CPM Appointed Lead Counsel in Class Action Case Protecting Healthcare Professionals
On March 11, 2021, Judge Matthew W. Brann in the Middle District of Pennsylvania appointed Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP (“CPM”) along with Berger Montague PC as co-lead class counsel in an action challenging an illegal agreement between two competitor hospitals, Geisinger and Evangelical, not to recruit or “poach” each other’s physicians, nurses, psychologists, therapists, and other healthcare workers.
Geisinger is the largest health system in central Pennsylvania, and Evangelical is the largest independent community hospital. Both directly compete with the other in the services they provide and the employees they recruit and retain.
As alleged in CPM’s complaint, between at least May 2015 and August 5, 2020 the highest-level executives from each hospital entered into a secretive “no-poach agreement” to restrict the movement of class member healthcare workers, who are especially valuable employees given their specialized training, knowledge, and experience.
Such agreements have been recognized by the Department of Justice as robbing employees of labor market competition, and depriving them of job opportunities and the ability to negotiate better terms of employment. As alleged in the complaint, Defendants acted to their collective benefit, and to the class members’ collective injury.
The case is entitled In re Geisinger Health and Evangelical Community Hospital Healthcare Workers Antitrust Litigation, and alleges antitrust violations under the federal Sherman Act and Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law. The proposed class representatives are three registered nurses and a patient access representative.