3 More Students Join Class Action Against Wolford Nurse Anesthesia Program

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Three more students have joined the original two defendants in a class-action lawsuit against the Wolford College nurse anesthesia program and Collier Anesthesia, P.A. in Florida. Their consent to join the action was filed in Federal District Court in Fort Myers on July 20.

The defendants, Wolford College, a private single program institution which offers a master’s degree and a doctorate degree for nurse anesthetists, and Collier anesthesia P.A., a private anesthesiology group in central Florida, along with two individuals in the administration of both programs, have yet to file an answer to the lawsuit filed against them on June 29.

The lawsuit alleges a number of violations of the Fair Labor Standard Act and claims that while attending the Wolford College nurse anesthesia masters degree program as students, the plaintiffs were treated as employees and are entitled to hourly wage compensation, overtime compensation, and other remedies.

In a unique arrangement for nurse anesthesia training programs, which must be accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs, Wolford College was started by an anesthesiologist with ownership interest in Collier Anesthesia, P.A., a private anesthesia group providing anesthesia services to operating rooms where Wolford students fulfil their Clinical Rotation requirements. The plaintiffs allege that Wolford and Collier are owned and operated by the same people and that they were utilized as employees to the financial benefit of that ownership.

Law Med expects we will see more plaintiffs joining the suit, especially if and when it is certified by the court as a class action.

UPDATE: 7/29/12 More students have joined the lawsuit as plaintiffs bringing the total number to 10. 

View the executed consent to join documents below.

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