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Partial Settlement in Seaman v. Duke University, et al. Receives Final Approval

On January 5, 2018, U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Eagles granted final approval to the partial settlement of antitrust class action claims against Duke University, UNC, and other related parties.

Partial Settlement Reached in Seaman v. Duke University, et al., No. 1:15-CV462 (M.D.N.C.)

On September 29, 2017, U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Eagles granted preliminary approval to a partial settlement of antitrust class action claims against Duke University, UNC, and other related parties. The partial settlement implements a variety of measures by the UNC Defendants to ensure that they will not enter into or enforce any unlawful no-hire agreements or similar restraints on competition. The settlement also requires the UNC Defendants to cooperate in providing documents, data and testimony to Dr. Seaman as she continues to pursue her case against the Duke Defendants. The Duke Defendants have not settled; they remain in the case, which is ongoing.

The action was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina on behalf of Dr. Danielle Seaman and a proposed class of similarly-situated employees of the defendants. The defendants are Duke University and Duke University Health System (the Duke Defendants), and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, the University of North Carolina Health Care System, and Dr. William L. Roper, in his official capacity as Dean of the UNC School of Medicine, Vice-Chancellor of Medical Affairs for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Chief Executive Officer of UNC Health Care (the UNC Defendants).

Nature of the Duke/UNC “No-Hire” Antitrust Class Action Lawsuit

Dr. Seaman alleges that the No-Hire Agreement violated state and federal antitrust laws, and resulted in suppressed mobility and compensation for a proposed class of Duke and UNC employees. The Duke Defendants and the UNC Defendants deny the allegations.

Remedies of the Partial Settlement with the UNC Defendants

The partial settlement implements a variety of measures by the UNC Defendants to ensure that they will not enter into or enforce any unlawful no-hire agreements or similar restraints on competition. The settlement also requires the UNC Defendants to cooperate in providing documents, data and testimony to Dr. Seaman as she continues to pursue her case against the Duke Defendants. No money will be provided to Dr. Seaman or her lawyers as part of this settlement.

The Duke Defendants have not settled; they remain in the case, which is ongoing.

Details on the Settlement Class

The Settlement Class consists of all natural persons employed by the Duke Defendants or the UNC Defendants, in the United States, from January 1, 2012 through August 21, 2017. Excluded from the Class are members of the boards of directors and boards of trustees, boards of governors, and senior administrators of Defendants and their co-conspirators who entered into the alleged agreements, any Defendant’s or Settling Defendant’s legal representatives in connection with this action (including any person affiliated with any law firm representing any Defendant or Settling Defendant in connection with this action), and any and all judges and justices, and chambers’ staff, assigned to hear or adjudicate any aspect of this litigation.

A Final Approval Hearing occurred on January 4, 2018.

If you have questions and would like to contact the lawyers representing the Class in this case, please use the form on this page.