Law Firm: Injury Victims Would Suffer Under Proposed Intermediate Court
CHARLESTON (February 13, 2018) – A proposed intermediate appeals court for the state of West Virginia would benefit big businesses over the rights of injured victims, according to attorneys at the law firm Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC.
“This is just another way for corporations to avoid taking responsibility when people are hurt,” said attorney Damon Ellis. “If there’s another level of appeals, corporations and their insurance companies can delay paying injury victims the compensation they are owed, or pressure them into accepting a settlement for far less money.”
A legislative proposal that would create the court was scheduled for a first reading in the full West Virginia Senate on February 13. It was passed by the state Senate Judiciary Committee on February 1. The state Supreme Court prepared a fiscal note for the proposal and put the cost of an intermediate appeals court at $11.7 million the first year, and an estimated $10.3 million each year after that. The Supreme Court also questioned the necessity of the new court.
“Given that the Supreme Court of Appeals now offers an appeal to all who request it and provides a written decision in every case, and does so with minimal delay, it would seem that the benefits of the bill are outweighed by its substantial costs,” the court wrote in a memo at the bottom of the note.
The proposed court would review civil appeals and would be divided between northern and southern districts.
About Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC
Based in Charleston, Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC represents clients throughout the state of West Virginia. Founded by attorneys Jonathan Mani, Damon Ellis and Bernard Layne III, the law firm handles truck accidents, car accidents and other personal injury accidents.