CHARLESTON – Four lawsuits against drug distributors for allegedly contributing to the opiate epidemic have been removed to federal court. The lawsuits were filed by Mayor Charles Sparks, on behalf of the town of Kermit; Mayor Vivian Livinggood, on behalf of the town of Gilbert; Mayor Reba Honaker, on behalf of the city of Welch; and the Lincoln County Commission.
WASHINGTON – Don Blankenship’s legal team formally has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his appeal. Attorneys for the former Massey Energy CEO filed the petition May 25 asking the Justices to take up an appeal of his criminal mine safety conviction. They say the U.S. District Court in Charleston and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., both erred in rulings, and they claim Blankenship was a victim of politics.
CHARLESTON – While the average water consumer would collect about $500 from a pending settlement of claims over contamination of the Elk River, law firms would collect up to $850 an hour. Lawyers applying for fees up to $40 million reported that they worked 30,248 hours and their employees worked 16,657 hours. In the course of three years and four months, those totals equal about 175 hours a week for lawyers and about 100 a week for support staff.