Settlement amount among the largest in a lawsuit for unpaid overtime against the federal government
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims has granted final approval of a $160 million settlement of overtime claims on behalf of nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants employed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The lawsuit, which was filed on December 28, 2012, alleged that 3,200 class members were induced to work overtime to update patients’ electronic health records and monitor and respond to patient-related notifications in the VA’s Computerized Patient Record System for which they were not paid. The settlement, which is one of the largest ever reached in an overtime case involving federal employees, provides an average recovery of $50,000 to class members.
Noting that the litigation was complex, and the risk of non-recovery substantial, the court found that plaintiffs’ counsel “vigorously prosecuted this case over a span of almost nine years and have achieved an excellent result for the class in the face of an equally vigorous defense mounted by the Department of Justice.”
“We are gratified that the court has approved the settlement and that we have finally brought justice to these dedicated medical providers who care for our nation’s veterans,” said plaintiffs’ lead counsel, Michael Hamilton of Beaumont-based Provost Umphrey Law Firm.
Class counsel includes Mr. Hamilton and Guy Fisher of Provost Umphrey Law Firm, LLP; Douglas Richards of E. Douglas Richards, PSC; Robert Stropp, Jr. of Mooney, Green, Saindon, Murphy & Welch, P.C.; William H. Narwold of Motley Rice LLC; and Bennett Allen of Cook, Allen & Logothetis, LLC.
The case is Stephanie Mercier, et al., Plaintiffs v. The United States of America, No. 1:12-cv-00920 in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.