Malpractice insurer sues PA for the third time in three years

Shown is the Pennsylvania Capitol building in Harrisburg, Monday, July 10, 2017. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

Shown is the Pennsylvania Capitol building in Harrisburg, Monday, July 10, 2017. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

Governor Tom Wolf and legislative leaders are being sued in federal court over a budget provision to fold a medical malpractice insurer and its assets into the state Insurance Department.

It’s the latest development in the commonwealth’s repeated attempts to take $200 million from the group’s surplus.

This is the third time the Joint Underwriting Association has sued the state–insisting its funds are separate from the commonwealth’s, its employees don’t receive state benefits, and it’s not housed in a state building.

In May, a middle district judge sided with it–declaring the association a private entity.

Lawmakers passed over the appropriation strategy in the latest budget, instead opting to entirely absorb the JUA’s operation–which covers hard-to-insure medical practitioners–into the Insurance Department.

So now, the group is suing again.

This time, it’s saying the state is trying to illegally requisition private property and make the JUA a “puppet of the Commonwealth.”

It has also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the move.

Spokespeople for the Wolf administration have declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

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