UPMC says West Penn refuses to release takeover information
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UPMC filed motions Friday accusing West Penn Allegheny Health System of refusing to comply with a discovery request in the latter's antitrust lawsuit against the former.
West Penn sued UPMC and Highmark in 2009, saying they colluded to stifle competition. West Penn then released Highmark from the suit when the insurer essentially bought the region's second-largest hospital system. Now West Penn wants to amend its original complaint to target only its larger rival, but U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab gave UPMC the right to conduct limited discovery before he rules on that request.
UPMC's attorneys wrote in a motion that they had asked for documents and depositions regarding the Highmark-West Penn affiliation agreement's impact on West Penn's legal posture, whether Highmark is now the real plaintiff in the lawsuit, and detailing the history of Highmark's financing of West Penn. West Penn refused to cooperate with any of the requests, it wrote.
UPMC said it seeks to depose West Penn and Highmark executives, including former West Penn CEO Christopher Olivia, Highmark CEO Kenneth Melani and new West Penn president and CEO Keith Ghezzi. UPMC wants to ask them about the negotiation of their affiliation agreement, communications between them about the proposed amended complaint, and the governance and control of West Penn.
UPMC wrote that it also wants to know "about financial transactions between Highmark and West Penn, past, present and future."
West Penn's lead lawyer on the matter could not be reached for comment.
First Published January 21, 2012 12:00 am