June 21, 2018

NYU Hospitals Center has made no showing of an illegal conspiracy between rival hospitals, a union and a former collective labor contracts negotiator, a New York federal judge ruled Wednesday, dismissing the hospital’s antitrust claim while allowing it to pursue allegations that it overpaid into an employee benefit fund.

The hospital is fighting to claw back $25 million in annual extra payments it says it had to make to the 1199SEIU National Benefit Fund for Health and Human Service Employees after withdrawing from the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes of New York in 2016, which negotiated on behalf of NYU and other hospitals with their health care workers union, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. Those extra payments stem from a higher contribution rate imposed on non-league members, a rate NYU says was never properly incorporated into a collective bargaining agreement with the union.

Wednesday’s ruling from U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero means the hospital can continue to accuse the union of violating the Labor Management Relations Act and seek restitution for overpayment against the benefit fund under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. But the judge dismissed the only claim — for antitrust conspiracy — against all the defendants, including fellow hospitals Mount Sinai Hospital, Montefiore Health System Inc., New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

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Defendant 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is represented by David Slutsky of Levy Ratner PC, and Daniel Small and David Young of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.

The complete article can be accessed here.