West Penn Allegheny seeks judge's removal from lawsuit
Picking up a gauntlet thrown down by a federal judge, West Penn Allegheny Health System has asked a higher court to remove the judge from the antitrust lawsuit it filed against UPMC.
U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab issued the challenged in February when he halted the case after West Penn suggested in a footnote to a motion that some of the judge's recent decisions had the appearance of bias in favor of UPMC.
The judge told West Penn that the footnote was effectively a motion seeking his removal from the case. He then "denied that ‘motion' and indefinitely stayed the litigation pending review by this court," West Penn says in its March 2 appeal to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Schwab's "actions go well beyond managing the judicial process and ruling on issues raised by the litigants," West Penn said in the appeal. "Instead, the district court independently has raised and addressed issues never placed before it by a party."
West Penn claims in the lawsuit that UPMC has engaged in monopolistic practices to drive it out of business. The lawsuit originally claimed that Highmark Inc. had conspired with UPMC in the monopolistic practices, but West Penn dropped Highmark from the lawsuit after the insurer agreed to buy West Penn for $475 million.
In addition to asking the appeals court to remove Schwab from the case, West Penn is asking the justices to reverse Schwab's Feb. 1 order that the health system has to turn over information about its business operations to UPMC before the judge rules on whether West Penn can file a new complaint that names only UPMC as a defendant.
Schwab and a UPMC spokesman couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
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.
- Penguins see Stars, blanked by Dallas in opening game
- Sluggish wage growth may sap retail spending during winter holidays
- Plans for Excela orthopedic center move forward
- Greensburg Laurels & Lances
- Roundup: GM recalls SUVs, tells owners not to use windshield wipers; Airlines post better on-time rate but get more complaints; more
- Mt. Pleasant school board to discuss website plan
- VND high school roundup: Freeport’s Reichenbaugh leads wins in hockey, soccer
- Leader Times high school roundup: Freeport collects victories
- Big games all around the area
- Charleroi, Bentworth keep winning
- Last-minute China worries derailed Fed’s rate hike plans, minutes reveal