On the November 8, 2016 ballot in North Carolina is a North Carolina Supreme Court incumbent justice seeking to retain his appellate court position and his challenger who is seeking to unseat him. During this election cycle, there is only one North Carolina Supreme Court justice position in play. If the justice running to keep his judicial position on the North Carolina Supreme Court is unseated, the political balance of the North Carolina Supreme Court will change – from a Republican majority to a Democratic majority (the political affiliation of the incumbent and his challenger are not officially known but their backers include the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, respectively, and President Obama has produced a video in support of the challenger).
Groups outside of North Carolina are pouring millions of dollars into the North Carolina Supreme Court race in efforts to tip the balance in one direction or the other. Less than two weeks before the November 8, 2016 election, the outside groups reportedly had spent nearly $2.2 million on the North Carolina Supreme Court race, and the respective campaigns have spent approximately $310,00 on television and radio advertising.
To put the current North Carolina Supreme Court campaign spending in perspective, the four North Carolina Supreme Court seats up for election in 2014 spent a total of $1.9 million in the campaign. In the 2012 race involving a Republican North Carolina Supreme Court justice, $2.9 million was spent.
A group created in September 2016 that received $125,000 from Medical Mutual Insurance Co. of North Carolina, which provides medical malpractice insurance to North Carolina physicians and others, is backing the incumbent in this year’s election and has reportedly purchased over $197,00 in advertisements through November 8th in support of the incumbent.
What’s at stake in the North Carolina Supreme Court election this year? While elected judges espouse their independence from political parties and political pressures in deciding cases before them, promising their allegiance to applying the law in their decisions, it is apparent from the political money flowing into their campaigns that their supporters believe that their investments in attempting to influence elections will benefit their positions on important social and financial issues, including North Carolina medical malpractice reforms.
The North Carolina Legislature passed so-called medical malpractice reforms in 2011 that severely affect the rights of innocent victims of medical malpractice in North Carolina from seeking and obtaining fair and just compensation for the harms they suffered from medical providers who breached the standard of care that they were required to comply with (the cap on noneconomic damages were limited to $500,000). Court challenges to North Carolina’s medical malpractice reforms have not reached the North Carolina Supreme Court – yet.
If you or a loved one suffered serious injury or other harm as a result of medical negligence in North Carolina, you should promptly find a local medical malpractice lawyer in North Carolina who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
Visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find medical malpractice attorneys in your state who may assist you.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.