LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The state of Arkansas filed a consumer protection lawsuit Wednesday against a Virginia-based medical supplier for nearly $11 million for failing to deliver supplies during the coronavirus pandemic, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said.

Rutledge said Wednesday that Med-Care Healthlink LLC of Suffolk and its representatives failed to deliver gowns, ventilators and face shields ordered in March and April 2020 to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.

"This had been a company the state had worked with previously, and so therefore there was no reason to believe at that point that we would have something this significant occur," Rutledge said.

A phone call to the company rang unanswered.

Deputy Attorney General Shannon Halijan said state officials were told at various times the supplies were bought by another entity, held in China or were in other states.

UAMS attorney Sherri Robinson said the company initially responded to questions about the supplies, then stopped after four to six months.

UAMS ordered 1.5 million medical gowns and 60 ventilators while the state ordered 2.5 million gowns, 500 ventilators and 1 million medical face shields, Rutledge said.

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