By CHRIS DICKERSON
CHARLESTON – To help shine a spotlight on the importance of small businesses in West Virginia and what it calls the harm these businesses can face from abusive lawsuits, West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse has kicked off of its Small Business Summer Tour.
“We are very excited to kick off our third annual statewide tour to highlight how lawsuit abuse can hurt small businesses," WV CALA Executive Director Roman Stauffer said. "Small businesses are often targeted by the personal injury lawyers, and one abusive lawsuit can close the doors of a small business for good.
“Thanks to the hard work of our Legislature under the leadership of Senate President Bill Cole and Speaker Tim Armstead for the first time in a long time we will have an opportunity to talk about some of the much needed lawsuit reforms that were passed during the legislative session."
Stauffer said WV CALA will host several small business roundtable meetings across West Virginia. The first took place last week in Mount Hope with Delegate Kayla Kessinger. Five others are planned during the summer months in Bluefield, Charleston, Huntington, Lewisburg, and Wheeling.
“We’re talking with small businesses, community leaders, and elected officials this summer to bring attention to much needed fixes for our legal system, to highlight the importance of recent lawsuit reforms, and also to show the effects of abusive lawsuits on small businesses across West Virginia filed by millionaire personal injury lawyers," Stauffer said. "Some lawsuits have merit, but many are more about greed than about seeking justice."
According to survey research by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform, approximately seven in 10 small business owners say that a lawsuit would force them to reduce benefits for current employees and hold back on hiring new ones. Also, states that have passed legal reforms have seen meaningful economic growth. (Editor's Note: The West Virginia Record is owned by the U.S. Chamber's ILR.)