Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Case Continues

A South Carolina court has been weighing a lawsuit filed by Amy Williams against Athena Diagnostics, which has since been acquired by Quest Diagnostics, The Post and Courier writes, adding that the court recently deemed that Athena was acting as a healthcare provider.

As GenomeWeb has reported, whether Williams' wrongful death lawsuit can go forward hinges on whether the genetic lab is considered a healthcare provider, as there is a difference in the statute of limitations for medical providers.

Williams' son Christian Millare started experiencing seizures a few months after birth, The Post and Courier writes. As part of the effort to figure out the cause of his seizures, Christian underwent genetic testing of his SCN1A gene, which is linked to Dravet syndrome, an epileptic condition, GenomeWeb says. That test found that Christian had a variant within his SCN1A gene, but Athena reported that it was unclear whether it was causing his seizures, it adds.

Williams contends she never learned of the report until after Christian's death and that the literature at the time of Christian's death included reports of a girl with Dravet syndrome and the same variant — and that Athena's Chief Director of Genetics was an author on one paper.

The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled at the end of June that Athena was acting as a licensed healthcare provider, as GenomeWeb reported at the time. The Post and Courier adds that the ruling doesn't help Williams' suit, but that she and her legal team argue that the testing company should still be liable for negligence outside the malpractice statute. It adds that a decision on that matter is still to come from a federal district court judge.

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.