Saunders v. Hull Prop. Grp., LLC

Narendra Ghosh

Attorney Narendra K. Ghosh is a Partner at Patterson Harkavy LLP. With more than 15 years of legal experience, he focuses his practice on civil rightsemployment lawlabor lawworkers’ compensation, and appellate advocacy. Narendra has litigated many high-profile, notable cases involving ordinary citizens and workers fighting for their rights through the courts.

Narendra is active with the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, particularly with the Employment Law section and Legal Affairs Committee. He has served as the Chair of the North Carolina Bar Association Labor and Employment Section. He has been a member of the AFL-CIO Union Lawyers Alliance for many years and currently serves on the organization’s Board. Narendra recently completed six years of service on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Justice Center, including two years as Co-Chair of the Board.

Narendra graduated from Harvard University, summa cum laude, in 1998, and from the New York University School of Law, magna cum laude, in 2005. In law school, he served on the NYU Review of Law and Social Change as a Staff Member and a Managing Editor. After graduation, he was a law clerk to the Honorable A. Wallace Tashima of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and to the Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Before attending law school, Narendra was a computer programmer for several companies in Silicon Valley.

Narendra enjoys living in Durham with his wife and two young children.

Trisha S. Pande

Associate at Patterson Harkavy

Attorney Trisha S. Pande is dedicated to fighting for workers’ rights and primarily represents employees and labor unions. She also contributes to the firm’s civil rights practice and represents the wrongfully convicted and victims of police misconduct.

Before joining Patterson Harkavy, Trisha was Assistant General Counsel at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in Washington, DC. While at SEIU, Trisha represented workers and local unions before the National Labor Relations Board and state labor relations agencies in Illinois, Minnesota, Florida, Connecticut, Tennessee, and North Carolina. She also represented the union in federal voting rights litigation and helped draft several amicus briefs in cases before the Supreme Court, including Trump v. Hawaii, which challenged the constitutionality of then-President Trump’s anti-immigrant proclamation restricting travel to the United States.

Trisha regularly speaks on topics regarding labor unions, employment rights, and alternative strategies to advancing workers’ rights in the modern economy. She has presented for the American Bar Association, the North Carolina Bar Association, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, and the North Carolina State AFL-CIO.

Trisha graduated from Brown University and George Washington University Law School with honors. She received the National Association of Women Lawyers Outstanding Law Graduate Award in recognition of her contributions to the advancement of women in society and in the legal profession.

Opinion Filed September 15, 2020
Attorney for the Case David Stradley
Amicus Brief Writers Burton Craige Narendra Ghosh Trisha S. Pande Patricia Timmons-Goodson
Court NC Court of Appeals
Docket No. 19-728

This case squarely presents the issue of whether the North Carolina Supreme Court should abandon the harsh and antiquated defense of contributory negligence, and adopt the modern doctrine of comparative fault. In this premises liability case, the trial judge rejected plaintiff’s timely request for a jury instruction on comparative fault. After the jury found negligence and contributory negligence, the court entered judgment for defendants. Plaintiff filed a petition for discretionary review with the Supreme Court, seeking to bypass the Court of Appeals. NCAJ filed a motion in the Supreme Court for leave to file an amicus brief if the PDR is granted. NCAJ’s amicus brief, filed with its motion, explains why the Court should join the 46 states that have replaced contributory negligence with comparative fault. Twelve of those states, including our neighbors South Carolina and Tennessee, abrogated contributory negligence by judicial decision.  NCAJ’s brief reviews multiple cases in which the North Carolina Supreme Court altered common law rules without waiting for the legislature to act, and shows that judicial adoption of comparative fault is consistent with North Carolina’s stare decisis jurisprudence.

Petition for Discretionary Review was denied by the North Carolina Supreme Court. For additional procedural information about this case and the NCAJ efforts to end contributory negligence in North Carolina, please email