A Virginia-based drug testing company is suing Livingston County for breach of contract after the county refused to pay costs the company incurred to set up a local facility.

In the lawsuit, filed last November in U.S. District Court in Detroit, Avertest LLC is seeking more than $112,000 in damages, plus costs and attorney fees. The company alleges that after their bid for drug and alcohol testing services was approved by the Livingston County Board of Commissioners in May of 2018, they were contacted by the county’s Court Programs Liaison and requested to provide a lease agreement for a testing facility. The company says it did so in the amount of $74,692.44 and that from May 8th through June 2nd they communicated daily with county officials on implementing the contract.

But on June 7th, Avertest says they were sent a notice by the county that the relationship would be discontinued, effective immediately, “without any legitimate basis stated.” When they invoiced the county for the lease agreement and other costs in excess of $112,000, county officials indicated they would not pay for any of the expenses, saying no contract was actually signed between the parties. Avertest’s suit claims that is “legally meaningless” as the Livingston County Board of Commissioners had passed a resolution authorizing the contract and county officials then authorized the company to begin the process of fulfilling that arrangement. The company also disputes the county’s assertions that the company had failed to provide the necessary services and did so at a higher rate than what they had bid for and that “numerous complaints” had been received and about the procedures the company used and a “lack of respect shown for the participants’ privacy,” noting that not one example was cited.

Court records show the county is asserting that while a resolution was passed by the board to move forward in the bidding process, “it was specifically stated that the award was contingent upon…a successfully negotiated contract” which never occurred. The county also claims that Avertest ultimately chose a different location for the testing than what had been proposed which, “was (a) much less-desirable location, further away from the Courts, with limited parking and no visibility for the road.”

An attorney for the company has so far not returned a message seeking comment on the lawsuit, while Livingston County Administrator Ken Hinton told WHMI it would not be appropriate for him to comment on pending litigation. (JK)