Two North Carolina congressional leaders have introduced legislation they say will help people exposed to contaminated water near a closed Asheville factory and a Marine Corps base.
Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., said Friday the measure would pre-empt states from limiting the time frame in which damages can be recovered in pollution lawsuits.
The legislation is in response to a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that halted an Asheville lawsuit.
The Supreme Court cited a 10-year limit for filing lawsuits when ruling Asheville residents couldn’t sue a nearby electroplating business for contamination. The company closed in the 1980s. U.S. Justice Department attorneys then asked a federal appeals court to dismiss a lawsuit blaming contaminated tap water at Camp Lejeune for causing health problems among families who lived there, citing the Asheville ruling.