There is a lot of misleading information in the recent news regarding North Carolina's business climate. As the Republican Party has taken control of the state legislature, politicians have issued bold promises of cuts to spending and various unspecified "reforms". One area where some politicians more direct is the area regarding the rights of people injured by the negligence of others, and workers injured on the job. House Speaker Thom Tillis has falsely proclaimed that gutting workers' compensation laws and civil remedies for injured parties will stimulate North Carolina business. North Carolina Chamber Governmental Affairs V.P. John McAllister has also indicated that "reform" to N.C.'s workers' compensation system and tort laws are among the Chamber's top initiatives.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, these politicians and special interest groups like The Chamber have failed to advise the general public of a lot of key information. First, North Carolina actually ranks quite well for businesses: Ranked #1 - 2010 Best Business Climate (Site Selection Magazine); Ranked #1 - 2010 Lowest State & Local Tax Burden on Business (Council on State Taxation and Ernst & Young); Ranked #2 - 2010 Best States for Business (CEO Magazine); Ranked #3 - 2010 The Best State for Business (Forbes); Ranked #4 - 2010 Best State overall for business (CNBC); Ranked #5 - 2010 Pro-Business State (Polina Corporate Real Estate).
Secondly, these same people are attempting to pass legislation that destroys the rights of injured parties in North Carolina, while the general public (average joe) has no understanding of what is actually going on. I'm quite sure that my clients are concerned about the current economic climate of our state. I've heard from your own mouths how you wish the elected officials would stop wasting taxpayer money, and actually do their jobs. What I have yet to hear from any average citizen is that they would actually vote to give up their rights when a negligent party brought serious injury upon them.
I would encourage anyone reading this posting to pay close attention to what is actually going on in the state legislature. It is crucial that you understand what is actually being "pushed", not just listen to the slogan from a professional politician or a lobbyist group. In this political and economic climate, you must guard your individual rights and call / write your personal elected officials to demand they represent you accordingly. If you don't do so, you will find that you will have lost your rights.
If you need more information regarding this ongoing legislative matter, please contact our office.