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Schnader Has a Leading Role in Defending a Medical Center Against Antitrust Claims

On October 29, 2009 by Schnader in Antitrust

On October 29, 2009, Judge Arthur Schwab of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania dismissed the lawsuit brought by West Penn Allegheny Health System, Inc against Highmark, Inc and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). The complaint alleged that Highmark and UPMC agreed to restrict payments to UPMC and to engage in a course of conduct intended to drive West Penn Allegheny out of business. The complaint also alleged that UPMC engaged in physician raiding and other acts aimed at hurting the plaintiff. The plaintiff sued both Highmark and UPMC for conspiracy under Section 1 of the Sherman Act and for conspiracy to monopolize under Section 2 of the Sherman Act. The complaint also alleged that UPMC was guilty of attempting to monopolize under Section 2 of the Sherman Act. Finally, two common law state law counts were asserted against UPMC.

In a 73-page opinion, the Court found that the three antitrust counts failed to state a cause of action against the defendants under the standards enunciated by the United States Supreme Court in Bell Atlantic v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, and found that the plaintiff failed to allege antitrust injury which could be pursued. Having dismissed the three federal causes of action, the Court then dismissed the two state law claims without prejudice to the rights of the plaintiff to pursue those claims in State Court. Schnader, led by Paul Titus with assistance from Nilam Sanghvi, served as co-lead counsel for UPMC with Jonathon Jacobson and colleagues from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.