Jury selection slated in UPMC suit over Altoona acquisition
ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) — Jury selection is scheduled Tuesday for a trial over the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s federal lawsuit against a Cleveland firm over allegations that an actuarial employee vastly understated the pension liability being assumed by UPMC when it acquired Altoona Hospital in 2013.
UPMC says in the lawsuit against CBIZ Inc. that it wouldn’t have acquired Altoona Regional Health System in 2013 had it known the hospital’s full liability, The (Altoona) Mirror reported. The lawsuit says the liability was $123 million more than what was stated in pension documents.
UPMC is seeking $142 million in damages, plus punitive damages, in the legal action naming CBIZ and its now-retired, Maryland-based actuary.
Lawyers for CBIZ argue that its financial report was intended for Altoona Regional’s use in preparing financial statements and not for use by third parties, and it had no idea that the local hospital board was seeking to “partner” with any large hospital or that UPMC was relying on its actuarial report as a factor in the purchase.
The CBIZ defense also contends that UPMC’s acquisition has been a financial asset and it suffered no financial damages, saying in a pretrial narrative that UPMC Altoona :“has performed extraordinarily well despite the revised pension figures.”
“UPMC Altoona has exceeded UPMC’s projections and expectations both from revenue from patient services as well as the (increased) revenue to UPMC’s Health Plan,” according to the defense.
The trial in Johnstown will be the first since COVID-19 restrictions went into effect 14 months ago.