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In a ruling on Tuesday, a West Virginia Court upheld a Charleston surgeon’s right to have his own medical practice insurance.

In a 2004 lawsuit, the doctor alleged that Charleston Area Medical Center took away his privileges after he attained $1 million worth of self funded medical malpractice insurance rather than going with a commercial vendor, according to court documents.

CAMC said Hamrick’s fund was not financially sound, did not comply with the hospital’s Medical Staff Procedures Manual and failed to meet the requirements of the state’s Medical Professional Liability Act, according to appeal filings.

In September 2004, the Supreme Court granted an injunction restoring Hamrick’s privileges while the case was argued in Kanawha County Circuit Court, according to appeal filings.

In June 2005, Kanawha County Circuit Judge James Stuckey granted summary judgment to Hamrick. CAMC appealed last September.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court upheld Stuckey’s ruling in a 5-0 vote.

Since the start of the lawsuit, the CAMC has enacted an internal policy that will allow doctors to insure themselves and a 2006 state law allows for doctors to set up their own self funded trusts to cover medical malpractice lawsuits.

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