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NC Workers Compensation Attorneys Volunteer To Represent Sterilization Victims


History Of NC Eugenics Board

NC workers compensation attorneys have volunteered to help sterilization victims. Between 1929 and 1974, NC engaged in a eugenics program as part of an effort to "improve" society. In short, the state, through the NC Eugenics Board, encouraged and/ or forced the sterilization of thousands of persons across the state. Most of the victims were female, and one was as young as 10. These people committed no crime, other than to have genetics that the Board deemed

undesirable. Much like breeding livestock, a state agency dictated to NC citizens which persons could and could not reproduce. Once the procedure was complete, the victim was left permanently unable to bear children. Although many victims have since died, an estimated 3,000 of these people may still be alive today across NC.

Sterilization Victims In Western North Carolina

In western North Carolina, there were victims in every county. Rutherford County (Rutherfordton, Forest City, Spindale) had 51, McDowell County (Marion, Old Fort) had 43, Mitchell County (Spruce Pine, Bakersville) had 22, Yancey County (Burnsville) had 13, Madison County (Marshall, Mars Hill) had 40, Polk County (Tryon) had 18, Henderson County (Hendersonville, Flat Rock) had 29, Transylvania County (Brevard) had 46, Haywood County (Waynesville) had 28, Jackson County (Sylva) had 20, Macon County (Franklin) had 14, Swain County (Bryson City) had 17, Graham (Robbinsville) County had 11, Clay County (Hayesville) had 13, and Cherokee County (Murphy, Andrews) had 18 victims. Buncombe County, home to the metropolitan area of Asheville, saw 130 persons sterilized.

Workers Compensation Attorneys Assistance For Victims

In a late recognition of the wrongs done by the state, NC has recently provided a compensation fund to these surviving victims. Through a claims process with the N.C Industrial Commission, survivors of the program can receive monetary compensation for their experience. However, the time for submitting claims expires on June 30, 2014. Therefore, survivors must act quickly.

The N.C. Advocates for Justice's workers compensation attorney section is providing free legal representation to persons wishing to make a claim for compensation. Due to their experience in representing workers in front of the Industrial Commission, workers's compensation attorneys are likely the most qualified to represent sterilization survivors. The number for help at the N.C. Advocates for Justice is 828-782-3832. Worker's compensation attorney Ruth Smith, also a member of the worker's compensation attorney section of NCAJ, is volunteering her legal services through this pro bono program. More information on the claims process can be found at Sterilization Victims Compensation Fund or North Carolina Advocates for Justice.

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