NC Court of Appeals Issues Decision of First Impression Regarding Multiple Underinsured Tortfeasors and Multiple UIM Insurance Policies

Megan Silver

Tutterow v. Hall, a recent opinion by Judge Dietz of the North Carolina Court of Appeals holds, as a matter of first impression, that when there are multiple underinsured tortfeasors and multiple UIM insurance policies, the total limits of UIM coverage is the difference between the total amount paid under all exhausted liability policies and…

Product Liability Defense: Subsequent Alteration or Modification of Product

Meg Cook and Jennifer Milak

There are multiple defenses available in North Carolina for product liability claims.  One that defendants can consider involves instances of subsequent alteration or modification of the allegedly defective product by a party other than the manufacturer.  However, there are some important nuances to keep in mind related to this defense. First, this defense is not…

NC Court of Appeals Decision Reaffirms Contributory Negligence Defense is Not Absolute

Rebecca Thornton, Jennifer Milak and Patrick Scott

Klapp v. Buck, a recent unpublished opinion by Judge Dillon of the North Carolina Court of Appeals revisits the defense of contributory negligence and confirms that this affirmative defense is not absolute. Background of the Case This case stems from an accident where Defendant’s vehicle collided with the Plaintiff who was riding her bicycle. The…

County Implementation of New Medical Malpractice Law in North Carolina

Megan Silver

Effective October 1, 2021, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted a new law regarding judicial assignment related to medical malpractice cases. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-47.3 (directing the rotation and assignment of superior court judges) has been amended to add a subsection, “[t]he Senior Resident Superior Court Judge shall designate a specific resident judge or…

COVID-19 Limited Immunity Act: A Welcomed Degree of Certainty for North Carolina Businesses

Chris Stipes and Rebecca Thornton

As we continue to navigate the uncertain but improving times of the COVID-19 pandemic, potential legal exposure related to COVID-19 remains a particular concern for employers and business owners.  For example, consider those people who are finally deciding to dine out indoors at a local restaurant: From the customer’s perspective, they may wonder what can…

The Economic Loss Rule in a “Crescent University” Landscape: What Subcontractors and Subsequent Purchasers Should Know

Jacob Wellman

In North Carolina, lawsuits by homeowners against contractors and subcontractors are governed by the economic loss rule. This rule, articulated in the seminal case Ports Auth. v Lloyd A. Fry Roofing Co., states that a plaintiff cannot sue in tort when a contractual remedy exists, with a few exceptions: unless a third-party sustained the injury,…