Friday, July 1, 2011

Attorney to state: Fund isn’t yours

October 16, 2009 by Staff Reporter  
Filed under State House

Attorney Kevin Fitzgerald, who represents the policyholders of a state-created medical malpractice fund, summed up the complex litigation over $110 million in nine words: “You can’t take things that don’t belong to you.”

Lawyers for the state and for policyholders of the Joint Underwriting Association’s medical malpractice fund argued before the state Supreme Court yesterday over who controls the $110 million sought by Gov. John Lynch and the Legislature to balance the state budget.

At issue is surplus money in the malpractice fund, which was created by the state 35 years ago to insure doctors who might otherwise have trouble buying coverage. The premiums paid by the doctors have for years brought more money into the fund than was needed to cover expenses and payouts for claims. During this year’s budget process, Lynch and lawmakers used $110 million of surplus from the fund to balance its budget. The policyholders, a group of doctors and hospitals, appealed to the courts.

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