousands of patients at $50-$75 per test. When the FBI raided the facility early in December 2020, the facility finally closed and is currently facing litigation over falsely advertising the antibody tests as rapid COVID tests.
A COVID-19 antibody test can only test for the body’s immune response, not the actual virus.
The function of the antibody test limits its effectiveness as a diagnostic tool, which is why the FDA has specifically advised laboratories, medical professionals, and citizens to refrain from using antibody tests to decide whether or not someone has an active infection of coronavirus. A person could have COVID but not yet have enough antibodies built up by the immune system to be detected, resulting in negative test results even if a person is actually positive for the virus. The FDA has stated that only saliva and nasal swab tests can be used to identify an active COVID infection.
Some families spent hundreds of dollars on these falsely advertised tests.
At $50-$75 per test, multiple-member families in the area spent hundreds of dollars on these “rapid” stick tests, which in the end were practically useless for the purpose they were advertised for. There is a good chance that many of the individuals involved in this lawsuit received inaccurate test results, and had they received accurate results they might have chosen to further isolate or quarantine to prevent exposing loved ones to the virus. Witnesses quoted in the lawsuit stated that the facility refused to accept debit or credit payments and requested payments only in cash. This only adds to the overall impression that Infinity Diagnostics was well aware that their conduct was below-board, and that the antibody tests they were issuing should not have been used for diagnostic purposes nor marketed as such.
The FBI has advised anyone who was tested at the Ventnor Infinity lab to get retested.
Additionally, the FBI has reportedly advised anyone who underwent a finger-prick blood test at the Ventnor facility to contact their victim assistance unit. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are seeking damages to compensate the cost of retesting as well as an additional $100 for each consumer to penalize the company for violating New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act. The suit is also seeking compensation for any related attorney fees as litigation moves forward.