Asbestos exposure has hurt an untold number of workers in West Virginia, especially those in industrial jobs who are more at risk for direct contact with asbestos-containing products or other workplace injuries. Sadly, as of 2014, West Virginia ranked fourth highest in the United States for deaths due to malignant mesothelioma.
For more than 30 years, our attorneys have worked closely with West Virginians and union workers impacted by chronic and often fatal diseases and workplace-related injuries. We have several asbestos-focused attorneys working from locations in Morgantown and Charleston, and have traveled regularly throughout the state, trying cases in Wheeling, Winfield, Princeton, Bluefield, Welch, Mineral County, Huntington, Logan County, Lincoln County, Parkersburg, Belle, Elkins and Willliamson, among others.
Our long history in asbestos litigation has helped many West Virginian workers and their families. We apply national experience and resources that some other attorneys who claim to practice asbestos litigation cannot. We also work with other attorneys who regularly come to us for our experience and knowledge.
Though we were founded in South Carolina, our firm is proud to have made a home in West Virginia with our two locations in Charleston and Morgantown, both with dedicated asbestos attorneys, and we continue to invest in our community and neighbors.
Motley Rice in West Virginia
Of the more than 100,000 asbestos victims our attorneys have represented over the years, tens of thousands have been residents of West Virginia. We have fought for our clients in numerous trials that resulted in liability verdicts, as well as resolved the cases of thousands more through settlement resolution.
We have also helped and continue to help residents throughout the state in a variety of litigation, from those who have been harmed by potentially dangerous prescription drugs or defective medical devices to Massey Energy shareholders who lost millions of dollars as a result of the 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine explosion.
West Virginia and Asbestos
Because of West Virginia's strong industrial presence, residents of many areas of the state were exposed to asbestos at these facilities.
For decades, inhaling asbestos fibers has been linked to serious and often fatal illnesses such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and other asbestos-related diseases. The majority of people diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases spent years working in an industrial environment or have family members who worked in industrial jobs and brought asbestos fibers home on their clothing, tools, skin and hair, unknowingly subjecting their spouses and children to secondhand asbestos exposure.
If you have questions about asbestos or mesothelioma lawsuits or other personal injury or medical drug or device-related lawsuits in West Virginia, or would like to learn more about your legal rights and potential legal options, please contact asbestos lawyer John Hurst or Anne McGinness Kearse by email or call 1.800.923.4237.
West Virginia Resources
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has an office in Morgantown and can provide valuable information on the long-term health effects of asbestos exposure and other potentially dangerous occupational hazards. For more information on asbestos, visit our asbestos-related diseases page.
Annual screening is recommended for anyone who may have been exposed to asbestos because they are at an increased risk of developing an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma. Early detection is critical because of the long latency period over which illness can develop.
The resources below are meant to provide information that might prove helpful to those who may have been hurt by asbestos. These resources are not meant to serve as legal advice and are not intended to foster an attorney-client relationship. They are strictly for convenience and aid:
- Cancer Care Center of Southern West Virginia (Charleston, WV)
- Cabell Huntington Hospital (Huntington, WV)
- Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center Clinic (Morgantown, WV)
- Thomas Memorial Hospital (South Charleston, WV)
Treatment facilities in nearby states
- Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, OH)
- Duke University Medical Center (Durham, NC)
- The King's Daughters Medical Center (Ashland, KY)
- The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (Columbus, OH)
- University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (Pittsburg, PA)
- University of Virginia Health System (Charlottesville, VA)
Veterans and their families may also want to consult the closest Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Three-Time Multiplier for Plaintiffs: Union Carbide v. Recht, et al
In October 2002, a jury found Union Carbide liable for the unreasonably dangerous conditions maintained at four of its worksites, three of which were located in West Virginia. These conditions allegedly led to asbestos exposures suffered by more than 250 workers.
As a two-phase trial, this ruling allowed the plaintiffs in this case to move on to several “mini-trials” in which the degree of Union Carbide’s liability could be assessed for small groups of plaintiffs with similar claims and exposure conditions.
Significantly, in finding Union Carbide liable, the jury also issued a three-time multiplier to all compensatory damages, meaning that whatever amount a jury found Union Carbide liable for in the mini-trials, Union Carbide would owe the plaintiffs that amount not only in compensatory damages, but also three times that amount in putative damages.