A lawsuit filed in Arizona federal court Friday claims that faulty Theranos blood test results contributed to a patient's heart attack.
The suit, which seeks class-action status, accuses the blood-testing company and/or its partner, Walgreens Boots Alliance, of consumer fraud, negligence, breach of contract and civil conspiracy, among other causes of action.
According to the suit, the plaintiff, identified only by the initials R.C., had blood drawn at a "Theranos Wellness Center" in a Walgreens pharmacy in Sun City West, Arizona, in February 2015. The patient had been sent there for a routine test of cholesterol and blood sugar, to "monitor R.C.'s annual heart health."
"Based on the normal blood test results, R.C.'s doctor recommended R.C. maintain his current medication regime and to return in one year for repeat testing," the suit asserts. Less than a month later, according to the suit, the plaintiff suffered a heart attack, requiring two stents.
The suit then suggests that the normal test results were incorrect, alleviating any concern the doctor may have had, so that the doctor failed to intervene when it might have been necessary:
R.C. and his cardiologist were concerned that R.C. had even suffered an attack given that his blood panels came back clear less than a month prior. Additional blood work performed during his hospitalization strongly suggested that the near-contemporaneous Theranos blood test was inaccurate and that R.C. and his cardiologist’s reliance on the Theranos’ test results was potentially inaccurate or even harmful.
The plaintiff alleges that Theranos later voided the blood test, a nullification that would have been one of tens of thousands of changes to test results the company made as part of a failed attempt to assuage the ire of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The federal regulator was threatening Theranos with unprecedented sanctions for running tests at its California lab that failed quality control assessments, among other deficiencies. CMS imposed those sanctions earlier this month.