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Judge orders testing company to remove sheriff’s home address from papers

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A judge today ordered attorneys for a coronavirus testing company to refile documents previously submitted on Jan. 27, but this time without the Los County Sheriff’s home address. Angeles, Alex Villanueva, who is the subject of a potential defamation lawsuit. by the company.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elaine Lu granted the seal request filed by Villanueva’s attorneys. The order is addressed to Fulgent Genetics Inc. and its subsidiary, Fulgent Therapeutics LLC.

The companies allege that Villanueva, in a Nov. 29 letter to the oversight board and posted on the Sheriff’s Department website, falsely stated that the FBI warned him against using COVID-19 testing services. of Fulgent due to “concerning reports” that the company was providing DNA data from county employees to China.

The letter referred to an FBI briefing, according to Villanueva, that took place the day after Thanksgiving.

Fulgent’s court documents ordered filed without Villanueva’s address related to failed efforts to serve Villanueva at his home or workplace with a motion Fulgent filed on January 21 seeking an investigation. preliminary before the possible lawsuit in defamation. One of the sealed ordered documents was a statement from a bailiff.

Fulgent’s attorneys did not take a position on the sealing request, but defended their actions in their court papers.

‘What (Villanueva’s lawyers) are not disclosing to this court is that her home address is already well known to the public and was well known long before (Fulgent) included her in his pleadings – she is publicly available and readily accessible on the internet,’ Fulgent’s attorneys say in their court documents.

According to the motion, Villanueva made the claim of China and other false statements about Fulgent, even though the FBI neither accused the company of wrongdoing nor alluded to any evidence that Fulgent provided or would provide private medical information to China.

Villanueva knew the statements he had released about Fulgent were false five days later, and the county sent an email to its employees stating, ‘The county has no evidence from any agency of law enforcement or any other source that county employee data has been or will be shared with the Chinese government,” according to the petition.

Villanueva’s statements were shared on social media, including those of some anti-vaccine activists, and led to a protest against Fulgent on December 14, the petition says. Additionally, a window was knocked down at Fulgent’s Temple City headquarters, according to the petition.

Fulgent’s motion seeks a court order directing Villanueva to produce all personal and text messages and emails issued by the Sheriff’s Department relating to or discussing Fulgent, the publication of the letter and any involvement he had in the coordination and scheduling of the FBI briefing.

The company also wants Villanueva to sit for a four-hour deposition.