Quest Diagnostics has reached a settlement after several California district attorneys filed a complaint against the diagnostics company for improper disposal of hazardous and medical waste and not properly protecting health information at its facilities statewide.

Quest Diagnostics agreed to settle the allegations and pay nearly $5 million in penalties, costs and supplemental environmental projects, according to a Feb. 13 news release from the office of San Joaquin County District Attorney Ron Freitas, who led the investigation.

District attorneys’ offices conducted over 30 inspections at Quest Diagnostics laboratories and patient service centers across California. They found hundreds of containers of chemicals, bleach, reagents, unredacted medical information, medical waste such as blood and urine, and hazardous waste such as batteries, solvents and flammable liquids in the garbage compactors and dumpsters. The disposals allegedly violated the Hazardous Waste Control Law, Medical Waste Management Act, Unfair Competition Law, and civil laws prohibiting the unauthorized disclosure of personal health information, according to the release.

As part of the settlement, Quest Diagnostics will maintain an environmental compliance program, including hiring a third-party waste auditor, and will report on progress annually.

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