Williams v. Athena Motion to Dismiss Hearing—SC Supreme Court May Be Asked to Decide Whether a Diagnostic Laboratory Qualifies as a Healthcare Provider

Foreword by John Conley 

Back on May 31, 2016, Contributing Editor Jennifer Wagner wrote a lengthy report on the newly filed case of Williams v. Quest Diagnostics, et al. As Jen recounted, plaintiff Amy Williams sued Athena Diagnostics and its corporate parent, Quest Diagnostics, alleging that Athena negligently misclassified a genetic variant it identified in testing the DNA of her late son. Ms. Williams claims that the misclassification caused the boy’s doctors to prescribe a potentially dangerous course of treatment that ultimately led to his death. The case was originally filed in a South Carolina state court and was then removed to federal court by the defendants, which they were able to do because the parties are citizens of different states.
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Filed under General Interest, Genetic Testing/Screening, Genomics & Medicine, Legal & Regulatory, Pending Litigation

Litigating the Accountability of Clinical Genomics Laboratories

Seeking Accountability from Clinical Genomics Laboratories

A wrongful death case pending in a federal court in Columbia, SC—Williams v. Quest Diagnostics, Inc., et al.—demonstrates the very high stakes involved with clinical genomics testing. The case also underscores the ongoing struggle to (1) establish accountability when mistakes happen and (2) establish a reasonable and effective level of governmental oversight for the laboratories performing such tests. The case could have dramatic implications for the future practice of genomic medicine, and regardless of how this specific case ultimately plays out in the courtroom, the allegations should serve as a serious wake up call to those involved in genomics for clinical purposes in any way.
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Filed under General Interest, Genetic Testing/Screening, Genomics & Medicine, Legal & Regulatory, Pending Litigation

2011 Personal Genomics Preview: It’s Déjà Vu…

Last January we kicked off the new year by posing “Five Questions for Personal Genomics in 2010.” Here were the five questions we asked:

1. Will the $1,000 genome live up to the hype?

2. Will personal genomics stay DTC?

3. How will the ongoing gene patent debate affect the progress of personalized medicine?

4. When and where will the next regulatory shoe fall?

5. Who will control the data?

A year later the question that comes first to mind is, has anything really changed?

The short answer is no, not fundamentally, although that is not meant to imply that nothing of note happened in 2010. Far from it, as significant legal, regulatory, policy and technological developments continued to reshape the personal genomics landscape.

With that in mind, we welcome 2011 with a look back at the year that was, and a look ahead at what to expect from 2011 and beyond.


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Filed under Bioinformatics/IT, Direct-to-Consumer Services, FDA LDT Regulation, General Interest, Genetic Testing/Screening, Genomic Policymaking, Genomic Sequencing, Genomics & Medicine, Genomics & Society, GINA, Industry News, International Developments, Legal & Regulatory, Myriad Gene Patent Litigation, Patents & IP, Pending Litigation, Pending Regulation