A 2011 antitrust lawsuit filed by a health care system based in Ontario, California accused a labor-management partnership of producing phony studies meant to undermine competition to Kaiser Permanente and its employees. The committee is affiliated with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
A November 15, 2011 press release (“Prime Healthcare Services Files Anti-Trust Lawsuit Against SEIU“) states that “Prime Healthcare Services today filed a lawsuit under federal anti-trust law that alleges that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Kaiser Permanente engaged in an unlawful conspiracy to reduce consumers access to healthcare and limit their choices…In the lawsuit, Prime Healthcare alleges that SEIU and Kaiser have conspired, through their use of a labor-management partnership, to attack competitors in order to create a monopoly in California…SEIU has produced propaganda which the SEIU disguises as “studies.” That propaganda has been extensively distributed to complicit media outlets and other allies for the purpose of eliminating the threat to the unlawful SEIU-Kaiser conspiracy. This collusion has driven up health care costs, promoted inefficient practices and denied patients’ access to health care.”
Prime Healthcare Services lost the antitrust lawsuit, but its briefs and exhibits reveal the activities and objectives of a labor-management committee.
Prime Healthcare, Inc. filed the original antitrust lawsuit on November 15, 2011. On August 30, 2012, a federal district court judge granted Kaiser Defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint with leave to amend. On September 21, 2012, Prime Healthcare filed a first amended complaint. This case was transferred to another judge on October 6, 2012. On October 26, 2012, Kaiser Defendants and SEIU-UHW filed motions to dismiss. On November 27, 2012, Defendant SEIU filed an amended motion to dismiss. On April 5, 2013, the Court held a hearing on the pending motions. On July 25, 2013, the federal court judge granted Kaiser’s and the SEIU-UHW motions to dismiss.