Did you get coronavirus tests from Sameday? Some California customers could get refunds
Many Californians could be eligible for refunds under a settlement struck with an L.A.-based company accused of faking results for hundreds of coronavirus tests.
Under the settlement announced by Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer, Sameday Health will pay more than $20 million, including more than $5 million in refunds for consumers. The company will repay several groups of people, according to the settlement deal announced this week:
— California consumers who paid out of pocket for a PCR test from the company between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 2020. (The settlement language refers to people who paid “cash,” but a Feuer spokesperson said that refers to anyone who paid directly for the tests rather than using insurance, regardless of whether they used cash or some other method.)
— “Certain consumers” who got a PCR test from the company outside that timeframe and are identified by authorities pursuing the case
— California consumers who didn’t get test results from the company within the advertised turnaround time and haven’t already been refunded by Sameday
The amount of restitution will be tied to how much the consumer paid for the tests, Feuer said.
A company accused of handing out fake results for hundreds of coronavirus tests will pay more than $20 million in a settlement with the city of L.A.
The city attorney said that as far as he knows, the alleged fake results occurred between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 2020, but he added that if anyone who got a Sameday Health result that didn’t make sense or looked strange — for instance, if there was an abrupt change in font for the dates of their results — that they should reach out to Sameday even if the test occurred outside that time period.
If they don’t get an adequate response from the company, “anyone who is concerned can go to our website or call our office,” Feuer said.
Under the settlement, refunds will be issued within 30 days of the settlement becoming effective. If Sameday cannot find the eligible consumers or if people do not redeem their refunds within six months, the company is required to pay the money into a fund for prosecuting consumer protection cases.
Feuer said that in this case, “we have hundreds and hundreds of people we’ve alleged who were trying to do the right thing — act responsibly, get tested” who were sent fake results saying they tested negative. “Who knows if they were, in fact, negative?”
Those people may have then gone on to see an elderly relative, travel, or head back to work assuming they were no threat to their colleagues, Feuer said. “The stakes could hardly be higher.”
Sameday said in a statement Wednesday that “in the early days, amidst the chaos of massive surges in demand for services, and shortages in supplies, we failed to meet the standards for excellence our customers deserve.”
“We have corrected the problems that arose back in 2020 and have made significant investments in compliance and systems to ensure that we meet our customers’ expectations,” the company said. “We agreed to settle with the City Attorney and the L.A. District Attorney in order to move forward and to allow the 1,200 men and women of Sameday to place their focus on providing top-level service to the communities we serve.”
Although the company and city attorneys reached the settlement deal, it needs to be approved by a judge to become final.
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