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Grifols says U.S. blood donors' lawsuit won't have material impact, shares down

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Spanish pharmaceuticals company Grifols is pictured on their headquarters' building in Sant Cugat del Valles

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish pharma group Grifols said on Friday a lawsuit filed in the United States by blood donors who claim the company violated their privacy would have no material impact, after a report in newspaper El Economista sent the shares sharply lower.

The company said about 54,000 donors in Illinois had filed a lawsuit claiming Grifols breached data protection regulations, confirming the newspaper report.

Grifols shares were down 5.3% on Friday morning, briefly the worst performer on the blue-chip Ibex-35 index, which was down 2.1%.

The company said its legal team recommended not to make a provision for the outcome of the lawsuit as potential liabilities associated with the case were insured, and it said it believed it had arguments backing its position.

"It should be noted that the court's recent order does nothing more than allow the plaintiffs' case to proceed," it said.

Grifols, which depends on human plasma to manufacture its anti-clot drugs, is struggling to recover from the pandemic, when blood collection centres were closed for months.

The company, which appointed a new executive chairman earlier this month, has lost more than half of its market value so far this year.

(Reporting by Emma Pinedo; Editing by Inti Landauro and Mark Potter)