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Legal Reform Group Applauds Senate Judiciary Committee Action On Medical Monitoring Reform

Press release received from West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA)

Charleston, W.Va. – Legal reform watchdog group West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA) is praising a change that the State Senate Committee on the Judiciary advanced today that will require the presence of an injury in order to file a lawsuit for a medical monitoring claim.

The Committee on the Judiciary approved Senate Bill 236, which will require individuals to show a present injury to file a claim for medical monitoring. Next, the entire State Senate will vote on the reform this week.

“West Virginia is one of a small number of states in the nation where courts have recognized an independent cause of action for medical monitoring, even when there is no evidence of a present injury. We applaud members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for advancing this much-needed reform,” said Roman Stauffer, Executive Director of WV CALA.

The reform would modify a 1999 Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia decision (Bower v. Westinghouse Electric Corp.) that created an independent cause of action for medical monitoring, making West Virginia an outlier where mere exposure, and not an injury, is sufficient basis to file a lawsuit.

A statewide public opinion survey conducted by WV CALA showed that four in five (80%) West Virginians agree that in order for a person to file a personal injury lawsuit, the person must first prove they have been injured – not for potential injuries that may or may not be sustained in the future

“We thank Senators Charlie Trump and Ryan Weld for sponsoring this much-needed reform legislation. This change will ensure that resources are available to those with present injuries and not paid to greedy personal injury lawyers pursuing claims for injuries that are non-existent,” concluded Stauffer.