Humana agrees to $17M settlement in home health workers' class-action suit

lawsuit and book
The settlement is pending court approval, according to filings issued late last week. (Getty/eccolo74)

Humana has agreed to a $17 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit.

The suit alleges that the insurer did not pay overtime for home health workers who worked more than 40 hours in a week. Humana employs a number of both live-in and non-live-in workers through several business arms including Humana at Home and SeniorBridge Family Companies.

The lawsuit centers around how these workers should be paid for lengthy shifts, such as 24-hour live-in stints. The plaintiffs filed suit for unpaid overtime in 2015.

Both the insurer and the plaintiffs filed a joint motion for settlement on Friday, urging Connecticut District Court to accept the agreement. The settlement would avoid a potentially lengthy and complex trial process.

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"All of these complex trial and appellate issues mean that, absent a settlement, this case is likely to go on for years before it is resolved through litigation with all of the ever-increasing costs and attorneys’ fees such lengthy proceedings will inevitably entail," they wrote in the filing. 

"The advantages to both parties to avoid that cost and delay, not to mention the risk inherent in forcing complex legal and factual issues to be resolved, up or down, through litigation are all significant considerations favoring settlement," the parties said.

When reached for comment, a Humana spokesperson declined to comment beyond the court filing.

As part of the settlement, the plaintiffs will agree to give up some rights related to wage and employment claims in the future, according to the filing. The arrangement is pending approval from the court.