Home Health Law DOJ Loses 3rd Consecutive Antitrust Exertions Trial

DOJ Loses 3rd Consecutive Antitrust Exertions Trial

DOJ Loses 3rd Consecutive Antitrust Exertions Trial


The Division of Justice (DOJ) misplaced its 3rd jury trial in its undertaking to protected felony convictions towards corporations and managers accused of labor-side antitrust violations on March 22, 2023, when a jury in Maine acquitted 4 house healthcare staffing executives of violating Segment 1 of the Sherman Act. In United States v. Manahe, the DOJ charged Faysal Kalayaf Manahe, Yaser Aali, Ammar Alkinani, and Quasim Saesah with getting into into an roughly two-month conspiracy between April and Might 2020 to not rent each and every different’s caretakers and to mend caretaker wages.[1] After the district court docket declined to disregard the indictment, preserving the DOJ had effectively alleged a in line with se conspiracy to mend wages and allocate workers, the case proceeded to a two-week trial. At trial, defendants—all immigrants from Iraq, lots of whom served as translators for U.S. forces there—admitted that they mentioned atmosphere salary ranges and refraining from hiring each and every different’s workers, or even drafted an settlement with signature traces that defined the phrases of defendants’ discussions.[2] Defendants argued that they by no means reached an settlement in violation of Segment 1 since the draft settlement used to be by no means signed. Protection recommend emphasised in opening statements that during defendants’ tradition, “when coping with industry issues . . . the one method to ascertain a dedication is to position it into a proper written contract.” Given the decision, it sounds as if the jury agreed.

There are a number of takeaways from Manahe—together with the significance of sensitizing juries to cultural variations that can tell how they view the proof—a subject matter of specific importance within the context of antitrust trials, which ceaselessly contain multinational and overseas defendants. However the important thing takeaway is that the DOJ has now didn’t protected jury convictions on antitrust counts in all 3 circumstances it has dropped at trial in line with theories of collusion in exertions markets. Along with Manahe, the DOJ suffered two losses in 2022 in United States v. Jindal and United States v. DaVita. In Jindal, a jury acquitted defendants of fees that they conspired to mend the wages of bodily remedy assistants within the Dallas house in 2017.[3] In a while after the Jindal loss, a separate jury in Colorado acquitted DaVita and a former government of fees that they entered into an settlement with their competitor not to solicit each and every different’s senior-level workers.[4]

The DOJ had good fortune, then again, in securing a plea settlement in United States v. Hee, the place defendants—a staffing corporate and its former regional supervisor—pled accountable to violating Segment 1 by way of getting into right into a no-hire settlement and settlement to not elevate wages for varsity nurses in Clark County, Nevada.[5] Staffing corporate defendant, VDA OC LLC, agreed to pay $134,000 in felony fines and restitution on account of the plea. Mr. Hee agreed to 180 hours of neighborhood provider and pretrial diversion, which means that if Mr. Hee abides by way of the phrases of his settlement and does now not violate any regulations for 6 months, DOJ will drop its fees towards him.

Extra exertions collusion circumstances are in retailer. Following the acquittals in Jindal and DaVita, Assistant Lawyer Common Jonathan Kanter declared on April 21, 2022 that the Department is “now not a part of the chickenshit membership” and can “cling criminals responsible” for antitrust violations that impact employees.[6] In keeping with that warning, on March 15, 2023, the DOJ secured every other indictment from a federal grand jury in Nevada towards healthcare staffing government, Eduardo Lopez, alleging that Mr. Lopez conspired to mend the wages of Las Vegas nurses. A number of of the similar prosecutors in Hee are keen on Lopez. And the DOJ will quickly have every other alternative to check its theories prior to a jury in two upcoming circumstances: United States v. Patel et al., the place trial is scheduled to start subsequent week on March 27, 2023, and United States v. Surgical Care Associates LLC, the place the trial set for January 9, 2023 has been persisted.[7] Something is certain: as Mr. Kanter promised in April 2022, the DOJ is “now not backing down” anytime quickly in its pursuit to ascertain that harms that impact employees are “actionable antitrust harms.”


[1] Indictment, United States v. Manahe et al., No. 2:22-cr-00013 (D. Me. Jan. 27, 2022), ECF No. 1, to be had at https://www.justice.gov/atr/case-document/document/1466736/obtain (closing visited Mar. 23, 2023).

[2] Cara Salvatore, BREAKING: House Well being Pros Acquitted In Newest DOJ Antitrust Loss, Law360 (Mar. 22, 2023 4:14 PM EDT), https://www.law360.com/pageant/articles/1586974?nl_pk=c8f12781-da40-417a-8433-e7d693ba2f9d&utm_source=publication&utm_medium=e-mail&utm_campaign=pageant&utm_content=1586974&nlsidx=0&nlaidx=0.

[3] Verdict of the Jury, United States v. Jindal, No. 20-cv-0358 (E.D. Tex. Apr. 14, 2022), ECF No 112.

[4] Judgment of Acquittal, United States v. DaVita, Inc., No. 21-cr-0229 (D. Colo. Apr. 20, 2022), ECF No. 266.

[5] Unopposed Mot. to Waive Presentence Investigation, United States v. Hee, No. 2:21-cr-00098 (D. Nev. Oct. 17, 2022).

[6] Assistant Lawyer Common Jonathan Kanter, Query & Resolution to Keynote on the College of Chicago Stigler Heart—Antitrust Enforcement: The Highway to Restoration, Unofficial Transcript of Tournament (Apr. 21, 2022).

[7] Order Resetting Trial, United States v. Surgical Care Associates LLC, No. 3:21-cr-00011 (N.D. Tex. Nov. 11, 2022), ECF No. 173.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here