North Carolina’s overall competitiveness hinges on its legal climate, as that is one of the main considerations businesses undertake when evaluating where to make new investments or expand operations. This is especially true as domestic and international businesses benefiting from lower litigation costs compete with North Carolina employers.
Currently, there are several proposed bills in both the House and Senate that would foster greater legal clarity and transparency, including House Bill 467: Agriculture and Forestry Nuisance Remedies. House Bill 467 would clarify North Carolina’s law regulating available damages in nuisance lawsuits filed against farms by establishing a clear rule for applying those damages. In 2015, a federal judge ruled that North Carolina’s law as it stands now is unclear, prompting reforms to remedy this ambiguity in our legal system. By clearly limiting the damages that can be awarded in nuisance lawsuits, House Bill 467 would discourage suits that seek damages far beyond the full market value of a property. Further, it would help bolster North Carolina’s $84 billion agricultural economy, as it will allow farmers to focus their attention on operating their farms, rather than the threat of potential lawsuits and exorbitant legal fees.
Measures like House Bill 467 would strengthen North Carolina’s legal climate and in turn, improve our state’s total competitiveness. Implementing commonsense reforms that establish greater predictability in legal affairs directly impacts North Carolina’s success in economic development. The NC Chamber supports House Bill 467 and we will keep you updated on any further developments with this legislation.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber