Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is seeking bids to retain outside legal expert to pursue a consumer-fraud lawsuit against troubled blood-testing company Theranos.
Brnovich’s office is seeking “legal action against Theranos” and its closely related subsidiaries for violations of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act, according to a request for proposals posted this month on the state procurement website.
Theranos came to Arizona in 2013 when it rolled out its unproven technology at Walgreens stores across metro Phoenix. The Silicon Valley start-up opened 40 Theranos Wellness Centers at Walgreens locations across metro Phoenix, operated a laboratory at Arizona State University office complex in Scottsdale, and successfully lobbied for a bill that allowed consumers to order any test without a doctor’s orders.
Then, media reports and government regulators raised questions about the company’s testing procedures. Federal regulators moved to revoke the company’s laboratory certificate after finding multiple deficiencies at its California lab and moved to bar founder Elizabeth Holmes from the lab business.
Later, Theranos announced it would shut down its Scottsdale lab and its stand-alone retail locations. Walgreens had earlier shut down its Theranos locations. Theranos, a privately-held company, was once valued at $9 billion based on investor hopes that the company’s proprietary finger-prick technology would revolutionize the lab-testing business.
The bid listed on Arizona’s procurement website states that Arizona will pursue litigation “for violations of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act arising out of Theranos Inc.’s long-running scheme of deceptive acts and misrepresentations related to Arizona consumers.”