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Michael J. Fox Foundation sues over lab samples

CAMDEN, N.J. -- Actor Michael J. Fox's foundation is suing a New Jersey research organization, saying a freezer was left open, compromising scientific samples and hurting research efforts it was funding.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research filed its complaint Oct. 3 in U.S. District Court against Camden's Coriell Institute for Medical Research.

The New York-based charity says it contracted with Coriell in 2010 and 2011 to store specimens for research into Parkinson's. The group says Coriell has been paid $3.5 million of the $4.3 million called for in the contracts.

The suit alleges that in March, a door to a freezer was left open, causing many scientific samples to thaw. The samples were no longer useful for research, according to the suit.

Coriell says it intends to "vigorously" defend itself.