Tuesday, April 19, 2022

SEONTOSA CARE SETTLES $3M CLASS ACTION

Sentosa Care agreed to pay $3 million to settle a lengthy class action case that has endured for five years, reports Skilled Nursing News.  This $3 million settlement extinguishes all claims for the 150 class members, including their TVPA violations.

In 2021, a federal judge found that Sentosa was liable for $1.56 million, plus interest and the risk of additional damages.  The TVPA violations were novel in nurse staffing cases.  Ordinarily courts allow damage clauses to be inserted into employment contracts.  However here, the federal judge found that the clause represented a threat to continue employment because a prior court had found Sentosa’s damage clause was unenforceable, allowing the TVPA claim to continue.  Sentosa has now settled all claims associated with the case.

Sentosa’s involvement in litigation is often unusual.  In March 2022, Reuters reported that remnants of a 2006 case continue to circulate throughout the federal court system.  As MU Law discussed in 2010,

In 2006, eleven Philippine nurses employed at a Suffolk County, Long Island nursing home walked off their positions because of alleged bad working conditions. This mass resignation set off a chain of lawsuits [including one where the nurses] filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against . . . the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

The March 2022 Reuters report says that a 2-1 federal appeals court has now held that the Suffolk County DA’s office is immune from this lawsuit.  One wonders if this ends this 16 year litigation.

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