U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti has approved former District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Richard A. Levie to serve as a special master to sort out the discovery disputes in the legal fights between UPMC, West Penn Allegheny Health System, Highmark and a private company.
Judge Conti signed an order Wednesday, after UPMC and West Penn Allegheny filed motions requesting that the court hire Judge Levie. He retired from the bench in 2000 and has been serving as a mediator and arbitrator since then.
West Penn Allegheny since 2009 has 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.
UPMC has sought a prompt start to depositions, while West Penn Allegheny has asked for time to review millions of documents it has received from its larger rival. Judge Levie would help to craft a discovery schedule.