Senate Bill 574 which clarifies that the 10 year statute of repose in N.C.G.S. 1-52(16) was not intended to apply to groundwater contamination has passed the North Carolina State House by a vote of 109 to 0. The bill returns to the North Carolina State Senate next week for a vote on the House's revised version.
If the bill is passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor, it would attempt to clarify the original intention of the legislature, blunting the effects of the recent United States Supreme Court Decision in CTS v. Waldberger (details). The Bill explains
The General Assembly finds that it was the intent of the legislature to maximize under federal law the amount of time a claimant had to bring a claim predicated on exposure to a contaminant regulated by federal or State law. The General Assembly finds that the Supreme Court's decision [in CTS] is inconsistent with the legislature's intentions and the legislature's understanding of federal law at the time that certain actions were filed.
It is unclear whether the final law will apply only to currently pending lawsuits or if would also apply to a future lawsuit by other injured parties that has not yet been filed. If you have questions about the legislation and its potential effects on your particular situation, you should contact Dungan, Kilbourne & Stahl immediately.