xA county judge in Pittsburgh has approved a settlement between three-hospital St. Francis Health System, Pittsburgh, which closed in September 2002, and its creditors. Of the $104 million in assets that will be distributed among creditors, some $13 million will go into the system's pension fund. A class action lawsuit filed on behalf of approximately 3,000 vested pension plan participants claimed the plan was underfunded by as much as $34 million. As a church-sponsored plan, it was exempt from funding and insurance requirements of the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act, according to the beneficiaries' attorney, Joseph Kravec Jr. Settling the hospital system's debts was the last major hurdle in an agreement between the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield to turn the system's Pittsburgh campus into a new facility for Children's Hospital, according to the Associated Press. -- by Mary Chris Jaklevic
Shuttered Pittsburgh system settles debts
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