For years, bad acting plaintiff attorneys have made it their practice to exploit North Carolina’s legal system when filing bankruptcy trust claims. Employing unethical legal practices to manipulate damages payed, these plaintiff attorneys have attempted to game the system at every junction. From hiding evidence of exposure to “double dipping” damages, it is long past time for these practices to end.
Thankfully, the General Assembly has the opportunity to protect North Carolina’s legal system from these egregious abuses by enacting Senate Bill 470: Personal Injury Bankruptcy Trust Claims. This legislation would establish transparency and fairness in North Carolina’s costly civil liability and bankruptcy trust system by amending Rule 26 of North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedures regarding civil discovery in asbestos personal injury cases. Specifically, this bill would require that trust claims be filed prior to trial instead of after, allowing for important disclosures that are critical to conducting a fair trial. Not only would this legislation keep bad actors from manipulating the state’s legal system, but it would also expedite the receipt of trust payments by accelerating claim filings – a clear benefit for plaintiffs.
The strength of North Carolina’s competitive business climate is directly tied to the strength of our state’s legal system. In recent years, North Carolina’s legal climate has become one of the best in the nation but there is still room for improvement. In order to foster greater predictability and transparency in legal affairs, the General Assembly must continue to pass common sense reforms like Senate Bill 470. We are thankful for Senator Michael Lee and Representative John Blust’s leadership on this critical issue and we encourage their legislative colleagues to follow their lead. The NC Chamber and the coalition made up of members listed below strongly encourage passage of this important piece of legislation.
North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association
North Carolina Retail Merchants Association
North Carolina Home Builders Association
National Federation of Independent Business – North Carolina
North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
Carolinas Associated General Contractors
North Carolina Manufacturer’s Alliance
Charlotte Chamber of Commerce
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber