Quoted from http://bladenjournal.com/pages/full_story/push?article-Group+criticizes+Brisson+House+bill%20&id=17907944
Group criticizes Brisson House bill
March 16, 2012
RALEIGH — The North Carolina Advocates for Justice recently released a television ad opposing State Rep. William Brisson’s sponsorship of a bill that would grant immunity to pharmaceutical corporations that sell defective and dangerous drugs.
The piece states: “Should politicians give pharmaceutical corporations immunity when they sell harmful drugs? Representative William Brisson says yes. He took political contributions from pharmaceutical corporations and voted to give those corporations immunity. Immunity from personal responsibility. That’s wrong. Everybody should be accountable for their actions.”Brisson defended his sponsorship of the bill on Friday.
“I’m not familiar with this group, but if I sponsored (the bill), it’s a good bill,” Brisson said. “We do have a lot of problems with prescription drugs these days, both in the home and on the streets, but this bill is a good bill.”
Last year, House Bill 542 proposed special protections for drug corporations from being sued by those harmed and even killed by defective and dangerous drugs.
N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper has warned that pharma immunity “would restrict the tools available to prosecutors and could result in harm to patients and less safe drugs on the market.” In a statement delivered to the General Assembly in 2011, Cooper wrote: “We continue to be concerned that this law could be a loss for taxpayers and consumers. It’s difficult to understand why the legislature would make it harder for North Carolina to take action against drug companies that hurt patients or deceive the government, especially when other states don’t have these obstacles.”
According to liability lawyer Janet Ward Black, who testified recently in front of the state’s Tort Reform Committee, the change would cover everything from drugs to toys to cars.
“Almost every single product, whether it’s manufactured in North Carolina, another state or another country, is affected by this bill,” Black testified. “What it does, basically, is provide immunity — amnesty — for manufacturers of products, as long as some agency was regulating them.”