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WVCALA: Over Two Hundred Personal Injury Lawyers Give To Justice Brent Benjamin

Charleston, W.Va. – Millionaire personal injury lawyers are many of the big contributors to state Supreme Court Justice Brent Benjamin, who is attempting to obtain taxpayer funding of his political re-election campaign. Thousands of lawsuit dollars have gone to the Benjamin campaign from hundreds of personal injury lawyers and their families, according to research conducted by legal watchdog group West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse.

“Our research shows that Justice Brent Benjamin has aligned himself with personal injury lawyers and the more liberal justices on our Supreme Court of Appeals. It’s no surprise that his campaign relied on over two hundred personal injury lawyers in his effort to reach the required threshold for a taxpayer funded political campaign,” said Roman Stauffer, Executive Director of WV CALA.

According to public campaign finance documents posted online by the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office, Justice Brent Benjamin collected nearly $19,000 from more than two hundred personal injury lawyers, including personal injury lawyers Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler, House Minority Leader Tim Miley, former House Judiciary Chairman Tim Manchin. Forty-four percent of the money Justice Benjamin collected came from personal injury attorneys, their family, or their employees.

Stauffer continued, “Justice Brent Benjamin raised thousands of dollars from the millionaire personal injury lawyers who have opposed every legal reform that has been passed in a bi-partisan manner by our Legislature and signed into law by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. These are reforms that will help attract jobs, grow our economy, and save money for West Virginians.”

Numerous decisions underscore Justice Benjamin’s judicial activism. In one recent case, Justice Benjamin and liberal allies on the Court ruled that criminals and their attorneys can profit from their illegal behavior. This majority decided that 29 plaintiffs, who have admitted to drug related crimes, could file lawsuits against doctors and other health care providers blaming them for some of their drug-related crimes.

“The May 10th election for Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia is a critical one.  Why?  Because the winner will sit on the bench for a twelve-year term and will be one of only five votes on each case. We will continue to educate our members and voters about candidates’ backgrounds, including Justice Benjamin’s record of judicial activism and his personal injury lawyer endorsed candidacy,” concluded Stauffer.

West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse is a nonprofit citizen watchdog group with 30,000 members interested in a broad range of civil justice issues.  For more information, visit http://www.WVCALA.org.