Reuters, March 22, 2013
(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a North Carolina law that allowed state officials to seize one-third of a medical malpractice settlement paid to a Medicaid recipient. At a time when many states are expanding their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, the high court's decision restricts how states can tap into Medicaid beneficiaries' lawsuit winnings and settlements to recover the state's medical expenditures. In the case, Wos v. EMA, North Carolina claimed over $900,000 of a legal settlement won by the parents of a 13-year-old girl born with serious injuries that left her unable to live or work independently. The parents of the girl, who is identified in the lawsuit only as EMA, sued the delivery doctor and hospital for medical malpractice.