DaVita, Inc., Identified as a Co-Conspirator Within an Illegal No-Poach Agreement

The Antitrust attorneys of McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP, are investigating the need to bring a class action on behalf of senior-level executives who have been victims of an unlawful “no-poach” agreement between competing outpatient surgery center companies including DaVita, Inc., allegedly depriving several employees of advancement opportunities. Director-level employees and higher were allegedly targeted by this no-poach agreement to prevent turnover and keep labor costs down by preventing competition over candidates.  

In January 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an indictment against top executives of Surgical Care Affiliates, LLC, (SCA) for evidence of a conspiracy dating back to at least February 2012 and continuing until at least July 2017 to prevent employee mobility between competing companies. Since then, the plaintiffs have claimed SCA allegedly came to this agreement with two other competitors – United Surgical Partners International, Inc. (USPI) and DaVita, Inc. 

If you or someone you know was a director-level employee or higher within SCA, DaVita, or USPI from February 2012 to July 2017 and believe you were denied professional opportunities for advancement due to this alleged no-poach agreement, contact McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP, by completing the form or calling (866) 804-1796 today. 

DaVita, Inc., May Have Dramatically Stunted Its Employees’ Careers

Competition between companies for labor improves the workforce’s quality of life. To attract more talent, a company may offer more compensation, better work-life balance, or more growth opportunities. Without active competition for labor, employees are stuck in one position with fewer potential promotion opportunities and less financial compensation overall. According to a study following the 2008 ban of non-compete agreements in Oregon – a similar type of agreement between a company and its employees meant to prevent turnover — wages increased 2-3% after the legislation was passed. Like non-compete agreements, this no-poach agreement may have cost DaVita employees the opportunities to improve their skills and advance financially. 

The indictment filed against DaVita, Inc., specifically names CEO Kent Thiry as a defendant. According to this indictment, Thiry allegedly notified the CEO of SCA when recruiters recommended an SCA executive for a similar spot in DaVita, stating they “[did] not do proactive recruiting into [SCA’s] ranks.” This no-poach agreement between SCA, DaVita, and an unknown third company (likely USPI) was allegedly widely known throughout the companies’ human resources and recruiting teams. In fact, the indictment cites an incident when an SCA HR executive informed a recruiter that executives from DaVita and the unnamed third company were “off-limits to SCA.” 

If you were a Director-level employee or higher at DaVita, Inc., from February 2012 to July 2017 and are concerned you may have affected by the no-poach agreement, schedule your free consultation today by completing the form or calling (866) 804-1796

Attorney Handling this Case

Portrait of Derek Y Brandt Partner of McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP
Partner
Derek Y. Brandt

Named one of the top 100 lawyers in Illinois, Derek Brandt is an innovative litigator with decades of experience litigating high-stakes disputes involving some of the most powerful corporate and financial interests in the world. His plaintiff-oriented practice focuses on competition, antitrust, and other commercial and consumer disputes, both on a class and individual basis. 

Mr. Brandt has represented clients large and small, ranging from Fortune 100 and Fortune 150 multi-national companies to smaller publicly traded entities. He has also represented privately held businesses, municipalities, and innumerable individual consumers and investors. Many of his litigations have played out before some of the most influential state and federal courts in America.

Examples of Mr. Brandt’s most noteworthy representations include: 

  • Prosecution of an antitrust “tying” claim on behalf of a game-changing ophthalmological surgical device manufacturer against its dominant global competitor, resulting in an eight-figure pre-trial settlement. 
  • Acting for major MDL corporate plaintiffs alleging price-fixing of primary aluminum by investment banks and global commodities interests, see In re Aluminum Warehousing Antitrust Litig., MDL No. 2481 (S.D.N.Y.). In that case, Mr. Brandt argued a successful appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on the legal issue of “antitrust injury,” a result for which he was honored as a Law360 “Legal Lion of the Week.” See Eastman Kodak Co., et al. v. Henry Bath LLC, et al., 936 F.3d 86 (2d Cir. 2019). 
  • Acting for employees of franchise-based restaurant chains challenging the wage-suppressive effect of employers’ agreement not to solicit or hire each other’s employees. Beginning in 2017, Mr. Brandt and MWA initiated and achieved early procedural successes in the first of these “no-poaching” suits addressing labor monopsony, a topic that labor economists, the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Law Section, and numerous federal and state regulators have come to regard as one of the hottest issues in antitrust law. Mr. Brandt and MWA have now been appointed or act as co-lead counsel in suits against some of America’s largest franchise restaurant chains. 
  • Acting for motorists challenging the constitutionality of the City of Chicago’s “red light camera” ticketing program before the Illinois Supreme Court. 
  • Acting for an investor pursuing a “double derivative” action in the Delaware Court of Chancery relating to the launch of commercial satellites in Russian-controlled geostationary orbital locations. That engagement resulted in a favorable ruling of first impression by the Delaware Supreme Court, sitting en banc
  • Acting for the Village of Roxana, Illinois and residents of the Village in litigation concerning a groundwater contamination plume emanating from one of the largest oil refineries in America. 
Derek Brandt Recognized by Best Lawyers

Mr. Brandt has also represented plaintiffs in False Claims Act “whistleblower” actions and in various litigations relating to consumer, commercial, and investment transactions. He has been named to the Illinois Super Lawyers list each year for the last decade, an honor reserved by Thomson Reuters for the top 5% of practitioners, based on peer nominations and its independent research. In 2020, Super Lawyers recognized him as one of the Top 100 attorneys in Illinois. He was separately honored for inclusion in the 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22 versions of Best Lawyers in America. 

Mr. Brandt is a 1992 graduate of DePauw University (B.A.), and a 1995 graduate of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law (J.D.). He practices from the firm’s Illinois office and is admitted to numerous federal trial and appellate courts nationwide.

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  • I felt like my lawyer understood me and would take my case personally.
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Have you lost career opportunities due to the DaVita no-poach agreement?