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John M. Kirby

North Carolina Rule 414 Evidence -- Medical Bills / Expenses

In 2011 North Carolina enacted a rule of evidence which seems to affect the damages recoverable in many cases. In order to understand the import of this new rule, it is necessary to understand the general rule for the recovery of damages, the language of the new rule, and the background on the rule. It is also critical to examine whether the rule is substantive or procedural, whether the rule applies to future medical expenses, and the manner in which this affects the trial.

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John M. Kirby

Burns v. Union County School Board; School Bus Liability

In Burns v. Union County Board of Education (unpublished), a seven year old student was crossing the street around 6:50 a.m. to board the school bus. He was struck by a motorist and sustained fatal injuries. His Estate sued the County for (a) negligence in the design of the bus stop and (b) negligence by the bus operator in failing to turn on his flashers 300 feet before the stop (which is a requirement). The action was filed in the North Carolina Industrial Commission, as a Tort Claim action. The IC dismissed the case on the basis of N.C. Gen. Stat. 143-300.1, which generally states that the IC has jurisdiction against a school board only for claims based on a mechanical defect or negligent act or omission of the operator; claims based on negligence in the designing and planning of the bus route are not allowed. The Court of Appeals held that the plaintiff's complaint sufficiently pled a claim based on the negligent operation of the bus, and that the case should not have been dismissed at the pleading stage.

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John M. Kirby

Washington v. Cline

In Washington v. Cline , decided on November 5, 2013, the Court of Appeals addressed issues of service under the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. North Carolina rules generally require strict compliance with service requirements.

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John M. Kirby

Bhathela v. Currie

In Bhathela v. Currie , decided on November 5, 2013, (unpublished) the Court of Appeals addressed service on an out-of-state motorist through the N.C. Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

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John M. Kirby

Moore v. Bell Partners

In Moore v. Bell Partners , decided on November 5, 2013, (unpublished) the Court of Appeals addressed the enforceability of a settlement agreement.

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