Obstacles to Fair Trial: Asbestos Cases in West Virginia

January 14, 2014

Prepared by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, this report addresses the current state of asbestos litigation in West Virginia, which has become an increasingly critical issue to West Virginia’s civil justice system over the past few decades. Despite the West Virginia courts’ efforts to efficiently administer asbestos litigation, the current system has significant problems that interfere with defendants’ right to justice, constrains defendants’ ability to defend cases on the merits and, conversely, incentivizes plaintiffs’ counsel to pursue and file questionable claims. This white paper addresses the history of asbestos litigation in West Virginia, identifies some of the significant problems with the current system and proposes meaningful reforms.

 
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