Last week a federal judge approved an almost $3 million settlement between Air Evac EMS, Inc., a global company that operates more than 140 air ambulance helicopters in 15 states across the country, and over 400 current and former flight nurses, medics, and pilots. The settlement follows a 2018 lawsuit containing allegations of unpaid overtime. Jason Peck, a former flight nurse with Air Evac filed the suit claiming Air Evac did not pay him and other employee’s overtime as required by Kentucky law.
Peck’s lawsuit, which was filed in the Fayette Circuit Court, for the Commonwealth of Kentucky (i.e. state court) in October 2018, made a simple straight forward claim of unpaid overtime. Peck and other Air Evac nurses, medics, and pilots work schedule was based on a fourteen day rotation. The schedule required employees work seven consecutive twelve-hour shifts in the first week (84 hours in total). The employees were not required to work during the second week. As a general rule, both the FLSA and Kentucky wage and hour laws require overtime paid to all non-exempt employees for all hours worked over 40 every seven days.
Following Peck’s complaint Air Evac removed the lawsuit from Kentucky state court to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. This is very common in wage and hour litigation. Following a little over a year of litigation, Air Evac eventually agreed to a settlement of $2.95 million to resolve the suit. Four-hundred and twenty-seven potential plaintiffs will each receive a share of approximately $2.185 million based on the number of overtime hours they were owed. Additionally, Jason Peck will receive an additional $15,000 since he served as the named plaintiff in the suit. Peck’s attorneys will receive $750,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs associated with the litigation.
Here are copies of the complaint and final settlement.