Adam Abrahms Quoted in “High Court Arbitration Ruling a Boon for Health-Care Sector”

Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report

Adam C. Abrahms, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management and Health Care and Life Sciences practices, in the firm’s Los Angeles office, was quoted in the Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report, in “High Court Arbitration Ruling a Boon for Health-Care Sector,” by Meg McEvoy.

Following is an excerpt:

The Supreme Court’s decision holding that employers can enforce individual arbitration agreements may provide health-care providers facing wage and hour class actions with some relief.

The Supreme Court held May 21 in a 5-4 decision that employers can bar workers from going to court or joining together in class actions via agreements that require employees to individually arbitrate claims. Attorneys say the decision has impacts for class action litigation in the health-care industry, which has been vulnerable to wage and hour litigation that can drain providers of millions of dollars. …

Defense attorneys say large class settlements are particularly concerning for the health-care industry because they divert funds away from patient care.

“Many of [these] are seven-figure settlements, if there’s any ‘there’ there, which typically results in millions of dollars paid to the attorneys,” Adam Abrahms, a partner at Epstein Becker Green in Los Angeles, and a member of both the firm’s labor and employment and health-care practices, told Bloomberg Law. “Allowing a plaintiff’s lawyer to take millions of dollars out of the patient care pot is highly troublesome.” …

Health-care businesses, particularly, can fall victim to wage and hour lawsuits because their compensation models are “more complicated than a standard employer and can involve various differentials or added payment types, like on-call pay,” Abrahms said. This results in health-care entities being caught for more technical or occasional mistakes, according to Abrahms. …

“Arbitration clauses find their way into many different types of health-care agreements, whether with patients, insurers, or vendors,” Abrahms said. “The continued enforceability [of arbitration agreements] under the Federal Arbitration Act benefits the health-care industry.”