Experts say West Penn suit against UPMC, Highmark could be costly and prolonged

April 24, 2009
Pittsburgh Business Times

© 2009 Pittsburgh Business Times, author Kris B. Mamula.

The federal lawsuit filed against the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Highmark Inc. “will not distract us one bit” from the financial turnaround that is underway at the West Penn Allegheny Health System, President and CEO Dr. Christopher Olivia told employees in an e-mail on Tuesday.


But anti-trust litigation is highly complex and requires specialized witnesses, including economists to assess the local health care market, making it more expensive than commercial litigation, according to Jay Marinstein, a partner at the Downtown offices of Fox Rothschild LLP. Anti-trust litigation ranks behind only patent infringement in cost.

The filing of the lawsuit could be “round one of who knows how many rounds,” Marinstein said. “If it proceeds all the way through trial, which could take several years, it’s going to be very, very expensive.”


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