LabCorp’s faulty paternity tests and their impact on Society

Summary

Paternity Suit Raises Doubts About DNA Tests
Paternity Testing Reviews for LabCorp (can it be trusted or not?)
Labcorp competitors
Is Quest Diagnostics better than LabCorp?

Global Intel Hub — 7/9/2021 Managua, Nicaragua – Washington hairdresser Andre Chreky gladly agreed to a DNA test when a former employee hit him with a paternity suit.

The claim was absurd, Chreky said he remembers thinking. He had stopped dating the woman years before she gave birth to the boy, now a teenager. This would all be over soon. DNA doesn’t lie.

The fight lasted two years. When it ended in May, Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge David T. Stitt not only ruled in Chreky’s favor, but also raised serious questions about the reliability of DNA testing during a time when it is relied on to prove paternity, guilt, innocence and more.

“I thought LabCorp’s performance was shoddy,” Stitt said at a hearing in May after ruling that the state did not prove Chreky was the father. “I think something unfair happened in this case, where a citizen was put to the greatest extent to defend himself against what really has turned out to be a moving target as far as where LabCorp is concerned. . . . I’m concerned about what level of oversight is being exercised by the commonwealth of LabCorp’s work.”

LabCorp handles more than 100,000 DNA paternity tests for many public and private clients every year, including Montgomery, Prince George’s, Howard and Anne Arundel counties in Maryland. (The District handles its own DNA testing.) But evidence at Chreky’s trial showed that the company has only five people reviewing the data and making paternity determinations — with one supervisor testifying that he issues an average of one paternity report every four minutes during a 10-hour shift.

So Chreky’s attorneys hammered LabCorp’s experts, mostly about what the lawyers saw as two errors on the lab report. The director of LabCorp’s DNA identification testing division, Gary M. Stuhlmiller, said in a sworn report that he had arrived at his conclusions after comparing Chreky’s DNA with a database of the Moroccan population. Chreky is a native of Morocco.

LabCorp has performed Virginia’s paternity testing since 2001 and charges the state $39.50 per test, or about $120 per case. State statistics show LabCorp was paid $797,000 last year and did almost 20,000 tests. LabCorp began paternity testing in 14 of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions in October and had performed about 6,000 tests through July.

Stitt found LabCorp’s “99.99 percent” report “not statistically valid.” Combining that with his distrust of Doudaklian’s testimony, Stitt ruled that the state had “failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that Andre Chreky is the father of Andrew Lucas .

I was surprised that I couldn’t find any terms and conditions or privacy policy that related to genetic testing specifically, just ones that covered use of the website.

I was able to add extra participants for $70 each, but I didn’t need to. In the next steps, I added information about the other participant and was given the option to send them a copy of the results as well as receiving them myself. I was a bit surprised that the “Race/Nationality/Ethnicity” of the alleged father was required. However, there was a helpful ‘Why do we need this?’ button that explained it was required by accreditation services.

This is where we ask ourselves the question, why a DNA testing laboratory your website complies with little privacy and lacks information? Why when filling out the forms do they ask for information about the father? Why do they send the report via email without explaining the results?

When I first opened this document, I was surprised to see that it appeared to be a scanned version of a paper report. It was a little wonky and not what I had expected from such a large company.

Looking at the results themselves, there didn’t at first appear to be a clear result, just a table showing lots of numbers. This didn’t make any sense to me and I couldn’t find anything explaining it or links to any advice. I was a bit worried that I would have to try to interpret it to find my answer. However, scrolling further down the page, I realized that there was a ‘Conclusion’ section that revealed what the table meant in terms of likelihood of paternity.

Overall, paternity testing with LabCorp was quick, easy, and provided the answer I expected. However, the results were not as user-friendly as I had hoped they’d be and support in interpreting the report wasn’t easy to find.

SYNLAB International
LifeLabs
Bio-Reference Laboratories
Quest Diagnostics

As the U.S. re-opens its economy while trying to contain the spread of the contagious viral infection, demand for COVID testing is likely to soar and diagnostic companies such as Quest and LabCorp could be well-positioned to benefit, considering their vast testing infrastructure and footprint of labs. While both companies have been offering testing services for COVID-19 since March, they have tailored their approaches and scaled-up capacity significantly in recent weeks.

can we really trust LabCorp for Covid testing? will not have errors in the forms or test results? We are facing a problem where LabCorp paid a little more than 25 million dollars after the scandals of the failed results of many people in the US.

Quest Diagnostics, for instance, is offering a $119 antibody test that customers can order online without a doctor’s prescription after answering a questionnaire, although blood draw will be required at one of the company’s 2000+ labs. The company has also indicated that it would more than double testing capacity from 70k tests per day in April to 150k tests in early May. Antibody tests, which determine if a person has been exposed to the virus and developed the antibodies needed to fight the infection, could become important as they give people the confidence to return to work.

Quest shares have outperformed, increasing approximately 4% year-to-date, compared to LabCorp shares, which are down approximately 3%.

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