Stockton Record
June 12, 2010

By Joe Goldeen The Record, Stockton, Calif.
Publication: The Record (Stockton, California)
Date: Saturday, June 12 2010

Jun. 12–STOCKTON — In a generous surprise, $300,000 in leftover funds following the settlement and payout of a Stockton-based class-action lawsuit was donated to three nonprofit health care providers that are well-known for serving San Joaquin County’s poorest patients.

Community Medical Centers, Lodi Memorial Hospital’s Walter E. Reiss Outreach Clinic and St. Mary’s Interfaith Community Services each received a $100,000 donation that is earmarked for the treatment of indigent patients.

“We were very pleased to receive the $100,000 donation, which will be used within our health clinic system in San Joaquin County to serve indigent patients with hypertension and other chronic diseases,” Mike Kirkpatrick, chief executive officer for Community Medical Centers Inc., said while thanking the lawyer and the law firm that secured the donation.

The money came three years after a court ordered $8.2 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit filed in San Joaquin County Superior Court in 2004 alleging antitrust claims against three international pharmaceutical companies that sold the hypertension drug Adalat or its generic equivalent, according to attorney Jennifer Scott.

Scott, with the Stockton-based Herum Crabtree law firm, said the suit was settled in 2007. After all members of the class action were paid, $1.6 million remained. Two national charities — the American Heart Association and the Pulmonary Hypertension Association — were each given a little more than $550,000 to put toward hypertension research.

Lodi Memorial spokeswoman Carol Farron said the donation “will be used to help screen, treat and educate hypertensive patients.”
St. Mary’s Chief Executive Edward Figueroa said: “In these challenging economic times that we as local nonprofits are experiencing, this unexpected generosity will help St. Mary’s Interfaith Community Services sustain our many services. Herum Crabtree attorneys’ commitment to our community will enable us to care for the many uninsured patients that visit our Virgil Gianelli Medical Clinic.”

Community Medical Centers’ Kirkpatrick said: “Local community support like this helps us offset past and anticipated cuts in state funding during the ongoing state budget crises.”