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Medical testing company settles suit with Ventura County over claims of improperly handled wastes

Bill Oxford

Ten California counties filed suit against Quest Diagnostics. Prosecutors say some hazardous wastes and medical wastes ended in everyday trash.

A medical testing company has settled a lawsuit with Ventura County and nine other California counties over charges it improperly disposed of hazardous wastes and private patient information.

The suit involved Quest Diagnostics. Prosecutors say in some instances, employees threw away hazardous wastes and medical wastes in normal trash containers. Some confidential patient information also ended up in the trash instead of being destroyed.

Some of the improperly disposed of wastes were discovered at the Simi Valley landfill.

Prosecutors say Quest has made a number of changes to deal with the problem, including improved employee training, and the hiring of an independent auditor to review disposal procedures. As part of the settlement, the company will pay nearly $5 million in fines, and reimbursement of the case’s costs.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.