WUOMFM

Detroit Medical Center agrees to settle with nurses, end long-running antitrust lawsuit

Sep 14, 2015

Part of DMC's main medical campus in midtown Detroit.
Credit user Parkerdr / Wikimedia Commons

A settlement between the Detroit Medical Center and more than 20,000 nurses is almost a done deal.

Detroit federal judge Gerald Rosen gave the agreement preliminary approval Monday. If given final approval, it will end a nine-year-old antitrust case against all of southeast Michigan’s major hospitals.

The nurses brought the class action, anti-trust lawsuit against the DMC and seven other Detroit-area hospital systems in 2006.

It alleged the hospitals “participated in an unlawful conspiracy to depress wages for Registered Nurses and/or to unlawfully exchange wage information,” in violation of antitrust laws, from 2002-2006.

The DMC was the lone defendant remaining in the case. The seven other hospital systems had already settled with the nurses for a combined $48 million.

The DMC had planned to take the case to trial next month, but recently reversed course and decide to settle too.

It’s expected to pay $42 million into a combined settlement fund, bringing total compensation in the case to $90 million.

“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 said in a written statement.

The DMC operates eight hospitals in the Detroit area. It was a non-profit hospital system when the lawsuit was filed in 2006.

Current Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan was DMC’s CEO at the time. He finalized a deal to sell the DMC to Vanguard Health Systems in 2010, which has since been acquired by Tenet Healthcare.