23andMe: Now Come the Trial Lawyer Sharks and the Tort Lottery Players



The genotype screening company 23andMe received a largely unwarranted nastygram last week from the regulators at the Food and Drug Administration ordering the company to stop marketing its Personal Genome Service. Sensing blood in the water, it was only a matter of time before the trial lawyer sharks began circling. And so now the San Diego Ankcorn Law Firm has filed a class action suit on behalf of new 23andMe customer Lisa Casey.

Ms. Casey just purchased the service in September and it already disappointed her to the tune of $5 million. The winnings would go to her, other distressed customers, and, of course, to her hard-working trial attorneys. Ms. Casey's lawsuit specifically cites the FDA warning letter in her complaint as evidence that the company has falsely and misleadingly advertised its genotyping services.

Just as background, a 2007 study by the Pacific Research Institute estimated that our dysfunctional tort liability system costs each family a "tort tax" of nearly $10,000, totaling about $825 billion annually. Between our regulators and our tort lawyers, it's a wonder any new products make it to market.

Go to Gigaom to review a copy of the lawsuit.

H/T and Update: H&R commenter Raston Bot pointed out that a woman named Lisa is married to name partner David Casey in the personal injury law firm, Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield LLP. Interestingly, Mark Ankcorn, who filed on Ms. Casey's behalf, is Of Counsel to the same distinguished firm. Happenstance?