14-43.18. Civil cause of action; damages and attorneys' fees; limitation.

(a) Cause of Action. - An individual who is a victim may bring a civil action against a person who violates this Article or a person who knowingly benefits financially or by receiving anything of value from participation in a venture which that person knew or should have known violates this Article.

(b) Relief and Damages. - The victim may seek and the court may award any or all of the following types of relief:

(1) An injunction to enjoin continued violation of this Article.

(2) Compensatory damages, which includes the following:

a. The greater of (i) the gross income or value to the defendant of the victim's labor; or (ii) value of the victim's labor as guaranteed under the Minimum Wage Law and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

b. Any costs reasonably incurred by the victim for medical care, psychological treatment, temporary housing, transportation, and any other services designed to assist a victim in recovering from any injuries or loss resulting from a violation of this Article.

(3) General damages for noneconomic losses.

(c) Attorneys' Fees. - The court may award to the plaintiff and assess against the defendant the reasonable costs and expenses, including attorneys' fees, of the plaintiff in bringing an action pursuant to this section. If the court determines that the plaintiff's action is frivolous, it may award to the defendant and assess against the plaintiff the reasonable costs and expenses, including attorneys' fees, of the defendant in defending the action brought pursuant to this section.

(d) Stay Pending Criminal Action. - Any civil action filed under this section shall be stayed during the pendency of any criminal action arising out of the same occurrence in which the plaintiff is the victim. The term "criminal action" includes investigation and prosecution and is pending until final adjudication in the trial court.

(e) Statute of Limitations. - No action may be maintained under subsection (a) of this section unless it is commenced no later than either of the following:

(1) Ten years after the cause of action arose.

(2) Ten years after the victim reaches 18 years of age if the victim was a minor at the time of the alleged offense.

(f) Jury Trial. - Parties to a civil action brought pursuant to this section shall have the right to a jury trial as provided under G.S. 1A-1, Rules of Civil Procedure. (2019-158, s. 3(a).)