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African law firm hired to sue US company for ‘withholding’ Covid-19 test kits

Abbott Laboratories unaware of suit, claims ‘long and deep commitment’ to Africa

Pan-African law firm Centurion says it has been hired to institute legal action against Abbott Laboratories, a United-States based medical products company, for allegedly failing to meet orders of Covid-19 test kits made by African companies. 

According to the law firm, African businesses “placed timely orders” with Abbott for Covid-19 test kits. But even when African parties made orders first, their deliveries happened last or not at all, it says in a 8 July statement, citing that the handling of the orders caused financial loss and reputational damage to the African companies. 

In a response to Research Professional an Abbott spokesman said it was not aware of any lawsuit pending in Africa relating to its provision of Covid-19 test kits. “Abbott has a long and deep commitment to the people of Africa,” he said. “We are not aware of any pending lawsuits in Africa related to this matter.” 

The spokesman said that Abbott had delivered more than 2.5 million Covid-19 tests to countries in Africa, and will continue to do so on a regular basis. “Additionally, to help advance clinical care for Covid-19 in Africa, Abbott and the Abbott Fund are working together with the African Federation for Emergency Medicine to bring Covid-19 technical guidance and training to 2,000 acute care providers in 26 countries across the continent,” he added.

Attempts to reach Centurion for information about which companies were bringing the lawsuit, and in which country’s courts the suit would be lodged, went unanswered.