The former CEO of Pittsburgh health insurance giant Highmark Inc. is suing the company for $32 million, saying he was wrongfully fired because he refused to fire a female employee with whom he was having an affair.
Dr. Kenneth Melani filed the lawsuit late Wednesday in Allegheny County.
Melani argues in the lawsuit it would have amounted to discrimination if he had obeyed an order by Highmark's chairman, Robert Baum, to fire the female employee, Melissa Myler. He says the relationship didn't violate company policy.
Melani's relationship with Myler became public knowledge several weeks later in 2012 when he was arrested after a fistfight with Myler's husband. Melani was fired several days later.
Highmark says it will defend itself and that it had ample justification to fire Melani for cause.