Article 31.

Tort Claims against State Departments and Agencies.

§ 143-291.  Industrial Commission constituted a court to hear and determine claims; damages; liability insurance in lieu of obligation under Article.

(a)        The North Carolina Industrial Commission is hereby constituted a court for the purpose of hearing and passing upon tort claims against the State Board of Education, the Board of Transportation, and all other departments, institutions and agencies of the State. The Industrial Commission shall determine whether or not each individual claim arose as a result of the negligence of any officer, employee, involuntary servant or agent of the State while acting within the scope of his office, employment, service, agency or authority, under circumstances where the State of North Carolina, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant in accordance with the laws of North Carolina. If the Commission finds that there was negligence on the part of an officer, employee, involuntary servant or agent of the State while acting within the scope of his office, employment, service, agency or authority that was the proximate cause of the injury and that there was no contributory negligence on the part of the claimant or the person in whose behalf the claim is asserted, the Commission shall determine the amount of damages that the claimant is entitled to be paid, including medical and other expenses, and by appropriate order direct the payment of damages as provided in subsection (a1) of this section, but in no event shall the amount of damages awarded exceed the amounts authorized in G.S. 143-299.2 cumulatively to all claimants on account of injury and damage to any one person arising out of a single occurrence. Community colleges and technical colleges shall be deemed State agencies for purposes of this Article. The fact that a claim may be brought under more than one Article under this Chapter shall not increase the foregoing maximum liability of the State.

(a1)      The unit of State government that employed the employee at the time the cause of action arose shall pay the first one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) of liability, and the balance of any payment owed shall be paid in accordance with G.S. 143-299.4.

(b)        If a State agency, otherwise authorized to purchase insurance, purchases a policy of commercial liability insurance providing coverage in an amount at least equal to the limits of the State Tort Claims Act, such insurance coverage shall be in lieu of the State's obligation for payment under this Article.

(c)        The North Carolina High School Athletic Association, Inc., is a State agency for purposes of this Article, and its liability in tort shall be only under this Article. This subsection does not extend to any independent contractor of the Association. The Association shall be obligated for payments under this Article, through the purchase of commercial insurance or otherwise, in lieu of any responsibility of the State or The University of North Carolina for this payment. The Association shall be similarly obligated to reimburse or have reimbursed the Department of Justice for any expenses in defending any claim against the Association under this Article.

(d)       Liability in tort of the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees for noncertifications as defined under G.S. 58-50-61 shall be only under this Article. (1951, c. 1059, s. 1; 1953, c. 1314; 1955, c. 400, s. 1; c. 1102, s. 1; c. 1361; 1957, c. 65, s. 11; 1965, c. 256, s. 1; 1967, c. 1206, s. 1; 1971, c. 893, s. 1; 1973, c. 507, s. 5; c. 1225, s. 1; 1977, c. 464, s. 34; c. 529, ss. 1, 2; 1979, c. 1053, s. 1; 1987, c. 684, s. 1; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1087, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 769, s. 19.33(a); c. 777, s. 5(a); 2000-67, ss. 7A(a), 7A(b); 2001-446, s. 5(f); 2007-323, s. 28.22A(o); 2007-345, s. 12.)

 

§ 143-291.1.  Costs.

The Industrial Commission is authorized by such order to tax the costs against the loser in the same manner as costs are taxed by the superior court in civil actions. When a State department, institution, or agency appeals the decision rendered by the hearing commissioner to the full Commission, the State department, institution or agency shall furnish a copy of the transcript of the hearing to the appellee without cost therefor. The State department, institution or agency concerned is authorized and directed to pay such costs as may be taxed against it, including all costs heretofore taxed against such department, agency or institution. (1955, c. 1102, s. 2; 1971, c. 58.)

 

§ 143-291.2.  Costs and fees.

(a)        The Industrial Commission may by order tax the costs against the losing party in the same amount and the same manner as costs are taxed in the General Court of Justice.  When a State department, institution, or agency appeals to the full commission the decision rendered by a hearing commissioner, the State department, institution, or agency shall furnish a copy of the transcript of the hearing to the appellee without cost.  The State department, institution, or agency concerned may pay the costs taxed against it.  When costs are not paid by a party from whom they are due, the Industrial Commission shall issue an execution for the costs and attach a bill of costs to each execution.  The Sheriff shall levy upon the execution as provided in Chapter 6 of the General Statutes in civil actions.

(b)        The Industrial Commission shall charge a filing fee for each affidavit initiating a claim filed under this Article in an amount equal to the filing fee charged for civil actions in the Superior Court Division of the General Court of Justice.  No filing fee shall be required of indigent persons, provided each claim by an indigent complies with all statutory and administrative requirements applicable to the filing of civil actions by indigents in the Superior Court Division of the General Court of Justice. (1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1087, s. 2.)

 

§ 143-291.3.  Counterclaims by State.

The filing of a claim under this Article shall constitute consent by the plaintiff to the jurisdiction of the Industrial Commission to hear and determine any counterclaim of the maximum amount authorized for a claim in G.S. 143-299.2 or less that may be filed on behalf of a State department, institution or agency, or a county or city board of education. A final award of the Industrial Commission awarding damages on a counterclaim shall be filed with the clerk of the superior court of the county where the case was heard. These awards shall be docketed and shall be enforceable in the same manner as judgments of the General Court of Justice. Notwithstanding the provisions of Rule 12 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, nothing in this section shall require the filing of a counterclaim. (1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1087, s. 3; 1995, c. 509, s. 82; 2000-67, s. 7A(c).)

 

§ 143-292.  Notice of determination of claim; appeal to full Commission.

Upon determination of said claim the Commission shall notify all parties concerned in writing of its decision and either party shall have 15 days after receipt of such notice within which to file notice of appeal with the Industrial Commission. Such appeal, when so taken, shall be heard by the Industrial Commission, sitting as a full Commission, on the basis of the record in the matter and upon oral argument of the parties, and said full Commission may amend, set aside, or strike out the decision of the hearing commissioner and may issue its own findings of fact and conclusions of law. Upon determination of said claim by the Industrial Commission, sitting as a full Commission, the Commission shall notify all parties concerned in writing of its decision. Such determination by the Industrial Commission, sitting as a full Commission, upon claims in an amount of five hundred dollars ($500.00) or less, shall be final as to the State or any of its departments, institutions or agencies, and no appeal shall lie therefrom by the State or any of its departments, institutions or agencies. (1951, c. 1059, s. 2; 1955, c. 770; 1979, c. 581.)

 

§ 143-293.  Appeals to Court of Appeals.

Either the claimant or the State may, within 30 days after receipt of the decision and order of the full Commission, to be sent by registered or certified mail, but not thereafter, appeal from the decision of the Commission to the Court of Appeals. Such appeal shall be for errors of law only under the same terms and conditions as govern appeals in ordinary civil actions, and the findings of fact of the Commission shall be conclusive if there is any competent evidence to support them. The appellant shall cause to be prepared a statement  of the case as required by the rules of the Court of Appeals. A copy of this statement shall be served on the respondent within 45 days from the entry of the appeal taken; within 20 days after such service, the respondent shall return the copy with his approval or specified amendments endorsed or attached; if the case be approved by the respondent, it shall be filed with the clerk of the Court of Appeals as a part of the record; if not returned with objections within the time prescribed, it shall be deemed approved. The chairman of the Industrial Commission shall have the power, in the exercise of his discretion, to enlarge the time in which to serve statement of case on appeal and exceptions thereto or counterstatement of case.

If the case on appeal is returned by the respondent with objections as prescribed, or if a countercase is served on appellant, the appellant shall immediately request the chairman of the Industrial Commission to fix a time and place for settling the case before him. If the appellant delays longer than 15 days after the respondent serves his countercase or exceptions to request the chairman to settle the case on appeal, and delays for such period to mail the case and countercase or exceptions to the chairman, then the exceptions filed by the respondent shall be allowed; or the countercase served by him shall constitute the case on appeal; but the time may be extended by agreement of counsel.

The chairman shall forthwith notify the attorneys of the parties to appear before him for that purpose at a certain time and place, which time shall not be more than 20 days from the receipt of the request. At the time and place stated, the chairman of the Industrial Commission or his designee shall settle and sign the case and deliver a copy to the attorneys of each party. The appellant shall within five days thereafter file it with the clerk of the Court of Appeals, and if he fails to do so the respondent may file his copy.

No appeal bond or supersedeas bond shall be required of State departments or agencies.  (1951, c. 1059, s. 3; 1967, c. 655, s. 1; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1087, s. 4.)

 

§ 143-294.  Appeal to Court of Appeals to act as supersedeas.

The appeal from the decision of the Industrial Commission to the Court of Appeals shall act as a supersedeas, and the State department, institution or agency shall not be required to make payment of any judgment until the questions at issue therein shall have been finally determined as provided in this Article. (1951, c. 1059, s. 4; 1967, c. 655, s. 2.)

 

§ 143-295.  Settlement of claims.

(a)        Any claims except claims of minors pending or hereafter filed against the various departments, institutions and agencies of the State may be settled upon agreement between the claimant and the Attorney General for an amount not in excess of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), without the approval of the Industrial Commission. The Attorney General may also make settlements by agreement for claims in excess of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) and claims of infants or persons non sui juris, provided such claims have been subject to review and approval by the Industrial Commission.

(b)        In settlements under twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), agreed upon between the Attorney General and the claimant, the filing of an affidavit as set forth in G.S. 143-297 shall not be required.

(c)        Transfer of title of a motor vehicle acquired in behalf of the State in settlement of claim pursuant to the provisions of this Article may be transferred by the Attorney General in the same manner as provided for such transfer by an insurance company under the provisions of G.S. 20-75. (1951, c. 1059, s. 5; 1971, c. 1103, s.1; 1973, c. 699; 1975, c. 756; 1979, c. 877; 1981, c. 166; 1985, c. 693; 1989, c. 228, ss. 1, 2.)

 

§ 143-295.1.  Settlement of small claims against institutions of the Department of Health and Human Services.

When the property of a resident of a State institution under the Department of Health and Human Services is lost, destroyed, or otherwise damaged through negligent handling by the institution, and the amount of damages is less than five hundred dollars ($500.00), the institution may make direct payment or provide replacement of the item to the resident without recourse to the procedures otherwise provided by this Article. (2003-285, s. 1.)

 

§ 143-296.  Powers of Industrial Commission; deputies.

The members of the Industrial Commission, or a deputy thereof, shall have power to issue subpoenas, administer oaths, conduct hearings, take evidence, enter orders, opinions, and awards based thereon, punish for contempt, and issue writs of habeas corpus ad testificandum pursuant to G.S. 97-101.1. The Industrial Commission is authorized to appoint deputies and clerical assistants to carry out the purpose and intent of this Article, and such deputy or deputies are hereby vested with the same power and authority to hear and determine tort claims against State departments, institutions, and agencies as is by this Article vested in the members of the Industrial Commission. Such deputy or deputies shall also have and are hereby vested with the same power and authority to hear and determine cases arising under the Workers' Compensation Act when assigned to do so by the Industrial Commission. The Commission may order parties to participate in mediation, under rules substantially similar to those approved by the Supreme Court for use in the Superior Court division, except the Commission shall determine the manner in which payment of the costs of the mediated settlement conference is assessed. (1951, c. 1059, s. 6; 1979, c. 714, s. 2; 1993, c. 399, s. 2; c. 321, s. 25(b); 1995, c. 358, s. 8(a); c. 437, s. 6(a); c. 467, s. 5(a); c. 507, s. 25.13; 1998-217, s. 31.1(b).)

 

§ 143-297.  Affidavit of claimant; docketing; venue; notice of hearing; answer, demurrer or other pleading to affidavit.

In all claims listed in Section 13 of Chapter 1059 of the Session Laws of 1951, and all claims which may hereafter be filed against the various departments, institutions, and agencies of the State, the claimant or the person in whose behalf the claim is made shall file with the Industrial Commission an affidavit in duplicate, setting forth the following information:

(1)        The name of the claimant;

(2)        The name of the department, institution or agency of the State against which the claim is asserted, and the name of the State employee upon whose alleged negligence the claim is based;

(3)        The amount of damages sought to be recovered;

(4)        The time and place where the injury occurred;

(5)        A brief statement of the facts and circumstances surrounding the injury and giving rise to the claim.

Upon receipt of such affidavit in duplicate, the Industrial Commission shall enter the case upon its hearing docket and shall hear and determine the matter in the county where the injury occurred unless the parties agree or the Industrial Commission directs that the case may be heard in some other county. All parties shall be given reasonable notice of the date when and the place where the claim will be heard.

Immediately upon docketing the case, the Industrial Commission shall forward one copy of plaintiff's affidavit to the office of the Attorney General of North Carolina if the claim is asserted against any department, institution, or agency of the State.

The department, institution or agency of the State against whom the claim is asserted shall file answer, demurrer or other pleading to the affidavit within 30 days after receipt of copy of same setting forth any defense it proposes to make in the hearing or trial, and no defense may be asserted in the hearing or trial unless it is alleged in such answer, except such defenses as are not required by the Code of Civil Procedure or other laws to be alleged. (1951, c. 1059, s. 9; 1963, c. 1063; 1971, c. 893, s. 2; c. 1103, s. 2.)

 

§ 143-298.  Duty of Attorney General; expenses; subpoenas.

It shall be the duty of the Attorney General to represent all departments, institutions, and agencies of the State in connection with claims asserted against them and to attend all hearings in connection therewith where the amount of the claim, in the opinion of the Attorney General, is of sufficient import to require and justify such appearance.  In the event the amount appropriated to the Attorney General's office for travel and subsistence is insufficient to take care of the additional expense incident to attending these hearings, the Governor and Council of State are authorized to pay such additional travel expenses from the Contingency and Emergency Fund.

Subpoenas for any purpose authorized by G.S. 1A-1, Rule 45 may be issued by an Attorney of Record for either party in all proceedings under the State Tort Claims Act and served by the means specified in the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure or served by registered or certified mail, and service shall be proved by filing of the return receipt. (1951, c. 1059, s. 10; 1971, c. 1103, s. 3; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1087, s. 5.)

 

§ 143-299.  Limitation on claims.

All claims against any and all State departments, institutions, and agencies shall henceforth be forever barred unless a claim be filed with the Industrial Commission within three years after the accrual of such claim, or if death results from the accident, the claim for wrongful death shall be forever barred unless a claim be filed by the personal representative of the deceased with the Industrial Commission within two years after such death. (1951, c. 1059, s. 11; 1973, c. 659.)

 

§ 143-299.1.  Contributory negligence a matter of defense; burden of proof.

Contributory negligence on the part of the claimant or the person in whose behalf the claim is asserted shall be deemed to be a matter of defense on the part of the State department, institution or agency against which the claim is asserted, and such State department, institution or agency shall have the burden of proving that the claimant or the person in whose behalf the claim is asserted was guilty of contributory negligence. (1955, c. 400, s. 1 1/4.)

 

§ 143-299.1A.  Limit use of public duty doctrine as an affirmative defense.

(a)        Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the public duty doctrine is an affirmative defense on the part of the State department, institution, or agency against which a claim is asserted if and only if the injury of the claimant is the result of any of the following:

(1)        The alleged negligent failure to protect the claimant from the action of others or from an act of God by a law enforcement officer as defined in subsection (d) of this section.

(2)        The alleged negligent failure of an officer, employee, involuntary servant or agent of the State to perform a health or safety inspection required by statute.

(b)        Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, the affirmative defense of the public duty doctrine may not be asserted in any of the following instances:

(1)        Where there is a special relationship between the claimant and the officer, employee, involuntary servant or agent of the State.

(2)        When the State, through its officers, employees, involuntary servants or agents, has created a special duty owed to the claimant and the claimant's reliance on that duty is causally related to the injury suffered by the claimant.

(3)        Where the alleged failure to perform a health or safety inspection required by statute was the result of gross negligence.

(c)        This section does not apply to a unit of local government or its officers, employees, or agents.

(d)       For purposes of this section, "law enforcement officer" means a full-time or part-time employee or agent of a State department, institution, or agency or an agent of the State operating under an agreement with a State department, institution, or agency of the State who is any of the following:

(1)        Actively serving in a position with assigned primary duties and responsibilities for prevention and detection of crime or the general enforcement of the criminal laws of the State or serving civil processes.

(2)        Possesses the power of arrest by virtue of an oath administered under the authority of the State.

(3)        Is a juvenile justice officer, chief court counselor, or juvenile court counselor.

(4)        Is a correctional officer performing duties of custody, supervision, and treatment to control and rehabilitate criminal offenders.

(5)        Is a firefighter as defined in G.S. 106-955(1).

(6)        Is a probation officer appointed under Article 20 of Chapter 15 of the General Statutes.  (2008-170, s. 1; 2008-187, s. 47; 2009-570, s. 21.)

 

§ 143-299.2.  Limitation on payments by the State.

(a)        The maximum amount that the State may pay cumulatively to all claimants on account of injury and damage to any one person arising out of any one occurrence, whether the claim or claims are brought under this Article, or Article 31A or Article 31B of this Chapter, shall be one million dollars ($1,000,000), less any commercial liability insurance purchased by the State and applicable to the claim or claims under G.S. 143-291(b), 143-300.6(c), or 143-300.16(c).

(b)        The fact that a claim or claims may be brought under more than one Article under this Chapter shall not increase the above maximum liability of the State. (1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1087, s. 6; 1995, c. 509, s. 83; 2000-67, s. 7A(d); 2007-452, s. 1.)

 

§ 143-299.3.  Use of State vehicles by North Carolina Amateur Sports; State to incur no liability.

(a)        Notwithstanding G.S. 14-247 and G.S. 143-341(8)i, the Department of Administration or any other department of State government may allow North Carolina Amateur Sports to have the use of State trucks and vans for the 1989 and the 1990 State Games of North Carolina.  There will not be any charge for use of vehicles under this section.

(b)        The State of North Carolina shall incur no liability for any damages resulting from use of vehicles under this section and North Carolina Amateur Sports shall carry liability insurance of not less than $500,000 covering such vehicles while in its use. (1989, c. 242, s. 1(a), (b); 1991, c. 636, s. 17; 1993, c. 553, s. 5.)

 

§ 143-299.4.  Payment of State excess liability.

For each claim payable during any fiscal year in excess of one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) per claim arising under this Article, or Article 31A or 31B of this Chapter, on account of injury or damage to any one person, each State agency shall transfer to the Office of State Budget and Management its proportionate share of that agency's estimated lapsed salaries, as determined by the Director of the Budget, and the Director of the Budget shall use these transferred funds to pay the balance of that claim in excess of one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000). However, if the Director of the Budget determines that the agency liable for the claim has the resources to pay the full claim even though it exceeds one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000), then the Director of the Budget may, in the Director's discretion, require the agency to pay the full claim. Additionally, the Director of the Budget may, in the Director's discretion, limit the number of agencies required to transfer funds to the agency liable for the claim to pay the balance of the claim. (2000-67, s. 7A(e); 2000-140, s. 93.1(i); 2001-424, s. 12.2(b); 2002-159, s. 43.)

 

§ 143-300.  Rules and regulations of Industrial Commission; destruction of records.

The Industrial Commission is hereby authorized and empowered to adopt such rules and regulations as may, in the discretion of the Commission, be necessary to carry out the purpose and intent of this Article. The North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure and Rules of Evidence, insofar as they are not in conflict with the provisions of this Article, shall be followed in proceedings under this Article. When any case or claim under this Article has been closed by proper order or award, all records concerning such case or claim may, after five years, in the discretion of the Industrial Commission with and by the authorization of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, be destroyed by burning or otherwise; provided, that no record pertaining to a case or claim of a minor shall be destroyed until the expiration of three years after such minor attains the age of 18 years.  (1951, c. 1059, s. 12; 1957, c. 311; 1971, c. 1231, s. 1; 1973, c. 476, s. 48; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1087, s. 7; 2015-241, s. 14.30(s).)

 

§ 143-300.1.  Claims against county and city boards of education for accidents involving school buses or school transportation service vehicles.

(a)        The North Carolina Industrial Commission shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine tort claims against any county board of education or any city board of education, which claims arise as a result of any alleged mechanical defects or other defects which may affect the safe operation of a public school bus or school transportation service vehicle resulting from an alleged negligent act of maintenance personnel or as a result of any alleged negligent act or omission of the driver, transportation safety assistant, or monitor of a public school bus or school transportation service vehicle when:

(1)        The driver is an employee of the county or city administrative unit of which that board is the governing body, and the driver is paid or authorized to be paid by that administrative unit,

(1a)      The monitor was appointed and acting in accordance with G.S. 115C-245(d),

(1b)      The transportation safety assistant was employed and acting in accordance with G.S. 115C-245(e), or

(2)        The driver is an unpaid school bus driver trainee under the supervision of an authorized employee of the Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles, or an authorized employee of that board or a county or city administrative unit thereof,

and which driver was at the time of the alleged negligent act or omission operating a public school bus or school transportation service vehicle in accordance with G.S. 115C-242 in the course of his employment by or training for that administrative unit or board, which monitor was at the time of the alleged negligent act or omission acting as such in the course of serving under G.S. 115C-245(d), or which transportation safety assistant was at the time of the alleged negligent act or omission acting as such in the course of serving under G.S. 115C-245(e). The liability of such county or city board of education, the defenses which may be asserted against such claim by such board, the amount of damages which may be awarded to the claimant, and the procedure for filing, hearing and determining such claim, the right of appeal from such determination, the effect of such appeal, and the procedure for taking, hearing and determining such appeal shall be the same in all respects as is provided in this Article with respect to tort claims against the State Board of Education except as hereinafter provided. Any claim filed against any county or city board of education pursuant to this section shall state the name and address of such board, the name of the employee upon whose alleged negligent act or omission the claim is based, and all other information required by G.S. 143-297 in the case of a claim against the State Board of Education. Immediately upon the docketing of a claim, the Industrial Commission shall forward one copy of the plaintiff's affidavit to the superintendent of the schools of the county or city administrative unit against the governing board of which such claim is made, one copy of the plaintiff's affidavit to the State Board of Education and one copy of the plaintiff's affidavit to the office of the Attorney General of North Carolina. All notices with respect to tort claims against any such county or city board of education shall be given to the superintendent of schools of the county or city administrative unit of which such board is a governing board, to the State Board of Education and also to the office of the Attorney General of North Carolina.

(b)        The Attorney General shall be charged with the duty of representing the city or county board of education in connection with claims asserted against them pursuant to this section where the amount of the claim, in the opinion of the Attorney General, is of sufficient import to require and justify such appearance.

(c)        In the event that the Industrial Commission awards damages against any county or city board of education under this section, the Attorney General shall draw a voucher for the amount required to pay the award. The funds necessary to cover the first one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) of liability per claim for claims against county and city boards of education for accidents involving school buses and school transportation service vehicles shall be made available from funds appropriated to the State Board of Education. The balance of any liability owed shall be paid in accordance with G.S. 143-299.4. Neither the county or city boards of education, or the county or city administrative unit shall be liable for the payment of any award made pursuant to the provisions of this section in excess of the amount paid upon a voucher by the Attorney General. Settlement and payment may be made by the Attorney General as provided in G.S. 143-295.

(d)       Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the Attorney General may, upon the request of an employee or former employee, defend any civil action brought against the driver, transportation safety assistant, or monitor of a public school bus or school transportation service vehicle or school bus maintenance mechanic when the driver or mechanic is employed and paid by the local school administrative unit, when the monitor is acting in accordance with G.S. 115C-245(d), when the transportation safety assistant is acting in accordance with G.S. 115C-245(e), or when the driver is an unpaid school bus driver trainee under the supervision of an authorized employee of the Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles, or an authorized employee of a county or city board of education or administrative unit. The Attorney General may afford this defense through the use of a member of his staff or, in his discretion, employ private counsel. The Attorney General is authorized to pay any judgment rendered in the civil action not to exceed the limit provided under the Tort Claims Act. The funds necessary to cover the first one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) of liability per claim shall be made available from funds appropriated to the State Board of Education. The balance of any liability owed shall be paid in accordance with G.S. 143-299.4. The Attorney General may compromise and settle any claim covered by this section to the extent that he finds the same to be valid, up to the limit provided in the Tort Claims Act, provided that the authority granted in this subsection shall be limited to only those claims that would be within the jurisdiction of the Industrial Commission under the Tort Claims Act.

The Attorney General shall refuse to provide for the defense of a civil action or proceeding brought against an employee or former employee if the Attorney General determines that:

(1)        The act or omission was not within the scope and course of his employment as a State employee; or

(2)        The employee or former employee acted or failed to act because of actual fraud, corruption, or actual malice on his part; or

(3)        Defense of the action or proceeding by the State would create a conflict of interest between the State and the employee or former employee; or

(4)        Defense of the action or proceeding would not be in the best interests of the State. (1955, c. 1283; 1961, c. 1102, ss. 1-3; 1967, c. 1032, s. 1; 1975, c. 589, s. 1; c. 916, ss. 1, 2; 1977, c. 935, s. 1; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1332, ss. 1, 2; 1983 (Reg. Sess., 1984), c. 1034, s. 30; 1998-212, s. 9.17(b); 2000-67, ss. 7A(f), 7A(g); 2001-424, s. 6.18.)

 

§ 143-300.1A.  (See Editor's note on condition precedent) Claims arising from certain smallpox vaccinations of State employees.

The North Carolina Industrial Commission shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine claims in accordance with the procedures set forth in this Article made against the State by a person who is permanently or temporarily living in the home of a State employee who receives in employment vaccination against smallpox incident to the Administration of Smallpox Countermeasures by Health Professionals, section 304 of the Homeland Security Act, Pub. L. No. 107-296 (Nov. 25, 2002) (to be codified at 42 U.S.C. § 233(p)) when the person contracts an infection with smallpox or an infection with vaccinia or has any adverse medical reaction due to the vaccination received by the employee. A person covered by this section shall be entitled to recover from the State damages incurred by the person that are directly attributable to the vaccination of the employee under this section. No showing of negligence is required under this section. The provisions of G.S. 143-299.1 shall not apply to claims made under this section, and contributory negligence is not a defense for claims under this section. Damages awarded under this section shall be paid in accordance with G.S. 143-291(a1) and shall be subject to the same limits as those which apply to tort claims under this Article. (2003-169, s. 3.)