You have reached the website for Cason-Merenda et al v. VHS of Michigan, Inc., d/b/a/ Detroit Medical Center et al., Case No. 06-15601 (E.D. Mich). This website will notify you of the procedures to be followed by members of the certified Class with regard to a proposed settlement with the Detroit Medical Center (also known as VHS of Michigan) as ordered by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (“the Court”).


The Settlement with Detroit Medical Center

On September 14, 2015, Chief Judge Gerald E. Rosen of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan granted preliminary approval to a settlement reached with the last remaining defendant in this litigation, Detroit Medical Center (which will henceforth be referred to as "DMC"). This last settlement, if approved, will resolve the claims in this case which alleges a conspiracy to suppress nurse compensation among eight Detroit area hospitals and is described in more detail in the Complaint attached below.

Note that all funds associated with any previous settlements in this case have already been fully distributed.

The absolute earliest that any procedure for making claims to the funds from the DMC settlement will start is in the Spring of 2016, provided the Court grants approval to the proposed settlement after the final approval hearing scheduled for late January 2016.

Status of the Settlement with DMC

Plaintiffs Pat Cason-Merenda and Jeffrey Suhre have agreed to a settlement on behalf of the Class with DMC, releasing all claims in exchange for a payment of $42,000,000 to the Class. That Class is defined as:

All registered nurses who provided direct patient care in short term acute care facilities, exclusive of supervisory, managerial and advanced practice nurses, and who were employed by Defendants within the Detroit-Warren-Livonia Metropolitan Statistical Area (“Detroit MSA”) at any time from December 12, 2002 through December 12, 2006.

A copy of this agreement is provided below:

Settlement Agreement

A copy of the Court's Order preliminarily approving the settlement is provided below:

Preliminary Approval Order

A copy of the Court approved Notice of Settlement is provided below:

Notice of Class Action Settlement

A Description of the claims in this case can be found in the Class Action Complaint below:

Amended Complaint

Next Steps

If you are a member of the Class entitled to share in this proposed settlement, then you will receive a notice in the mail. It is important to understand that not all RNs employed by a Defendant are part of the Class. If your job title indicates you had any managerial, supervisory, or training duties, then you are not a member of the Class because you were paid as a manager or supervisor or preceptor, and how your pay was determined is what determines class status. If you did not work at an acute care facility then you are not a member of the Class. To determine if you are a member of the Class whose claims are resolved by this Settlement, please consult the document below which lists all job titles that comprise the Class. If you worked at one of these hospitals in a position other than one listed on this document you are not a member of the Class and are not entitled to share in any monies available through this settlement.

Class Job Titles

The Court has scheduled a hearing to decide whether to approve this settlement on January 27, 2016.

The Legal Notice of Class Action Settlement ("Legal Notice" - a copy of which is available at the link above) provides details of the procedures to be followed regarding your right to be heard at that hearing and of your right to object to the settlement.

If you wish to object to the settlement, you must send a letter or other written statement saying that you object to the Settlement. This letter must include (a) the case name and number (Cason-Merenda, et al., v. VHS of Michigan, Inc., d/b/a Detroit Medical Center et al., Case No. 06-15601); (b) your name, address, telephone number, signature, and (b) a full explanation of all reasons why you object to the Settlement. Your written objection must be filed with the Court and mailed to counsel listed below, received no later than January 7, 2016, at the following addresses:

Clerk of the Court:
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
Clerk's Office
Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse
231 W. Lafayette Blvd., Room 564
Detroit, MI 48226

Plaintiff's Class Counsel:
Mark A. Griffin
1201 Third Avenue, Suite 3200
Seattle, WA 98101

Counsel for Defendant DMC:
Robert Walters
2100 McKinney Avenue,
Dallas, TX 75201

While you do not need to do so, because the Court appointed Class Counsel will represent your interest at the hearing, if you want your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense. You have the right to enter an appearance in the case through your lawyer if you wish, which must be done by January 7, 2016.

Details about how to make a claim if the settlement is approved (which will not occur until early 2016 at the earliest) will follow once the Court has issued its instructions on the claims process. In the meantime, the most important thing you can do is make sure your current address information is on file with the Claims Administrator.

It Is Very Important That You Update Your Address Information.

In order to ensure that you receive any future information about this lawsuit and to ensure that you receive any payment to which you may be entitled, it is important that we have current, updated address information for all members of the certified class. Any updated address or other contact information for you must be provided in writing and directly to the Claims Administrator at the following address which is also found in the Legal Notice:

Cason-Merenda Class Action
c/o Rust Consulting, Inc. - 2249
P.O. Box 2244
Faribault, MN 55021-1644

Status of Previous Settlements

All monies from all previous settlements have been mailed to valid claimants according to the Plan of Allocation that was approved by the Court as applied by the Claims Administrator. That mailing completes the process of distributing all monies collected from the seven settling defendants, St. John Health, Oakwood Healthcare Inc., Bon Secours Cottage Health Services, Henry Ford Health Services, William Beaumont Hospital, Mt. Clemens General Hospital, and Trinity Healthcare Corp.

Further details of this litigation and the various Orders issued by the Court can be found at this link.

Class Counsel can be contacted at:

Mark A. Griffin
1201 Third Avenue, Suite 3200
Seattle, WA 98101-3052
(800) 231-5970

or via:

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