Consumer Protection

Sutter Health Uninsured Patient Class Action Lawsuit

Result: Settlement valued at $276 million
Year: 2006

Plaintiffs alleged that they and a Class of uninsured patients treated at Sutter hospitals were charged substantially more than patients with private or public insurance, many times more than the actual cost of treatment. In December 2006, the Court granted final approval to a comprehensive and groundbreaking settlement of the action.

As part of the settlement, Class members were entitled to make a claim for refunds or deductions of between 25% to 45% from their prior hospital bills, at an estimated total value of $276 million. For three years following December 2006, Sutter maintained discounted pricing policies for uninsureds that made Sutter’s pricing for uninsureds comparable to or better than the pricing for patients with private insurance. In addition, Sutter agreed to maintain more compassionate collections policies that would protect uninsureds who fall behind in their payments. Lieff Cabraser served as Lead Counsel in the coordinated action.