Walgreens just filed the latest lawsuit against Theranos

Long on words, light on numbers.
Long on words, light on numbers.
Image: Reuters/Mike Blake
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Elizabeth Holmes got her own unwelcome Election Day surprise.

Holmes, the CEO of the once-promising biotech company Theranos, has had a hard time since the Wall Street Journal first reported (paywall) in 2015 that the results delivered by its signature pin-prick blood tests were woefully inaccurate and potentially harmful to patients. Since then, Theranos has closed its clinical labs, and been served at least nine lawsuits, one of them from a former investor who lost $100 million in investments and eight from patients who were harmed by the faulty testing. For her part, Holmes has seen her personal worth utterly shredded, collapsing from an estimated $4.5 billion to zero.

And now, it’s Walgreens’ turn. On Nov. 8, Theranos’ former partner filed yet another lawsuit (paywall) against the startup seeking $140 million for alleged violations of a non-disclosure agreement. The suit, which was filed in Delaware, has since been sealed.

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Walgreens opened 40 “Theranos Wellness Centers” in Arizona in 2013, without verifying the blood tests worked. After the Journal’s exposé, Walgreens halted its planned expansions of these centers, and in June of this year it officially ended their partnership.

Theranos shot back at Walgreens. “Through its mishandling of our partnership and now this lawsuit, Walgreens has caused Theranos and its investors significant harm,” a Theranos spokesperson said in a statement. “We will respond vigorously to Walgreens’ unfounded allegations, and will seek to hold Walgreens responsible for the damage it has caused to Theranos and its investors.”

Needless to say, Holmes has probably got things other than the US presidential election on her mind.