A month before trial was set to begin, Detroit Medical Center (DMC) agreed to pay $42 million to end a nine-year antitrust class action lawsuit. The long-running suit was brought by nurses accusing eight Detroit area hospitals of conspiring to keep their wages low, violating antitrust laws from 2002-2006. The DMC was the last remaining defendant in a class-action lawsuit before Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen. To read a blog I wrote on another health care antitrust case, click here.
A copy of the class action complaint that was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan can be found here.
Long-Running Antitrust Suit.
The nurses have alleged the DMC along with seven other Detroit area hospitals “participated in an unlawful conspiracy to depress wages for Registered Nurses and/or to unlawfully exchange wage information in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act.” For more information on antitrust laws, visit the “Areas of Practice” page on our website. The seven other hospitals involved in the antitrust suit settled with the nurses for a combined $48 million. DMC is expected to pay $42 million, bringing total compensation in the case to $90 million. To view the class settlement agreement in this case, click here.
Finding a Resolution.
DMC had planned to take the case to trial in a month, but instead decided to settle. “The settlement is not an admission of liability but rather a business decision to bring the matter to a resolution. We remain committed to our nurses and value the hard work and dedication of all our hospital staff,” DMC counsel released in a statement defending their decision. For more information, visit their website by clicking here.
Do you think the settlement amount of $42 million was fair? Have you ever experienced a situation where antitrust laws were broken? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.
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The Health Law Firm has attorneys who practice in the area of antitrust law and trade regulation. We have defended a hospital in federal court against allegations of violations of the antitrust laws, we routinely provide advice and opinion letters on antitrust and trade regulation matters, we have represented plaintiffs in law suits alleging anticompetitive behavior and violations of state and federal antitrust laws.
The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide advice and representation concerning antitrust law, trade regulation, restraint of trade issues, and regarding deceptive and unfair trade practices. We have represented both plaintiffs and defendants in state court litigation and in federal court litigation in such matters.
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Kang, Peter. “Detroit Hospital to Pay $42M to End Nurse Wage-Fixing Suit.” Law360. (September 11, 2015). From: http://www.law360.com/health/articles/702135?nl_pk=68a34a8e-1544-489d-9b84-bbd4587b4d64&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=health
Cwiek, Sarah. “Detroit Medical center agrees to settle with nurses, end long-running antitrust lawsuit.” Michigan Radio. (September 14, 2015). From: http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-medical-center-agrees-settle-nurses-end-long-running-antitrust-lawsuit#stream/0
Halcom, Chad. “DMC expects to settle nurse wage class-action lawsuit for $42 million.” Crain’s Detroit Business. (September 14, 2015). From:
About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.
KeyWords: Antitrust laws, violating antitrust laws, anticompetitive conduct, Sherman Act, price fixing, wage fixing, trade regulation law, Federal Trade Commission, FTC, Detroit Medical Center, DMC, Michigan Antitrust Reform Act, unfair competition laws, deceptive and unfair trade practices, restraints on trade or business, defense attorney, defense lawyer, health care law, health law attorney, wage dispute, wage settlement, settlement agreement, health care law, health law attorney
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