That was according to a recent ruling by the North Carolina Court of Appeals, which disagreed with plaintiff insurer that N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-10.2 granted it standing to file suit. That statute outlines claims against third parties under the state’s Worker’s Compensation Act.
The court noted that under this provision, it is the employee who has the sole right to proceed against a third-party wrongdoer in the first year after the injury. If the worker does not file an action in the first year and the employer has filed an admission of liability with the state industrial commission, then either the worker or the employer can go forward with a third-party liability claim. If neither the employee or employer file a third-party claim 60 days before the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations on that claim, the right of action goes back again exclusively to the employee. Continue reading