Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price’s Office Joins Settlement Agreement with Quest Diagnostics Over Improper Disposal of Hazardous Waste and Customers’ Private Health Information

February 15, 2024

Oakland, CA— Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price joined a coalition of District Attorney Offices (DA) along with the Attorney General’s Office to announce a settlement agreement with Quest Diagnostics for its improper disposal of customers’ private health information, as well as hazardous/universal and medical waste. Quest Diagnostics agreed to pay $4,999,500 in civil penalties, costs, and Supplemental Environmental Projects and to a five-year injunction to ensure the laboratory diagnostic company’s future compliance with environmental hazardous waste control and privacy laws. The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office will receive $364,440 from the agreement.

“California laws are designed to protect not only our environment but our individual privacy as well. Medical privacy laws require businesses that obtain personal information to dispose of that data properly and legally,” said Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price. “This settlement demonstrates the commitment of our Consumer Justice Bureau to protect our workers and citizens from potentially harmful exposures to hazardous and medical wastes and the residents of Alameda County against potential identity theft. This settlement and injunction are designed to make sure that such violations do not occur again.”

The case started in San Joaquin County and resolves a 10-year investigation into Quest Diagnostics’ illegal disposal of customers’ health information and hazardous waste. In 2016, the Alameda County DA’s office formally joined the investigation and, that summer, conducted undercover inspections of the landfill dumpsters at four different Alameda County Quest Diagnostics facilities. Inspectors found urine cups with patients’ names clearly visible at facilities in San Leandro and Alameda. Improperly disposed of electronic waste was also found at the Alameda location. Urine cups were also found in the trash at Quest Diagnostics facilities in Pleasanton and Hayward with the names of customers crossed out.

As part of the settlement, Quest Diagnostics is ordered to pay $4,999,500 total in civil penalties, costs and Supplemental Environmental Projects, of which $3,912,000 will be divided among the DAs and Attorney General’s offices. Alameda County will receive $328,000 in civil penalties and $36,494 in costs, totaling $364,440. The Supplemental Environmental Projects totaling $300,000 will assist in future California environmental enforcement investigations. Quest Diagnostics must also comply with a five-year minimum injunction requiring: (1) compliance with all California Hazardous Waste, Medical Waste, and private health information control laws; (2) at least five years monitored compliance by a third-party professional waste auditor; (3) annual status reports to the Counties’ DAs, and (4) required periodic self-audits by Quest and its auditor with reports required to be provided to the DAs Offices within 3 months of every internal waste audit.



The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office (DAO) is one of California’s largest prosecutors’ offices and is led by Alameda County’s first Black woman District Attorney Pamela Y. Price. Price brings her vision to this office to fairly administer justice in the pursuit of thriving, healthy, and safe communities for every person who steps foot in Alameda County, no matter their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, income, or zip code. Price has been recognized as one of the most progressive prosecutors through her forward-thinking, innovative strategies to interrupt cycles of violence and crime and bring change to a criminal justice system rooted in systemic racism. Follow Madam DA on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and @AlamedaCountyda on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.