News

Farella Seeking Approval of Historic $575 Million Settlement With Sutter Health in Antitrust Class Action

December 23, 2019 Announcement

Farella Braun + Martel represents UFCW & Employers Benefit Trust (UEBT) and a certified class of direct purchasers of hospital services in seeking preliminary approval of a historic settlement reached on the eve of trial in the landmark antitrust class action against Sutter Health, the largest hospital system in Northern California. Sutter has agreed to pay $575,000,000 in monetary relief and to comply with comprehensive injunctive relief, including an independent monitor who will police Sutter’s compliance with the proposed final judgment over a 10-year period.

From the beginning, Farella has played a leading role in representing the certified class of direct purchasers of hospital services in this antitrust action alleging that Sutter exercised its market power to engage in anticompetitive contracting practices that resulted in significant overcharges. In 2018, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra joined the action against Sutter Health.

“The extraordinary relief we have negotiated on behalf of California businesses, governments, and union trusts is the product of the perseverance of UEBT and our legal team over the past five and a half years,” said Farella Partner Chris Wheeler. “I’m proud of the joint efforts of class counsel and the California AG’s Office to restore healthcare competition in Northern California.”

The Farella team representing UEBT and the Plaintiff Class is led by Christopher Wheeler and Karen Kimmey and includes John Cooper, Roderick Thompson, Alex Reese, Janice Reicher, Claire Johnson, Russell Taylor, and Ryan Wessels. Richard Grossman of Pillsbury & Coleman is the lead attorney for the class, which is also represented by Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Kellogg Hansen Todd Figel & Frederick P.L.L.C., and McCracken Stemerman & Holsberry, LLP.

UEBT Statement on $575 Million Settlement with Sutter Health over Antitrust Claims

The case is UFCW & Employers Benefit Trust et al. and People of the State of California v. Sutter Health et al., Case Nos. CGC 14-538451 & CGC-18-565398 in San Francisco Superior Court.

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