US: California’s antitrust trial against Sutter Health delayed a week

General Xavier Becerra’s antitrust lawsuit against Sutter Health, which were to start Thursday, were delayed until next week because not enough jurors were present to begin the proceedings.

The pool of 24 jurors lost several jurors to illness, medical conditions and other issues. Twelve jurors are needed to decide the case, but because the trial is expected to last three months, many backup jurors were added in the event that others drop out.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo, who is overseeing the case, said she is concerned that losing too many jurors could put the case “into the spectrum of possible mistrial.”

Attorneys for Sutter and the state will meet in the coming days with Massullo to determine whether to add additional jurors on an accelerated timeline in order to start the trial as soon as possible.

The lawsuit accuses Sutter, Northern California’s largest health system, of abusing its market power to raise prices for health care services — charges Sutter denies. It was first filed in 2014 by a group of self-funded employers and joined by Becerra in 2018, and the two cases were combined for purposes of the trial.

Full Content: San Francisco Chronicle

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