Sutter Health intentionally destroyed 192 boxes of documentsthat employers and labor unions were seeking in a lawsuit thataccuses the giant Northern California health system of abusing its market power and charging inflated prices, according to a statejudge.

In a ruling this week, San Francisco County Superior Court JudgeCurtis E.A. Karnow said Sutter destroyed documents “knowing thatthe evidence was relevant to antitrust issues. … There is no goodexplanation for the specific and unusual destruction here.”

Karnow cited an internal email by a Sutter employee who said shewas “running and hiding” after ordering the records destroyed in2015. “The most generous interpretation to Sutter is that it wasgrossly reckless,” the judge wrote in his 12-page ruling.

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