SEATTLE, Sept. 17, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Keller Rohrback L.L.P. announces that Judge Gerald Rosen, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan recently granted Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification in Cason-Merenda v. VHS of Michigan Inc., d.b.a. Detroit Medical Center, No. 06-15601. A copy of this opinion can be found on the website http://www.krcomplexlit.com/cases/detroit-nurse-wages. This lawsuit, which was filed in December of 2006, alleges a conspiracy that started at least as early as 2002 among Detroit-area hospitals to suppress the pay of Defendants' nurse employees in violation of Federal antitrust laws.
The Court's order allows the two Detroit nurses who stepped forward, Pat Cason-Merenda and Jeffrey Suhre, to act on behalf of the Class and represent the claims of all their fellow hospital staff nurses at trial. At the trial Plaintiffs will continue their efforts to recover the amount that they allege Detroit-area nurses were underpaid as a result of the hospitals' secret agreement to exchange nurse compensation among themselves, which data the hospitals then used in setting their nurses' pay, allowing them to avoid competing for nurses in the face of a continuing nursing shortage in Detroit.
Judge Rosen noted, "the record produced by Plaintiffs in discovery evidences: Defendants' repeated exchanges—through both direct contacts and third-party surveys—of (i) detailed, current information as to the wages paid to their RN workforces, (ii) their planned future pay increases, and (iii) their overall philosophies and targets in setting RN Wages." Judge Rosen's ruling paves the way for a trial on behalf of the certified Class since he previously denied Defendants' efforts to have the claim for which he certified the Class dismissed on summary judgment, and also previously rejected Defendants' efforts to have Plaintiffs' economic expert, barred from testifying at trial. Plaintiffs' expert determined that the alleged conspiracy was effective in suppressing Detroit hospital staff nurses' pay and estimated that nurses in Detroit hospitals suffered damages.
Keller Rohrback looks forward to vindicating the rights of staff nurses who worked at the eight Defendant hospitals during the life of this conspiracy. If you are a current or former staff nurse at one of the Defendant hospitals and have questions regarding this litigation, you may contact paralegal Mary Montgomery, or attorneys Mark Griffin or Ray Farrow toll free at 800-231-5970 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.