LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Lawyer says article contained errors

By The West Virginia Record | Jun 24, 2010

Dear Editor:

I reviewed the article available on your website entitled "Recht rules for CSX in brain damage cases" ("the article"). This is a demand on my behalf and on behalf of my firm and the laywers in it that you print a retraction of the article. It is erroneous and defamatory in a number of respects and also places me, the firm and our lawyers in a false light. The totality of the article is very misleading. The article causes the reader to believe that the lawyers of the firm of Peirce, Raimond & Coulter were responsible for the study that Judge Recht rejected and that Judge Recht's grant of summary judgment this past May was a grant of summary judgment in seven suits that had been filed by the Peirce firm.

The first and fifth paragraphs of the article together assert that the firm of Peirce Raimond & Coulter filed the seven suits upon which Judge Recht recently granted the summary judgment referenced in your article. That is not true. The Peirce firm had filed complaints on behalf of two of the plaintiffs in the seven cases, but had filed a voluntary dismissal without prejudice in one of those cases in November 2001 and had withdrawn from the other of those cases in Ocotber of 2002. Both plaintiffs were subsequently represented by other lawyers.

The Peirce firm had not been involved in the solvent exposure litigation against CSX before Judge Recht for approximately two years prior to Judge Recht's Summary Judgment decision reported in the article. The Peirce firm's last involvement in the solvent exposure litigation, before Judge Recht, against CSX was on behalf of Chester Earle Carter, whose claim was settled by CSX, leading to the dismissal of Mr. Carter's case on April 22, 2008. Page 5 of the May 1, 2008, transcript made absolutely clear that the Peirce firm had no involvement by the time of the third Gentry hearing and the decision of Judge Recht rejecting the study referenced in the article.

The sixth paragraph of the article is also misleading and false. The Peirce firm did not pay West Virginia University for the solvent exposure research in question, nor was that solvent exposure research in question produced by West Virginia University for the firm's benefit. The research was supported by the federal government through the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

For all those reasons, we demand an immediate retraction of the article and the publication of this letter.

Very truly yours,
Robert N. Peirce Jr.
Pittsburgh, Pa.

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