Plaintiffs want to withdraw proposed settlement in lawsuit against insurers
A proposed settlement in a federal anti-trust lawsuit has no value to insurance premium payers, the plaintiffs said Friday in a motion seeking to withdraw the proposed settlement.
Royal Mile Co., a Whitehall property management company, Cole's Wexford Hotel Inc. in Pine and an individual premium payer contend in the lawsuit that Highmark Inc. and UPMC have conspired to keep other health insurers out of Western Pennsylvania so that Highmark can charge higher premiums.
Highmark Inc. was already committed to reintroducing a lower-cost insurance plan called Community Blue insurance plan, so the settlement will not benefit them, the plaintiffs said. The proposed settlement wouldn't reduce premiums or provide refunds.
U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti on Friday gave Highmark 10 days to respond.
Highmark spokesman Aaron Billger said the company will do so. “We do stand behind our offer and do believe their interpretation is flawed and inaccurate,” he said.
In addition to reintroducing the lower-cost insurance plan, Highmark agreed to help the plaintiffs pursue their claims against UPMC and set aside $4.5 million to pay for the settlement plus $300,000 to advertise it.
In court documents filed this week, UPMC argued that the settlement was a sham with no value to premium payers. The agreement would allow Highmark to avoid paying damages for its “unilateral” anti-trust behavior while using the lawsuit to pursue a grudge against UPMC.
The plaintiffs, in their motion to drop the proposed settlement, say that one of the documents UPMC filed under seal makes it clear that Highmark, before the settlement, had already committed to bringing Community Blue back. They also say the insurer hasn't provided the help it was supposed to under the settlement.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Energy sector adjusts to global oil plummet
- New York farmers lament lost opportunity for gas riches
- ‘Staff Pick’ is golden ticket on Kickstarter
- U.S. coal mines nearing record low in worker deaths
- Drought opens Texas ranchers’ eyes to income options
- Natural gas groups says increase in Pennsylvania taxes would bring dire results for economy
- Kim Komando: Can you get a virus on your smartphone?
- Real estate union: Howard Hanna buys Langholz Wilson Ellis
- Mind the time: Optimize last-minute shopping
- Agriculture prospects envisioned in Cuba
- EDMC accused in GI Bill scheme