The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider a healthcare employment case that an appeals court refused to dismiss, despite the lone plaintiff accepting a settlement.
The case was brought in 2009 by a registered nurse, Laura Symczyk, who alleged that her employer, Pennypack Center, a Philadelphia subsidiary of Genesis HealthCare Corp., had violated the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 by automatically deducting meal breaks from her pay regardless of whether she ever took the break.
Symczyk's suit was filed on her behalf and for any other employee similarly affected, but no other person joined the suit. After the nurse settled her claim out of court, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia declined to dismiss the case, despite the lack of other plaintiffs. The appeals court's largely unprecedented action was based on concerns that defendants could resolve either class-action-certified or pending-certification cases, neither of which this case was, simply by settling with the named plaintiffs.