Mace v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al.Annotate this Case
Randy Mace, as personal representative of the estate of Kathy Mace, appealed from an order of the circuit court dismissing his wrongful death lawsuit on the basis of forum non conveniens. Applying the forum non conveniens statute, the circuit court concluded that North Carolina, the state in which the action accrued, was a more convenient forum for Mace's claims. Mace argued, however, that he was unable to try his claims in North Carolina because they were barred by that state's statute of limitations. Thus, he argued, the circuit court erred in dismissing the case because it misinterpreted the forum non conveniens statute as permitting dismissal despite the lack of an alternate forum in which the claims may be tried. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded. Finding the language of the statute ambiguous, the Court construed the statute in a manner consistent with the Court's prior case law and the federal common law doctrine of forum non conveniens. Under this construction, the circuit court erred in its interpretation of the statute.