The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research filed its complaint Friday 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.