The workload at federal court in Baltimore got a little lighter Tuesday, after Maryland fired the main contractor for its health insurance marketplace.

The lead firm, Noridian Healthcare Solutions, and EngagePoint, a company Noridian hired as a subcontractor to connect pieces of the exchange into a smooth system, had been suing each other in federal court. The case started in late October after Noridian fired EngagePoint from the Maryland project after the failed launch of the state site.and the companies heatedly disagreed about who was responsible for the problems.

The companies countersued each other about what obligation EngagePoint had under its contract to relay information to Noridian that Noridian may have needed to continue to provide services to Maryland. As part of the case, the companies also argued over whether the contract required that their dispute be worked out in arbitration, not court.

State officials on Monday said they were firing Noridian from the health exchange, ending Noridian’s services.

On Tuesday, after a telephone conference with attorneys for both firms, U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett ordered the companies to arbitration-- for lingering issues including billing disputes-- and closed the federal case.