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The Lawsuit Abuse ‘Dirty Dozen’: Legislative Candidates Funded By Personal Injury Lawyers

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

Charleston, W.Va. – Which state legislative candidates this year are running for office based on campaign contributions from the personal injury lawsuit industry?

Today, West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA) announced the list of legislative candidates who have accepted the most lawsuit industry money, based on Primary First contribution reports filed with the Secretary of State.

“Some millionaire personal injury lawyers are spending thousands of dollars to elect candidates who support their ‘sue and settle’ agenda, who want to see more laws allowing them to flood our legal system with lawsuits. These lawyers also want to repeal the much-needed lawsuit reforms recently passed by the legislature. West Virginia is not for sale; and West Virginia voters deserve to know which candidates are being funded by the greed of these personal injury lawyers,” said Roman Stauffer, Executive Director of WV CALA.

Ranked number one on the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list is Chad Lovejoy, a Huntington personal injury lawyer who is running in House District 17. Nearly half of his contributions, over $14,000, came from personal injury lawyer interests.

Several other personal injury lawyers ranked high on the list. Stephen Skinner (Senate District 16), a personal injury lawyer and member of the House of Delegates, accepted over $14,000 in personal injury lawyer contributions. Personal injury lawyer and incumbent Delegate Andrew Byrd (House District 35) accepted nearly $11,000 from the personal injury lawsuit industry. Brian Prim, a personal injury lawyer from Putnam County (Senate District 4), accepted over $8,500 from the personal injury lawsuit industry.

A majority of the list is made up of incumbents, including: Senator Chris Walters (Senate District 8, $9,000), Senator Jack Yost (Senate District 1, $4,000), Senator Cory Palumbo (Senate District 17, $4,000), House Minority Leader Tim Miley (House District 48, $3,000) and Delegate Shawn Fluharty (House District 3, $3,000).

Several non-incumbent legislative candidates made the list, including Lisa Zukoff (Senate District 2, $11,000), who raised nearly seventy percent of her contributions from the personal injury lawsuit industry. Newcomer candidates Andrew Robinson (House District 36, $10,000) and personal injury lawyer Rocky Seay (Senate District 6, $3,250) also were backed by the personal injury lawsuit industry.

WV CALA’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ candidates have taken money from personal injury lawyers who have used our out-of-step legal system and lawsuit greed for personal profit.

Members and associates of several personal injury law firms contributed heavily to candidates on the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list, including Bordas & Bordas ($33,000), the Skinner Law Firm ($11,250), the Scott Segal Law Firm ($6,500), Tiano & O’Dell ($5,000), and the personal injury lawyer association’s political action committee ($9,000).

“A greedy few have been profiting from West Virginia’s ‘jackpot justice’ legal system, while most of us have ended up paying higher prices for goods, losing access to important medical and community services and missing out on good job opportunities. Having a Legislature that will fight lawsuit abuse is a must because employers create jobs in states where the legal system is fair,” concluded Stauffer.

The list was compiled based on WV CALA’s review of recent state campaign finance records for the 2016 Primary First Reporting Period.