WHEELING -- West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse has started its Small Business Summer Tour, which is designed to shine a spotlight on the plight of small businesses and the negative impact of abusive lawsuits.
“We are very excited to kick off our second annual statewide tour to highlight how lawsuit abuse is hurting small businesses. Small businesses are a favorite target of the personal injury lawsuit industry, and one abusive lawsuit can close the doors of a small business for good,” WV CALA Executive Director Greg Thomas said. “Does West Virginia want jobs, or lawsuits?"
Thomas said the tour will highlight several legal reforms.
“Such as the creation of an intermediate appellate court and fixing our joint and several liability laws," he said of two examples. "Legal reform would make West Virginia more attractive to job creators, and our recent polling has shown a majority of West Virginians support reform.”
CALA will host small business roundtable meetings across West Virginia, with the first taking place last Thursday in Wheeling. Others will take place over the summer in Charleston, Beckley, Huntington and Lewisburg.
“We’re working with small businesses this summer to bring attention to much needed fixes for our legal system and the effects of abusive lawsuits on small businesses across West Virginia filed by millionaire personal injury lawyers," Thomas said. "Some lawsuits have merit, but many are more about greed than about seeking justice.
It is very fitting that we kicked off our tour in Wheeling, which is the hometown of State Senator Rocky Fitzsimmons. State campaign contribution records show he has accepted more money from personal injury lawyers than any other legislative candidate in our state.”
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.
The U.S. Chamber's ILR owns The West Virginia Record.