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Wayne State University has prevailed in one of two lawsuits involving a group of pediatricians that has severed ties with the school.

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens on Friday dismissed a complaint filed against WSU by the University Pediatricians, a group representing hundreds of physicians that is now aligned with Central Michigan University. 

The doctors accused the university of skimming more than $60 million in Medicaid funds for physicians who treat the poor, partly to financially cripple the pediatrics group as university officials planned to make the Henry Ford Health System the school's primary medical partner. 

Dr. Herman B. Gray, chair of WSU's Department of Pediatrics, hailed the judge's decision to dismiss the case and said Wayne State used public dollars properly.

"This is an outstanding decision for Wayne State University, and validates the university’s position that these Medicaid funds were used appropriately," said Gray. "It has been our position that Wayne State has always acted with honesty and integrity, and that has been supported by this decisive legal victory.

A representative for University Pediatricians could not be immediately reached.

The lawsuit was part of infighting between the university and pediatricians that partly led the physician group to sever its affiliation with Wayne State.

Wayne State sued University Pediatricians in August for failing to reimburse the university for salaries it paid upfront to the doctors and the physician group did not reimburse under a longstanding practice.

When the lawsuit was filed, the pediatricians owed the university $15.3 million, according to the school. Currently, the amount University Pediatricians owes Wayne State about $25 million, according to WSU spokesman Matt Lockwood. That case is pending.

kkozlowski@detroitnews.com

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