The holiday season likely won’t do much to lift spirits over at Theranos, the failing (yet somehow, not yet completely failed) one-time VC darling. The blood-testing startup that was once heralded as the future of health tech has since unraveled under a string of controversies and investigations surrounding its supposedly proprietary techniques (which turned out to be anything but). And now, Theranos is issuing $4.6 million in refunds to Arizona residents who used the company’s services.
The payout comes as a result of a settlement reached with Arizona attorney general Mark Brnovich earlier in 2017. Any Arizonan who used Theranos will receive a complete refund, even if their tests proved to be accurate. While the average refund will be around $61, at least one individual will receive more than $3,000 in the settlement.
According to Brnovich, Theranos’ ads “misrepresented, omitted, and concealed” information about the accuracy of its techniques, as well as the nature of the techniques themselves. In addition to the refunds, Theranos has been banned from owning or operating any lab in Arizona for the next two years.
“Our office is proactive and aggressive in protecting Arizona consumers and these refund checks are proof that we are going to go after companies that violate Arizona consumer protection laws,” Brnovich said in a statement.
Theranos, of course, denies any unlawful activity, and noted that just 10 percent of its thousands of blood tests sold between 2013 and 2016 were ultimately voided. Regardless, the company has had a very difficult time recovering from its multiple setbacks over the last several years.
At the beginning of 2017, Theranos fired over 40 percent of its workforce, leaving the company at just over 200 people. And now, with a $4.6 million payout ahead, it’s unclear what 2018 will hold for the flailing startup.