California Watch, September 20, 2012

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by hospital chain Prime Healthcare Services that alleged Kaiser Permanente conspired with a health care workers union to drive Prime out of business. The lawsuit cited the Sherman Antitrust Act, which is meant to limit monopolies, and claimed Kaiser and the union "joined forces" to drive up Prime's costs, in part, by forcing the chain to pay high wages to workers. Judge Janis L. Sammartino filed an order granting Kaiser’s motion to dismiss Prime’s complaint Aug. 30. The order says the facts stated in Prime's complaint did not support an antitrust lawsuit.

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