Sutter Health looking at $250M liver depository lawsuit

Sacramento-based Sutter Health is facing a $250 million lawsuit amid allegations the health system failed to live up to promises it made regarding a major liver sample center whose products are used in medical research.

Sutter Health agreed in 2013 to house the Ibrahim El-Hefni Liver Biorepository through its California Pacific Medical Center, with that facility's foundation agreeing to spend and raise $9.5 million to do so, the lawsuit says.

Along with alleging that Sutter failed to contribute those funds, the lawsuit also claims that the health system is blocking a proposed repository move to the University of California San Francisco.

"In a perverse mindset, not only do Sutter Health/CPMC no longer want the repository, but more egregious, they want no one else to have it either,"’ according to the lawsuit. 

"We are at a loss as to why Sutter Health/CPMC appear to be giving up on the biorepository," added Pierce O'Donnell, the attorney representing the Ibrahim El-Hefni Technical Training Foundation.

Sutter Health did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.

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