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Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe, PLLC
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West Virginia Top Court Declines to Review Claims Commission Decisions

The West Virginia Constitution makes the state government immune to suits against it. However, the state legislature may temper the harshness of that prohibition by enacting bills appropriating money to compensate people injured by the wrongful acts of the state government. The West Virginia Legislative Claims Commission was created to make findings and recommendations on Read More

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Private Employee Fired for Reporting Alleged Criminal Activity Cannot Bring Retaliatory Discharge Suit

Although West Virginia is an at will employment state, where employers may normally fire their employees with or without cause, the state Supreme Court of Appeals has made an exception when a termination would violate a substantial public policy. However, there are limits on which policies are substantial enough to support a suit, as a Read More

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West Virginia Supreme Court Tightens Pleading Standards in Wrongful Discharge Cases

West Virginia is an “at will” employment state, where an employer may normally fire its employees with or without cause, but an exception to that rule is when the termination would violate a principle of public policy. The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals held in Feliciano v. 7-Eleven, Inc. that a convenience store did Read More

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Federal Trade Commission Proposes Changes to Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information

It is important to protect customers’ private information. Automobile dealerships understand that, as does the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). As part of that understanding, car dealers have been required to comply with the Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information (“Safeguards Rule”) since 2003. The rule requires dealerships to safeguard non-public personal information (NPI) such as Social Read More

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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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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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