UPMC and West Penn Allegheny Health System have agreed to ask the federal court to appoint former District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Richard A. Levie to serve as a special master to sort out the discovery disputes in their legal tangles.
Judge Levie retired from the bench in 2000 and has been serving as a mediator and arbitrator since then.
U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti can accept or reject the recommendation, and can ask the special master to sort out disputes in related lawsuits.
West Penn Allegheny has since 2009 pursued a lawsuit claiming that UPMC stifled competition. In 2010 Royal Mile Co. sued UPMC and Highmark saying they conspired to increase premiums. This year UPMC sued Highmark saying it joined with West Penn Allegheny to siphon customers from UPMC.
At a Sept. 4 status conference on the cases, UPMC pushed for a prompt start to depositions, while West Penn Allegheny wanted more time to review millions of documents it had just received from its larger rival. The special master would help to craft a discovery schedule.
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Rich Lord: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1542.