LA City Attorney Announces Settlement in Coronavirus Testing Case


SANTA MONICA, CA – City prosecutor Mike Feuer Tuesday announced an agreement with a company to stop its sales and COVID-19 test advertising at homeand added that more action was taken against companies that operate illegally during the city’s emergency orders.

RootMD marketed its COVID-19 test kits at home for about $ 250, according to Feuer, but they have not been approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The kits were marketed to test COVID-19, as well as immunity to the virus.

“In this crisis, our residents need to know whether they are positive or negative, and a home kit that is not approved by the FDA could easily provide false hopes, false promises, could easily provide them with incorrect information that would lead to the inadvertent spread of the disease,” said Feuer.

As part of the agreement, RootMD is prohibited from selling or advertising its kits, unless or until it obtains FDA approval. It is also necessary to pay civil fines and restitution to customers who purchased the kits, said Feuer.

The city lawyer said the company claimed to be able to test people’s blood to see if they are immune to the disease, also known as an antibody test.

RootMD is based in Santa Monica, according to Feuer, but attempts to find contact information for the company have been unsuccessful.

Feuer also said his office investigated claims that companies made about vitamins or a silver solution launched on a television program last month, which featured a guest who claimed that these products can eliminate or reduce the risk of getting the coronavirus.

In addition, he said his office has taken action against companies deemed non-essential amid orders to stay in the city’s home that do not adhere to social detachment.

“I deeply understand the desperate need for our business to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so,” said Feuer. “Companies have accounts payable, and they have employees to pay, who depend on them every day. But we will be back to work sooner … if everyone complies with the mayor’s home security requests first.”

The city’s lawyer said that most companies fulfilled the closure when contacted by his office, but 49 companies refused to close and were cited.

In addition, the city attorney has published a list of stores that sell tobacco products that shouldn’t be open, available at www.lacityattorney.org.

– City News Service

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Paula Fonseca