As reported by Law360 (subscription), plaintiffs represented by Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel were successful in defeating DaVita and other health care providers’ attempts to get employee no-poach claims thrown out of the federal class action lawsuit alleging employee compensation and mobility were criminally suppressed at these companies via illegal agreements with competitors not to compete for each other’s employees in skilled positions.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Andrea R. Wood of the Northern District of Illinois rejected a joint motion to dismiss filed by DaVita Inc., UnitedHealth Group unit Surgical Care Affiliates LLC, and Tenet Healthcare Corp. and its subsidiaries. The Judge found that the former workers had adequately alleged an injury and plausibly linked it to the companies’ no-poach agreements. Judge Wood also ruled that the former workers had adequately pled their antitrust claim accusing the healthcare providers of unreasonably restraining trade.

“As pleaded, defendants agreed to divide the market for senior-level outpatient medical care employees by agreeing not to compete for the services of particular employees — namely, those currently employed by another defendant,” Judge Wood wrote in her opinion. “It makes no difference that defendants are dividing employees as opposed to territories, customers, or products.”

Plaintiffs’ were pleased Judge Wood held that a no-poach agreement that did not accompany some legitimate coordination of economic activity would be per se unlawful.  Plaintiffs were further gratified that Judge Wood held that they had sufficiently alleged an overarching conspiracy among the defendants.

Read the full article on Law360’s (subscription) website.

Learn more about the Surgical Care Affiliates, United Surgical Partners International, and DaVita Employee Pay Suppression Illegal “No-Poach” Agreements Class Action.

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