In a case that could have a ripple effect in four other states, Illinois nurses have settled a lawsuit that claimed Chicago-area hospitals colluded to depress wages in violation of antitrust laws.
Nurse Alliance, affiliated with the Service Employees International Union, has filed similar lawsuits against hospitals in Michigan, New York, Tennessee and Texas.
Those cases are working their ways through the courts, but the Chicago settlement could speed things up.
The Chicago nurses had attempted to turn their suit into a class action against the hospitals, but a federal judge denied that bid last November.
Now the nurses and hospitals have reached a settlement for an undisclosed amount and the case has been dismissed.
Lawyers for the Chicago hospitals said the settlement amount was far less than the legal cost of continuing litigation.