When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, your test results shouldn’t depend on which testing company you choose. And, testing companies should do their best to perform the tests accurately and in compliance with all procedures.
Unfortunately, according to former employees of VIP StarNetwork, testing companies can sometimes exceed their certifications or even falsely certify results.
Four former employees of that company recently filed lawsuits. They not only claim that VIP StarNetwork acted fraudulently in some cases but also that the company fired them for blowing the whistle. Berenson & Associates, P.C., represents some of the plaintiffs.
“You have this many claimants against one company, it shoots up red flags all over the place,” attorney Rachel Berenson told KOB 4.
Exceeding their testing certification
In one of the cases, a former supervisor for VIP StarNetwork claims that the company performed mouth-swab tests instead of nasal-swab tests at Albuquerque Academy – but that it was only certified to perform nasal-swab tests. The employee alleges that VIP StarNetwork was “fraudulently giving test results which could not be certified as accurate.”
If true, that could mean that a lot of kids were told they were negative when they may have been positive, or vice versa. If so, it could result in increased community spread.
Falsely certifying test results
The three other lawsuits involve testing on movie productions. According to the former employees, VIP StarNetwork allegedly certified negative test results for actors whose tests were actually still pending – or who had not been tested at all. This was apparently to ensure that the actors were cleared to fly or be on set.
A production liaison says she was fired for telling Amazon Studios about the false certifications.
Officials for VIP StarNetwork declined KOB 4’s requests for a comment but said that the company maintains its healthcare services at the highest level. The plaintiffs’ attorneys said that the company is still in the process of being served with the lawsuits.
If these allegations are true, they represent a dangerous setback for our state’s attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The company could also be guilty of fraud and/or medical malpractice.