UPMC Says it Won't Return Mistakenly Received West Penn-Highmark Info

An attorney for University of Pittsburgh Medical Center refused a judge's request today to return sealed documents that were mistakenly included in public documents submitted during a recent hearing between Pittsburgh-based West Penn Allegheny Health System and insurer Highmark, according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report.

Leon F. DeJulius Jr., JD, partner with Jones Day, told the court that UPMC believes it is not legally required to return the materials, despite a request from Allegheny County Common Please Judge Christine Ward.

The attorney claimed UPMC obtained the documents legally and alerted the court upon realizing certain materials were supposed to be under seal, according to the report. By then, those documents had already been shared with other UPMC executives and other individuals outside of the hospital system.

Mr. DeJulius also said UPMC has a First Amendment right to keep the documents, which are believed to include financial and strategic information from Highmark, since it was not party to the Highmark-West Penn case, according to the report.

A "visibly angry" Judge Ward said she expected attorneys to act ethically and professionally as "officers of this court" and return documents they knew were intended to be under seal, according to the report.

The judge must now make a decision whether to seek an injunction requiring UPMC to return the documents.

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