'Counterfeit' N95 masks: court judgement against Delray Beach business

'Counterfeit' N95 masks: court judgement against Delray Beach business

A Delray Beach-based business accused of selling counterfeit N95 masks to a Minneapolis hospital has had a court judgment handed down against it, court records show.

According to court records, Nationwide Source of Delray Beach was issued a default judgment Feb. 1, after failing to respond to a lawsuit filed by 3M in federal court in Minnesota.

Contact 5 first reported on Nationwide Source in January.

In the lawsuit, 3M alleged Nationwide Source sold more than 10,000 counterfeit N95 respirator masks bearing 3M's logo to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

Two F-16s from the 148th Fighter Wing and a C-130 from the 133rd Airlift Wing fly over Hennepin County Medical Center, Wednesday, May 6, 2020, in Minneapolis as part of Minnesota National Guard flyovers across the state to recognize and appreciate those on the front lines of the COVID-19 response.
Two F-16s from the 148th Fighter Wing and a C-130 from the 133rd Airlift Wing fly over Hennepin County Medical Center, Wednesday, May 6, 2020, in Minneapolis as part of Minnesota National Guard flyovers across the state to recognize and appreciate those on the front lines of the COVID-19 response.

Attorneys for 3M wrote in the lawsuit, "if defendant's counterfeit actions are not stopped, further fake respirators could be sold to unsuspecting purchasers who then wrongly rely on them for protection to prevent communication of a dangerous and potentially deadly virus."

Contact 5 asked Nationwide Source for a comment Monday and was awaiting a response.

Hennepin County Medical Center previously told Contact 5 the hospital was working to recoup its money from Nationwide Source and had not ruled out taking legal action against the Delray Beach company.

3M referred Contact 5 to a previously issued statement, which read in part:

"Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), incorrectly believing that Nationwide was an authentic distributor of 3M products, purchased more than 10,000 counterfeit masks made by Nationwide and paid 625 percent more than 3M's list price for authentic N95 masks. Nationwide's activities were unlawful and endangered the lives of essential medical workers.

3M worked to confirm for Hennepin County Medical Center that the respirators they purchased through a non-authorized distributor purporting to be 3M N95 respirators were counterfeit. Those respirators have been seized and removed from circulation."

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