Cases & Deals

Advocate Aurora Health wins summary judgment, defeats class certification, and obtains dismissal in FICA refund class action

Client(s) Advocate Aurora Health

Jones Day client Advocate Aurora Health won summary judgment and defeated class certification in a FICA refund class action case. The plaintiffs, former medical residents at Advocate Health and Hospitals Corp., filed a class action lawsuit seeking to represent a class of former medical residents, arguing that Advocate breached contractual and fiduciary duties owed to them when it did not seek a refund of FICA taxes paid on their wages as medical residents.

Advocate first preemptively moved to strike the plaintiffs’ attempt to seek recovery on behalf of any individuals other than the named plaintiffs without seeking class certification. The court granted Advocate’s motion to strike, precluding the plaintiffs from proceeding as a class action. On April 2, 2019, the court then granted Advocate’s motion for summary judgment on all claims against all plaintiffs, entering judgment in favor of Advocate. Having considered the evidence, the court found that Advocate had not engaged in any unlawful activity that would except this action from preemption under applicable law.

Wagner, et al. v. Advocate Healthcare Network, et al., No. 2016-CH-03831 (Ill. Cir. Ct.)