The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette filed motions in U.S. District Court Monday asking Judge Joy Flowers Conti to make public briefs in lawsuits involving Highmark, UPMC, West Penn Allegheny Health System and private plaintiffs.
UPMC has turned over to other parties in the litigation millions of pages of material that had been provided to the U.S. Department of Justice during a four-year review of antitrust concerns in the area's health care and health insurance markets. However, UPMC withheld some documents because it viewed them as subject to attorney-client privilege -- a position with which a court-appointed special master, Richard A. Levie, a retired judge, agreed.
West Penn Allegheny and private plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against UPMC and Highmark have asked the judge for permission to file, under seal, objections to the special master's decision.
Post-Gazette attorney Frederick N. Frank argued in the newspaper's motion that court filings are presumed to be public and that no party has shown that "a clearly defined serious injury" would come from public access.