New Hampshire Appeals Ruling Denying Malpractice Fund Claim

August 6, 2009

New Hampshire has appealed a lower court ruling denying its claim to a $110 million surplus in a fund that underwrites malpractice insurance.

The state counted on $65 million of the money to help balance the budget in the fiscal year that just ended and used the other $45 million toward spending in the current two-year budget.

Superior Court Judge Kathleen ruled last week that the state’s claim is unconstitutional. She said the fund’s policyholders have a contractural right to the money.

The state argues lawmakers created the fund and the state has a right to use the surplus to support programs promoting access to health care.

The state has asked the state Supreme Court to expedite the appeal.

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