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Category Archive
Insurance Defense Litigation
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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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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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When Is Dismissal Voluntary Under the West Virginia Savings Statute?

West Virginia’s Savings Statute is meant to give plaintiffs a second chance to bring an otherwise time-barred lawsuit if their original action was filed in a timely manner and dismissed involuntarily on procedural grounds. Determining whether a dismissal is voluntary can be a complicated question requiring evidence of the plaintiff’s actions. In a case won Read More

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West Virginia Supreme Court Favors Employer in Another Case Addressing Deliberate Intent

FirstEnergy Generation LLC recently appealed the December 2016 order of the Circuit Court of Harrison County following an adverse jury verdict in a “deliberate intention” action filed by the plaintiffs, James and Carol Muto. The West Virginia Supreme Court sided with FirstEnergy, stating that “the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to establish two of Read More

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Anti-Stacking Applied to Courts’ Interpretations of Underinsured Motorist Coverage

West Virginia automobile insurance companies can include anti-stacking provisions in their coverage for underinsured motorists (UIM), which West Virginia law requires all drivers to purchase. But when there is more than one car or more than one driver involved in a collision, a claimant cannot add everything together (stack the claim) and receive more than Read More

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West Virginia Raises Mandatory Auto Insurance Limits

  In 2016, West Virginia enacted new mandatory auto insurance limits for drivers throughout the state. This change, the first since 1979, means that policies must cover at least $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident for bodily injuries liability, and $25,000 in liability for property damage in an accident. Motorists who purchased polices prior Read More

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Allocating Liability Under West Virginia’s New Fault Laws

In 2015, West Virginia enacted new rules that significantly changed the apportionment of fault in negligence actions. Under what is known as a modified comparative fault standard, plaintiffs who bear more than 50 percent fault are barred from recovery, even if the other party is assigned some fault for the incident. Recovery, when available, continues Read More

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Obvious Hazard Defense No Longer Bars WV Liability Claims

For many years, laws in West Virginia and elsewhere allowed property owners to defeat premises liability claims on the ground that the purportedly dangerous condition was open and obvious. This is no longer the case in our state. In Hersh v. E-T Enterprises, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals held that the open nature Read More

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PF&F Prevents Overreach by Plaintiff in Trial of Multi-Vehicle Accident

At Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe, PLLC, we like to talk about the “PF&F difference.” That phrase often refers to the intangibles of quality legal service, but in a lawsuit decided July 6, 2016, that difference was $90,000 or more in our client’s favor. The case, Fletcher v. Elliot, arose from a multi-vehicle auto Read More

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Dispute Resolution and Insurance Litigation

It is common for insurance companies and their insured to disagree as to whether a specific insurance claim is covered under the applicable policy. A straightforward claim for coverage can easily turn into a time-consuming dispute between parties. Thus, it is essential for insurance companies to obtain effective legal representation to assist with their insurance Read More

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