Walgreens agrees to pay $44 million to Theranos blood test customers

The company used to offer Theranos' faulty blood tests in its stores.

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There was a time when Walgreens championed Theranos' blood tests and offered them at "wellness centers" in its stores. That was before it came to light that Theranos' tests were faulty, leading to a bitter breakup between the two companies. Now, according to Bloomberg, Walgreens has agreed to pay $44 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by customers who received flawed Theranos blood tests through its centers in Arizona and California.

Lawyers for both sides struck a deal after a US district judge ordered the case to go to trial, and they filed a notice for a tentative settlement back in May. A court still has to approve the proposal, but based on the court filing by the plaintiffs, those customers will receive around double their out-of-pocket damages if the terms remain unaltered.

The lawsuit accused Walgreens of being "willfully blind" to its partnership with Theranos, alleging that it had good reason to be suspicious of the latter's fingerprick testing method. Bloomberg says the plaintiffs' lawyers have acknowledged, however, that Walgreens had a "potent" defense argument when it said that it was also defrauded by the blood-testing company.

Walgreens took Theranos to court in 2016 for a reported $140 million shortly after it formally ended their relationship. They eventually settled the lawsuit in a way that "resolve[d] all claims," but details about that agreement were undisclosed. As for Theranos, well, the company is now dead, with company founder Elizabeth Holmes currently serving time in prison with a scheduled release date of December 29, 2032.