Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
Duke/UNC No-Hire Agreement Lawsuit

Dean Harvey in the Durham News Observer on the Duke/UNC No-Hire Lawsuit

Lieff Cabraser represents Duke University School of Medicine instructor Danielle M. Seaman, M.D., in a class action lawsuit against Duke, UNC Med School, and other entities charging that the defendants entered into an express, secret agreement not to hire certain medical facility faculty and staff that they each employed, reducing or eliminating competition for skilled medical labor. The parties recently announced a preliminary settlement with UNC Med School, leaving the action to continue with respect to Duke University School of Medicine.

Discovery and depositions continue as the case moves forward. As the Durham Herald-Sun reports, that discovery included discussion of previous lateral-hiring issues and questions about the existence of relevant policies between Duke and UNC. UNC Health Care System CEO Bill Roper stated that there did exist informal agreements with respect to the facilities hiring each other’s medical professionals. In the depositions, Lieff Cabraser partner Dean Harvey asked directly, “Why was it never put in writing?” He was told there was no need, and that oral directives would be enough.

In addition to the ongoing suit against Duke, plaintiffs’ counsel are seeking class action status for all medical staff personnel for the relevant period, mid-2012 to the present.

The lawsuit seeks to recover damages as well as injunctive relief for defendants’ alleged violations of federal and North Carolina antitrust law. Learn more about the Duke/UNC No-Hire antitrust litigation.