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Recent Blog Posts
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Court Finds Termination of Employment Does Not Contravene the Family and Medical Leave Act

From a distance, when an employer terminates an employee right after that employee takes medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), it looks suspicious. And in fact, there is a presumption in the federal Fourth Circuit that such suspicious circumstances lead to a presumption of wrongful termination — that the employer wrongfully Read More

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Court Upholds Dismissal for Failure to Prosecute in Tobacco Claim

The story is a familiar one for tobacco manufacturers embroiled in litigation: even if you win, the lawsuits keep coming. A decision from the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals on June 7, 2019 may somewhat slow that interminable flow of litigation: the court halted an attempt to resurrect a case originally filed more than Read More

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Recent Oklahoma Decision Suggests Increased Responsibility for Pharmaceutical Marketing

One of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical and chemical companies, Johnson & Johnson, found themselves on the wrong side of legal history in a recent federal case involving the marketing of opioids and the ongoing prescription painkiller epidemic that allegedly resulted. On August 26, 2019, Judge Thad Balkman handed down a decision in the case of Read More

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State High Court Rules Employee Failed to Exhaust Administrative Remedies for Wrongful Termination Claim

Pamela Schade was a program coordinator for the West Virginia University (WVU) National Environmental Services Center (NESC). In 2005, Schade discovered that a former employee of the NESC was being paid despite no longer working there, and she filed a report with WVU’s Office of Social Justice. A supervisor tried to deter her inquiry, but Read More

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FTC Addresses Misleading Legal Advertisements and Potential for Interference with Physician-Patient Relationships

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cracking down on television advertisements by certain plaintiff’s law firms seeking potential plaintiffs to bring suits against pharmaceutical companies. In particular, the FTC asserts that some of these ads make false and misleading claims which ultimately frighten viewers into discontinuing their medication which, in some instances, can be life Read More

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The Lohrmann Standard: A Framework for Analyzing Causation in Asbestos Claims

More than 30 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court established a framework for analyzing the causation element in asbestos claims in its decision in Lohrmann v. Pittsburgh Corning Corp. In this decision, it created what has since been referred to as the Lohrmann test or the Lohrmann standard in which there are three elements that Read More

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Practical Measures for Employers Facing Workers’ Compensation Claims

From the moment a workplace injury or illness is reported, the actions that an employer takes can have a profound effect on the result of the associated workers’ compensation claim. Protecting yourself against fraudulent claimants and excessive awards isn’t difficult but requires diligent attention. West Virginia’s Employer Coverage Unit enforces compliance with the state’s workers’ Read More

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What Does It Mean to Be Shamblinized?

When engaging in settlement negotiations for a third-party claim where a verdict could exceed the relevant policy limit, insurers in West Virginia must be aware of becoming Shamblinized. This term refers to situations where an insurance company refuses an offer to settle within the policy limit and then loses at trial, resulting in a verdict Read More

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An Overview of the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act

All wage payments in West Virginia are regulated and enforced by the state Division of Labor under the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act, unless federal statute preempts state law. Here is a brief overview of some of the stipulations included in the law: Frequency: Employees must be paid at least twice every month Read More

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Joint and Several Liability in West Virginia Now Defunct Due to Comparative Fault Rules

In early 2015, then-governor of West Virginia Earl Ray Tomblin signed House Bill 2002 into law. It established new comparative fault standards in West Virginia, abolishing joint liability in the process. Under these new rules, most accident circumstances result in a defendant being liable for only the percentage of damages attributed to his or her Read More

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