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State medical malpractice fund bouncing back because of recovering economy


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The state fund that pays medical malpractice victims is getting healthy again.

The Legislative Audit Bureau said this morning that the fund had $361-million as of the middle of last year.

Doctors pay into the fund, and it covers court settlements for victims of medical malpractice.

The fund was almost $110-million in debt in mid-2009. That was after former Governor Jim Doyle and legislative Democrats took out $200-million to help balance other parts of the state budget.

The state’s medical community challenged the fund transfer, and the State Supreme Court ruled it illegal.

In 2011, Republicans put back $234-million into the fund.

Auditors say a recovering economy has helped grow the fund’s investment earnings over the past two years.

Since 1975, the malpractice fund has paid out $808-million to victims of 660 doctors’ mistakes.