Morgantown, WV– This week, the US Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) released a new study that ranked West Virginia’s lawsuit climate as the worst in the country.   This is the fifth consecutive time the survey ranked West Virginia last, and the state has never ranked above 49th since the study began tracking lawsuit climates in states.
“A broken legal system and a poor lawsuit climate discourage job creation in West Virginia.  This is one of the many reasons West Virginia has experienced five straight months of rising unemployment,” said Bill Maloney, gubernatorial candidate.

According to the study, seventy percent of respondents say a state’s legal climate likely impacts decisions at their company, like where to locate or expand businesses.

“We must clean up our courts and stop lawsuit abuse if we want to attract jobs and for businesses to expand in West Virginia,” stated Maloney.

Despite being in office for nearly four decades, Earl Ray Tomblin has done next to nothing to fix our broken courts. The personal injury lawsuit industry has contributed tens of thousands to Earl Ray’s campaign this year. Earl Ray has failed to commit to addressing any of the state’s pressing civil justice reform issues, reinforcing the need for a comprehensive reform package.

“While Earl Ray continues to bow down to personal injury lawyers, I will stand up for West Virginia families and protect their jobs by working to create an intermediate appellate court and ending wildly out of control punitive damages that discourage jobs,” added Maloney.

According to a related studyCreating Conditions for Economic Growth: The Role of the Legal Environment, authored by NERA Economic Consulting in 2011, West Virginia could save up to $320 million in tort costs if it were to improve its legal environment, and other organizations have labeled West Virginia one of the worst “judicial hellholes” in America.

“Job providers are reluctant to invest in West Virginia because of our uncompetitive business climate and unpredictable legal system. As governor, I’d work to fix our broken courts and legal system and make sure all West Virginians receive fair treatment.  Fixing our courts is about jobs and fairness for the people of West Virginia. I’m not afraid to lead on this issue and fix what’s broken,” concluded Maloney.


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