Via e-mail from the masters of propaganda:
Our state legal system should be fair and balanced. North Carolina's current civil liability, or tort system, is expensive and inefficient, resulting in litigation that adds unnecessary costs to doctors and businesses. Our tort system prevents North Carolina employers from creating and maintaining jobs, while encouraging doctors to either practice defensive medicine or leave our state. If state legislators want an effective solution to creating new jobs and boosting the economy, tort reform should be a legislative priority.
In reality, North Carolina's tort system is very conservative and business-friendly. But don't take my word for it: Here are some statutes lauded by the American Tort Reform Association:
Alternative Dispute Resolution: Mediation: SB 791 (1991); Amended N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-38. Establishes pilot programs to require mediation of civil actions, including medical liability lawsuits.
Medical Liability Reform: Good Samaritan Protection: HB 425 (1991); Amended N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-21.14. Expands the 1989 Good Samaritan statute, which included only volunteer physician immunity for free emergency services at local health department facilities or non-profit community health centers, to protect all individuals volunteering services at these sites.
Product Liability Reform: HB 637 (1995); Amended N.C. Gen. Stat. § 99B-1.1. Provides that there shall be no strict liability in tort for product liability actions. Provides statutory defenses to product liability claims, including assumption of the risk.
Punitive Damages Reform: HB 729 (1995): N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 10-15(b), 1D‑25 . Limits the award of punitive damages to the greater of three times the award of compensatory damages or $250,000, unless the defendant caused the injury by driving while impaired. Requires a plaintiff to show by “clear and convincing” evidence that a defendant was liable for compensatory damages and acted with fraud, malice, willful or wanton conduct. Requires the determination of awards for punitive damages to be made in a separate proceeding at the request of the defendant. The statute limiting punitive damages awards to the greater of three times compensatory damages or $250,000 did not violate the right to a jury trial, separation of powers principle, open courts guarantee, prohibition against special legislation, or the principles of due process, equal protection or the right to enjoy the fruits of one’s labor under the State Constitution, and was not void for vagueness. Rhyne v. K-Mart Corp., 2002 WL 553461 (N.C. App. Apr. 16, 2002).
Note to the newly-elected leaders of the General Assembly: If you choose to seek guidance from those who live in an ideological fantasy world, where non-existent problems are created for you to solve like a game of Dungeons & Dragons gone stale, don't be surprised when the real problems bite you in the ass.
BlueNC is dedicated to making North Carolina a more progressive and prosperous state. If your intention is to disrupt this effort, please find somewhere else to express your opinions.