AG Rutledge files lawsuit on UAMS PPE, ventilator vendor

by Marine Glisovic ([email protected]) 243 views 

On Wednesday (Oct. 27), Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a lawsuit against a company for purportedly scamming an Arkansas hospital for more than $10 million.

The lawsuit filed against Med-Care Health Link, LLC of Virginia alleged it failed to provide personal protective equipment and 560 ventilators to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).

The lawsuit states in March and April 2020, UAMS paid Med-Care $10,940,000 to purchase gowns, face shields, and ventilators, but the company failed to deliver or return the money back to UAMS.

The breakdown of purchases made by UAMS but were never delivered:

  • 4 million gowns
  • 560 ventilators
  • 1 million face shields

According to the suit, Med-Care breached the contracts with UAMS and violated the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

“At a time when Arkansans were most desperate for equipment to protect their health and safety, Med-Care took advantage of one of Arkansas’ largest hospitals and violated the trust of millions of Arkansans,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I refuse to let a company exploit Arkansans and that is why I am holding Med-Care accountable for stealing from the state during one of our most vulnerable times.”

At the press conference, UAMS officials confirmed they had used this vendor before and never had any issues – which is why they felt comfortable purchasing equipment from Med-Care. Various excuses given in a series of phone calls, emails and texts to track down the gowns and ventilators included that products purchased by UAMS were in California or Virginia or even sold by the Chinese manufacturer to someone else.

The lawsuit seeks a refund of $10,940,000 with interest and civil penalties of up to $10,000 for each ADTPA violation.