Senate Bill 648, the NC Commerce Protection Act, was voted on by the North Carolina House of Representatives on June 25, 2014. The bill that received House approval was significantly different from the version that came over from the Senate. Among the provisions that were removed in the House were provisions to amend North Carolina’s successor liability law, expand the causes of action eligible for a three-judge panel at the trial court level, limit civil claims based on products liability for drug manufacturers. The bill contains provisions that prevent so-called “patent troll” litigation and also changes the process for the Attorney General to hire third-party attorneys.
The House and Senate have named members to a conference committee tasked with reconciling the two versions of the bill. If both chambers agree on the changes or compromise their positions, the bill would then be sent to the Governor for his signature or veto.