Univita Files For Bankruptcy After Major Layoffs, Lawsuit

After a tumultuous summer that led to more than 1,000 employee layoffs, Univita Health has filed for bankruptcy.

The Florida-based home care product provider filed under Chapter 7 of the federal bankruptcy code, seeking to liquidate its assets, which, with liabilities, were estimated between $50 million and $100 million, the Sun Sentinel reported Tuesday. 

In addition, 11 Univita subsidaries filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The company stopped operations with its many creditors, estimated to be between 10,000 and 25,000. 

Last month, Univita announced its abrupt loss of Florida HMO contract and subsequently laid of 1,002 employees. Since then, Univita workers have  joined forces in a class action lawsuit against the company. Some employees claim they were not give adequate advance notice of the layoffs. Laid-off employees are seeking 60 days of pay and benefits under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, filed court documents reveal. 

Omar M. Olivier, a former Univita employee who was laid off in July, is the lead plaintiff on the lawsuit. 

The bankruptcy filing will likely delay any distribution to creditors and employees. More than 1,135 pages of court documents were filed in Delaware, the Sun Sentinel reported. 

Jack Raiser, one of the attorneys who filed the class action lawsuit on behalf of the workers, told the Sun Sentinel, “It’s unclear what to make of it. It’s obviously not a good picture for employees or the creditors.”

Raiser said it could take up to a year for a court-appointed trustee to get through the documents to determine how much money would be available for a possible distribution to employees and creditors. 

Written by Amy Baxter