CHARLESTON – A statewide legal reform group has released its list of legislative candidates who have accepted the most money from personal injury lawyers.
West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse compiles the list for each legislative election. The latest list is based on Primary First contribution reports filed with the Secretary of State’s office.
“Some millionaire personal injury lawyers are spending thousands of dollars to elect candidates who support their ‘sue and settle’ agenda, who want to see more laws allowing them to flood our legal system with lawsuits,” WV CALA Executive Director Roman Stauffer said. “These lawyers also want to repeal the much-needed lawsuit reforms recently passed by the Legislature.
“West Virginia is not for sale; and West Virginia voters deserve to know which candidates are being funded by the greed of these personal injury lawyers.”
At the top of the “Dirty Dozen” list is Huntington attorney Chad Lovejoy, who is running for House District 17. Nearly half of his contributions – more than $14,000 – came from personal injury lawyer interests, WV CALA says.
Ranked number one on the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list is Chad Lovejoy, a Huntington personal injury lawyer who is running in House District 17. Nearly half of his contributions, over $14,000, came from personal injury lawyer interests.
Other personal injury lawyers on the list include House member Stephen Skinner (Senate District 16), who has accepted more than $14,000 in personal injury lawyer contributions; Delegate Andrew Byrd (House District 35), who has accepted nearly $11,000 from the personal injury lawsuit industry; and Putnam County attorney Brian Prim (Senate District 4 candidate), who has accepted more than $8,500 from the personal injury lawsuit industry.
In addition to Skinner and Byrd, other incumbents on the list are Senator Chris Walters (Senate District 8, $9,000), Senator Jack Yost (Senate District 1, $4,000), Senator Cory Palumbo (Senate District 17, $4,000), House Minority Leader Tim Miley (House District 48, $3,000) and Delegate Shawn Fluharty (House District 3, $3,000).
Non-incumbents on the list include Lisa Zukoff (Senate District 2, $11,000), who raised nearly 70 percent of her contributions from the personal injury lawsuit industry; Andrew Robinson (House District 36, $10,000); and personal injury lawyer Rocky Seay (Senate District 6, $3,250).
WV CALA says members and associates of several personal injury law firms were heavy contributors to the candidates on the “Dirty Dozen” list, such as Bordas & Bordas ($33,000), the Skinner Law Firm ($11,250), the Scott Segal Law Firm ($6,500) and Tiano & O’Dell ($5,000). It says LAWPAC, the personal injury lawyer association’s political action committee, also contributed $9,000 to candidates.
“A greedy few have been profiting from West Virginia’s ‘jackpot justice’ legal system, while most of us have ended up paying higher prices for goods, losing access to important medical and community services and missing out on good job opportunities,” Stauffer said. “Having a Legislature that will fight lawsuit abuse is a must because employers create jobs in states where the legal system is fair.”