This case on behalf of non-medical faculty follows Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP’s successful similar action against Duke on behalf of medical faculty that led to a $54.5 million settlement in 2019
As reported by The News&Observer, thousands of UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University faculty members are getting paid from Duke as part of a $19 million settlement deal that was reached in August 2021, after a class-action lawsuit alleged an illegal understanding between Duke and UNC to suppress competition for each other’s faculty.
Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel filed the class action labor antitrust “no-poach” lawsuit against Duke University in May 2020, on behalf of Lucia Binotti, a Professor at UNC, and a proposed class of non-medical faculty at Duke and UNC, from 2001 through February 5, 2018. The lawsuit alleged a secretive understanding dating at least back to 1974, and which was reaffirmed and policed by senior administrators of both institutions throughout the subsequent decades. The express purpose of the no-poach agreement was to suppress the pay of Duke and UNC faculty.
This case follows a prior case Lieff Cabraser successfully litigated with respect to Duke and UNC medical faculty. That case led to a certified class of all doctors of the two schools with an academic appointment, and a settlement of $54.5 million. In the course of discovery in that case, evidence came to light demonstrating that the no-poach conspiracy extended beyond the medical faculty to include all faculty of the two schools. The new case sought to recover damages for the non-medical faculty who were not included in the first case.