West Virginia Voters Continue To Support Lawsuit Reform

Press release received from West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse

Charleston, W.Va. – According to a new survey by West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA), nearly a majority (48%) of West Virginia voters think the most important issue for state legislators to address during the upcoming legislative session is improving the economy and job creation.

A plurality (45%) agree that lawsuit reform will have a positive impact compared to only 14% who believe such reforms will have a negative impact.

A majority (53%) of West Virginians believe the newly elected Legislature will address the issues most important to them. The survey was conducted by a local opinion research firm for WV CALA.

“West Virginia voters care deeply about passing lawsuit reforms that will help improve West Virginia’s economy. Lawsuit reform should be a top priority for our state leaders heading into the legislative session,” said Roman Stauffer, Executive Director of WV CALA.

A majority of voters (55%) support the establishment of an intermediate court of appeals in West Virginia. Our state does not currently have an intermediate court of appeals, and the creation of one would bring the state in line with most other states across the country.

Stauffer noted, “West Virginians realize that we’re an outlier in this area - one of the only states without a guaranteed right of appeal. The demand for an intermediate court of appeals continues to grow.”

More than three in four respondents (76%) agree that members of a jury should know whether a person injured in an automobile accident was wearing a seat belt or not. 

“West Virginians are responsible, and they know the law requires you to wear a seatbelt when riding in an automobile,” Stauffer observed. “A strong majority believes that members of a jury should hear whether a person involved in an automobile accident was following the law and wearing their seatbelt.”

Four in five (80%) West Virginians agree that in order for a person to file a personal injury lawsuit in West Virginia, the person must first prove they have been injured – not for potential injuries that may or may not be sustained in the future.

“Like many other Americans, West Virginians overwhelmingly agree that in order for someone to file a personal injury lawsuit there should be an actual injury, not the potential for injuries that may or may not occur,” said Stauffer

Over six in ten (62%) West Virginian voters believe the amount of personal injury lawyers advertising on television, the radio, in newspapers, and online is far too much.

“We have seen an explosion of personal injury lawyer advertising that bombards our daily lives with promises of jackpot justice and lawsuit riches. These often misleading personal injury lawyer ads can be dangerous and cause people to listen to the advice of personal injury lawyers instead of their doctor. A majority of West Virginians believe there is too much personal injury lawyer advertising,” concluded Stauffer.

The survey by MBE Research questioned 501 registered West Virginia voters on January 29-31 about several topics related to the state’s legal climate, and the margin of error is +/- 4.38 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.