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Judge gives Highmark, UPMC a week to file notices regarding settlement agreement

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Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, 2:36 p.m.

U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti on Tuesday gave Highmark Inc. and UPMC a week to each file a notice as to who they believe has the authority to enforce a settlement agreement brokered by Gov. Tom Corbett.

UPMC wants Conti to order Highmark to drop the antitrust lawsuit West Penn Allegheny Health System filed in 2009 before Highmark bought West Penn Allegheny. But it also contends that Conti can't order UPMC to drop a 2012 antitrust lawsuit against West Penn Allegheny and Highmark because UPMC filed it after Corbett brokered the agreement in May 2012.

Highmark contends that Conti can't order it to drop the 2009 lawsuit because it's not a plaintiff in the lawsuit and West Penn Allegheny isn't a party to the settlement agreement. It also contends that UPMC can't sue it for breaching the agreement until UPMC lives up to its half of the bargain by dropping the 2012 lawsuit.

Conti's order gives both sides until Aug. 27 to identify “the court or governing body” that can order them to carry out the settlement's terms.

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