The Supreme Court issued a ruling that federal Medicaid law pre-empts North Carolina’s sizable claim against medical malpractice settlements. In a 6-3 ruling the court struck down a law allowing state officials to seize one third of medical malpractice settlements. The ruling went in favor of a family from Taylorsville, North Carolina who will now be able to keep more of their $2.8 million medical malpractice settlement received for their 13-year-old daughter. The young girl was born with serious disabilities and requires between 12 and 18 hours of skilled nursing every day. The girl was born in February 2000, with cerebral palsy, she is also blind, deaf, and mentally retarded. The family sued the obstetrician, who had a history of drug abuse, as well as the medical center and others.
Health officials estimated they spent more than $1.9 million in Medicaid funds while providing care for the girl. According to state law when there is a medical malpractice settlement, the state could take the lesser of either the total Medicaid spending on the patient or one-third of the court-ordered malpractice payment. However, this state law contradicts federal law that prohibits states from attaching a lien on Medicaid beneficiaries, except to recover money paid for medical care. This ruling means many states with similar laws will have to restructure how they handle reimbursements from Medicaid recipients who have won a settlement.
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The North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers’ Perspective
The Supreme Court’s ruling is a very welcome verdict. This will allow families who have suffered through medical malpractice to keep more of their settlements. In the situation of the young girl above this grants the family peace of mind that they will have the money necessary for the care of their daughter through her whole life.
If you feel you are a victim of medical malpractice do not hesitate to call a North Carolina (NC) medical malpractice attorney. Our North Carolina (NC) medical malpractice attorneys can provide legal council to victims that have experienced injury or death as a result of mistakes made by doctors, medical staff, hospitals, and other medical specialists. The medical malpractice attorneys of our firm understand the complexities of a malpractice claim and work closely with medical experts to determine whether negligence played a role in your injury. We have a great deal of experience handling malpractice lawsuits with an exemplary track record in favor of our clients; below you can check out a few our case results:
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