CHAPTER 130A.

Childhood Vaccine-Related Injury Compensation Program.

ARTICLE 17.
Childhood Vaccine-Related Injury Compensation Program.

Section

130A-423. North Carolina Childhood Vaccine-Related Injury Compensation Program; exclusive remedy; relationship to federal law; subrogation.

(a) There is established the North Carolina Childhood Vaccine-Related Injury Compensation Program.

(b) The rights and remedies granted the claimant, the claimant's parent, guardian ad litem, guardian, or personal representative shall exclude all other rights and remedies of the claimant, his parent, guardian ad litem, guardian, or personal representative against any respondent at common law or otherwise on account of injury, illness, disability, death, or condition. If an action is filed, it shall be dismissed, with prejudice, on the motion of any party under law.

(b1) A claimant may file a petition pursuant to this Article only after the claimant has filed an election pursuant to Section 2121 of the Public Health Service Act, P.L. 99-660, permitting the claimant to file a civil action for damages for a vaccine-related injury or death or if the claimant is otherwise permitted by federal law to file an action against a vaccine manufacturer.

(c) Nothing in this Article prohibits any individual from bringing a civil action against a vaccine manufacturer for damages for a vaccine-related injury or death if the action is not barred by federal law under subtitle 2 of Title XXI of the Public Health Service Act.

(d) If any action is brought against a vaccine manufacturer as permitted by subtitle 2 of Title XXI of the Public Health Service Act and subsection (c) of this section, the plaintiff in the action may recover damages only to the extent permitted by subdivisions (1) through (3) of subsection (a) of G.S. 130A-427. The aggregate amount awarded in any action may not exceed the limitation established by subsection (b) of G.S. 130A-427. Regardless of whether an action is brought against a vaccine manufacturer, a claimant who has filed an election pursuant to Section 2121 of the Public Health Service Act, as enacted into federal law by Public Law 99-660, permitting a claimant to file a civil action for damages for a vaccine-related injury or death, or who is otherwise permitted by federal law to file an action against a vaccine manufacturer, may file a petition pursuant to G.S. 130A-425 to obtain services from the Department pursuant to subdivision (5) of subsection (a) of G.S. 130A-427 and, if no action has been brought against a vaccine manufacturer, to obtain other relief available pursuant to G.S. 130A-427.

(e) In order to prevent recovery of duplicate damages, or the imposition of duplicate liability, in the event that an individual seeks an award pursuant to G.S. 130A-427 and also files suit against the manufacturer as permitted by subtitle 2 of Title XXI of the Public Health Service Act and subsection (c) of this section, the following provisions shall apply:

(1) If, at the time an award is made pursuant to G.S. 130A-427, an individual has already recovered damages from a manufacturer pursuant to a judgment or settlement, the award shall consist only of a commitment to provide services pursuant to subdivision (5) of subsection (a) of G.S. 130A-427.

(2) If, at any time after an award is made to a claimant pursuant to G.S. 130A-427, an individual recovers damages for the same vaccine-related injury from a manufacturer pursuant to a judgment or settlement, the individual who recovers the damages shall reimburse the State for all amounts previously recovered from the State in the prior proceeding. Before a defendant in any action for a vaccine-related injury pays any amount to a plaintiff to discharge a judgment or settlement, he shall request from the Secretary a statement itemizing any reimbursement owed by the plaintiff pursuant to this subdivision, and, if any reimbursement is owed by the plaintiff to the Department, the defendant shall pay the reimbursable amounts, as determined by the Secretary, directly to the Department. This payment shall discharge the plaintiff's obligations to the State under this subdivision and any obligation the defendant may have to the plaintiff with respect to these amounts.

(3) If:

a. An award has been made to a claimant for an element of damages pursuant to G.S. 130A-427; and

b. An individual has recovered for the same element of damages pursuant to a judgment in, or settlement of, an action for the same vaccine-related injury brought against a manufacturer, and that amount has not been remitted to the State pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection; and

c. The State seeks to recover the amounts it paid in an action it brings against the manufacturer pursuant to G.S. 130A-430; any judgment obtained by the State under G.S. 130A-430 shall be reduced by the amount necessary to prevent the double recovery of any element of damages from the manufacturer. Nothing in this subdivision limits the State's right to obtain reimbursement from a claimant under subdivision (2) of this subsection with respect to any double payment that might be received by the claimant.

(f) Subrogation claims pursued under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 shall be filed with the appropriate court, not with the Industrial Commission. (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 1008, s. 1; 1987, c. 215, ss. 1, 2; 1989, c. 727, ss. 148, 149; 1991, c. 410, s. 1; 1997-443, s. 11A.85.)


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N.C. Industrial Commission 4340 Mail Service Center Raleigh, NC 27699-4340
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