Drug company lawsuit defense out of NC. Senate bill

The Associated Press

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RALEIGH — Efforts by business leaders to give companies more protections from North Carolina product liability lawsuits appear derailed in the House.

A House panel Wednesday deleted language from a Senate bill that previously would have made it harder for people to sue pharmaceutical companies over products if they met federal regulations and warned of side effects.

The bill that passed the full House later Wednesday contained procedures governing contingency fee agreements between the state and private attorneys. An amendment inserted a previously approved House bill on patent protections.

The original Senate measure would have protected any company that designed, manufactured or sold a product that met regulatory standards. The North Carolina Chamber backs such liability protections. Critics say they could prevent consumers from suing years later over previously undiscovered problems.

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