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Abstract

This comment first examines the muddled past of the application of the public duty doctrine by the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of North Carolina with the aim of showing that it is unworkable, confusing, and unjust. Second, it suggests the Supreme Court of North Carolina should completely abrogate the public duty doctrine in deference to the legislature's intent to waive sovereign immunity to the extent it has done so in the Tort Claims Act. Finally, in its stead, an alternative approach is offered. The North Carolina Supreme Court should adopt a traditional negligence standard of reasonable care under the circumstances, modified to recognize the peculiar challenges faced by governments due to the limited resources at their disposal and the discretionary decisions they are called upon to make.

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