Highmark and UPMC seek dismissal of rate-gouging case
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Both Highmark and UPMC Monday asked a federal judge to dismiss a class action lawsuit that said they conspired to raise insurance premiums.
The lawsuit was filed in 2010 by Royal Mile Co., a Whitehall-based real estate firm, against the region's biggest insurer and biggest hospital system. Recent court filings have suggested that Royal Mile was discussing settlement with Highmark.
Highmark in its motion wrote that its rates were approved by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, so no one who paid them can recover damages. UPMC wrote that the plaintiffs' allegedly high payments were to Highmark, so there could be no cause of action against UPMC.
Royal Mile's lawsuit is one of several related to the local health care and health insurance market.
West Penn Allegheny Health System is suing UPMC, saying it unfairly sought to stifle competition. UPMC is suing Highmark, saying that the insurer conspired with West Penn Allegheny to siphon off market share.
U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti is handling the cases.
First Published September 20, 2012 12:28 am