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Attorney General-Tort Claims

Attorney General

Fall; Spring

Work Description

DESCRIPTION OF ORGANIZATION: Defense of State departments, institutions, agencies and employees on tort claims/negligence claims before the NC Industrial Commission and General Courts of Justice. Defense of workers' compensation claims, personal injury defense. Appellate work in civil and criminal cases.

DESCRIPTION OF STUDENT WORK/PROJECTS: This externship provides a great opportunity for students who want to litigate. Student externs will conduct legal research, draft pleadings, briefs & memorandums on a wide variety of tort claims, negligence and workers compensation cases, will attend trials and depositions, assist with filing court documents and obtaining information.

REQUIREMENTS/PREFERENCES FOR STUDENT: Prefer students who have taken course work in evidence.

DUTIES AND CLIENTS: The Tort Claims Section is responsible for receiving, investigating, settling and defending general liability tort claims against all State departments, agencies, institutions, officers, agents and employees, community colleges and their employees, county sanitarians, and local boards of education and their school bus drivers and maintenances personnel for all public school bus claims. The Section handles medical payment claims of pupils injured on public school buses, brings civil actions to collect for damages to State property, and defends claims brought pursuant to the Childhood Vaccine-Related Injury Compensation Program and the Law Enforcement Officers' Firemen, Rescue Squad Workers' and Civil Air Patrol members' Death Benefits Act. The Section also advises State agencies, the State Department of Public Instruction and community colleges on the handling of workers' compensation claims, and defends all such workers' compensation claims when they are disputed.

Tort claims are negligence cases filed against State departments, agencies and institutions pursuant to the Tort Claims Act, N.C.G.S. '143-291 et seq. These cases are heard primarily before the North Carolina Industrial Commission in all counties of the State with a minority of cases heard in the superior and district courts. The subject matter of the cases is diverse and ranges from slip and falls to automobile accidents to medical malpractice to construction and maintenance. The Tort Claims Act presently has a maximum recover of $500,000 per claim with no limit on the number of claims per incident. Claims and actions against individual officers and employees of the Sate are brought in the General Courts of Justice with no limit on the amount of judgment. The State provides payment of such judgments up to $500,000 with excess coverage of $11,000,000 per occurrence and $25,000,000 total coverage per incident.

Workers' compensation cases are governed by the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act, N.C.G.S. 97-1 et seq., and involve work-related injuries to State employees. These cases are held before the Industrial Commission with awards determined by limits stated in the Act. State agencies are self-insured for workers' compensation claims.

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UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106


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