Serving in the Legislature is a great honor for any West Virginian and, for me, a great privilege that allows me to best serve my community and create an environment that is welcome to jobs and better futures for the people of West Virginia.
I also have had the honor and great privilege of serving on the board of directors for West Virginia Citizens against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA). This organization has a membership of more than 20,000 West Virginians and fights every day to improve the lives of our citizens, taxpayers, job creators, and healthcare providers.
WV CALA fights for common-sense legal reforms to try to get our state more in line with the rest of the country. That is why it was disheartening to see the negative and misleading rhetoric coming from West Virginia Association of Justice President Stephen New. His recent editorial that attacks WV CALA is extremely disappointing and full of deception and outright lies.
West Virginia has lost our businesses, friends and neighbors to other states because lawsuit abuse for so many years.
Many of us still remember when our emergency rooms were closing, obstetricians were not available, and doctors were leaving West Virginia due to extremely high liability insurance costs until finally all the medical liability insurers left the state!
CALA and the West Virginia State Medical Association worked to inform the public and lawmakers who worked to pass Medical Liability Reform Legislation in West Virginia that led to a much better environment for the practice of medicine in West Virginia. We now have widely available healthcare in West Virginia.
For decades, our state has endured constant negative coverage about West Virginia’s circus-like courts because of the greed of individuals like Mr. New. The personal injury lawsuit industry that profited greatly from our state being 50th in legal fairness and undoubtedly a “Judicial Hellhole” are now again trying to take us back to the bad old days of a broken court system.
During the 2019 legislative session, WV CALA fought for common-sense reforms such as seatbelt admissibility and the addition of an Intermediate Court of Appeals which would have put us in line with 42 other states with intermediate appellate courts.
As a member of the Legislature, I am proud of the work that we have done to make West Virginia a great place for jobs. A good environment for jobs include: a fair and predictable legal climate, taxes that do not punish work and investment and reasonable regulations.
For Mr. New to assert that fixing one leg of that three legged stool and wonder why it doesn’t stand is just not giving you the whole story. There is much more work that needs to be done. We need major tax reform, continued reduction in unnecessary regulations, and yes more legal reform.
I am proud of the work I did when I used to serve on the board of WV CALA and the work it did during the 2019 Session. I hope everyone sees past the misleading information from Mr. New and joins WV CALA in the fight to improve the lives of every day West Virginians.
Waxman (R-Harrison) is a delegate representing the 48th District, which consists of Harrison and part of Taylor counties.