CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia voters care most about jobs and the economy.

Greg Thomas, executive director of West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, said a recent poll his group commissioned proves that with 98 percent of respondents listing those areas as their top priorities.

About 48 percent of those questioned said they did not think those issues were adequately addressed during the 2014 Regular Legislative Session.

“There are, obviously, a lot of people in West Virginia that are not satisfied with the direction of the state,” said Thomas.  “I think what this survey says is, ‘Hey, we’re open to the idea of going in a new direction.'”

In the poll, 51 percent said West Virginia was on the wrong track and, Thomas said, that attitude could be reflected at the polls this year.  “The candidates this year that go out and deliver a positive message about how they’re going to take the state in a new direction will probably be successful and the other ones won’t,” he said.

Thomas talked about the survey MBE Research conducted for WV CALA on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

Other findings from the survey, which focused on West Virginia’s legal climate, including the following:

– 38 percent said they believe lawsuit reforms would have a positive impact on the state’s economy and job market

– 53 percent support the creation of an intermediate appellate court

– 50 percent of those interested in the election said West Virginia has one of the worst legal systems in the United States

– 51 percent see lawsuits hurting job creation in the state

A total of 401 interviews with West Virginia voters were conducted from March 17-18.  Cell and landline respondents were questioned.  The survey has a 4.9 percent margin of error.

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  • flossrancher

    An opinion poll paid for by an organization with a stake in the results is not news. I was born in August, and if I had money to waste I could hire a polling company to prove that most people believe August is the best month to have a birthday. Then it looks like I could send the results to Shauna Johnson and she would put her name on it as a reporter, making it "news" by the standards of MetroNews.

  • james hicks

    To all out their that think jobs are importation look no farther than the Us house. Mrs. Moore has voted with the tea party on every vote to stop anything that could help workers. Look at her record, She just votes with what the party wants and never comes up with anything to help the people.

  • wv4ever

    This poll is so biased it is a joke! Just perfect for this Fox News site. I would not be surprised if Greg Thomas voted 401 times to get his number.

  • wv4evah

    A specious poll, and questionable results. The fact that the poll was sponsored by an advocacy group should in itself raise a red flag. It would be helpful to know HOW the respondents were chosen, and how the questions were phrased. The article itself itself seems to have been written from a press release.

  • Upset Senior Citizen

    Why will we keep electing people who spend more tax dollars ($147 million) than we take in to the state coffers and think they will get any better in WV?

    The Dominion Post never ever discusses it like The Wheeling Intelligencer does - why???

  • Brian

    Not surprising results. I feel the federal government is doing worse than WV. I guess I see our state leadership as a little better than the federalis in DC

  • Timeforrevolt

    Does this surprise any one? With the demos controlling the state government since biblical times with the same old way of thinking (tax & spend) with the same old tired ways and same old worn out ideals, what can we expect? The half that thinks things are great don't want to lose their monthly checks!

    • ole sasquatch


  • Mason County Contrarian


    Words are inadequate to describe this revelation! Why did we not see it before?

    An anti-lawsuit lobbying group uncovers the true ills of our state!

    Today's boogerman: lawsuits. I cannot wait to see who or what it could be tomorrow.

    Only a lobbying group could try to connect legal system redresses with "job creation". You mean to say that there are thousands upon thousands of possible jobs hinging on an individual's right to redress in a court of law? Only in our hope-starved state would someone resort to such tactics as trying to partner changes in jurisprudence with employment opportunities.

    Please give West Virginians more credit and more hope, but not at the expense of our legal system.

  • Jason R.

    Nothing will ever be fixed and no economic progress will ever be reached in WV as long as law firms, their trial lawyers and their lobbyists are running the legislature. If you think about it, almost every major problem in this country can be traced back to lawyers. For example, healthcare costs are so outrageously high because doctors pass on the costs of malpractice insurance on to the consumers. Malpractice insurance is so high because if you trip on the curb walking into the hospital some greedy, despicable lawyer will find a way to get you a $5 million settlement and take his or her 40% cut.

    • liberty4all

      Jason, where do you get your "facts" concerning malpractice insurance rates, healthcare costs, and the relationship to reform of our legal system? Please provide citations.

      I am puzzled because I have read that "legal reform" would only address a very small percentage of the increase in healthcare costs (something like 2%). I have also read that the states which have passed some form of "reform" (of which WV is one) have not experienced a corresponding decrease in insurance rates. I have also read that the number of lawsuits filed has gone down consistently year after year for the last 10 years or more yet there is no corresponding decrease in insurance rates. Finally, I have read articles which indicate that the number of deaths per year as a result of preventable medical error is astounding (so high that if these same number of deaths were from plane crashes we as a nation would have grounded all flights).

      I am a libertarian who firmly believes in the free market and supports a fiscally conservative government. However, what you seem to support is an infringement on my Constitutional rights (7th Amendment). It also seems to give a "pass" on responsibility for a few monied interests who can buy the influence to stack the deck (in this case the laws) in their favor. I was raised in a manner such that if I broke the neighbor's window with a baseball, even if by accident, I was marched right over there to apologize and pay for my mistakes. Why does the concept of accountability seem to be like kryptonite to groups like the US Chamber of Commerce (and, as a result, CALA). If your actions harm someone, you should be held accountable and if you are unwilling to be, you should be forced by our judicial system to repair the harm which you have caused.

      If companies do not want to come to West Virginia without a free pass to not be held accountable for their conduct, then so be it.

      • Darren McKinney

        What have you been reading, Bernie Layne, er, I mean, Liberty4All? Why don't you cite your sources? And as for "monied interests who can buy the influence to stack the deck," there's no more monied and influential interest in the Mountain State than the trial lawyers association you serve as its president.

        -Darren McKinney, American Tort Reform Association, Washington, D.C.

        • liberty4all

          Mr. McKinney:

          My full reply is being moderated by the site before publishing as it contains numerous citations to other published materials per your invitation. I did want you to leave your office knowing that I am not Mr. Layne. Why do you make these baseless claims? Is it because I don't agree with you and shed negative light on your poll and your organization? You epitomize corporate welfare and crony capitalism. You are just as bad, or worse, than attorneys. As a small business owner who has been forced to hire an attorney in the past when a large corporation tried to intimidate me with litigation, I can say that at least lawyers have done more for me and my business than your group ever has.

        • liberty4all

          Mr. McKinney,

          I am not Mr. Layne. Perhaps my wife would appreciate me being as young as he. I hardly believe Mr. Layne is a libertarian with fiscally conservative beliefs either. Perhaps if you actually paid attention to WV and this particular news site instead of trolling an article about a poll you helped manipulate, you would see I have posted on a wide range of topics before, not just the sham that is CALA and ATRA.

          I am a small business owner who tires of the US Chamber and the ATRA only looking out for big business and, in essence, wanting corporate welfare and crony capitalism. I also know personally another small business owner and member of his local chamber of commerce who was turned away from CALA's "Business Roundtable" discussion because he was not on their list. Why would CALA turn this man away as he clearly has something to contribute to the conversation?

          I see you didn't refute anything I said, perhaps because it is true? Oh well, if you can't attack the message, attack the messenger I guess. Sort of how you went after a decent, successful, smart conservative like Gov. Bobby Jindal and tried to paint him as a trial lawyer's dream (yes, I read the Daily Caller - don't agree with everything reported and prefer Reason/Nick Gillespie, but I saw your column from 2012). You're a lobbyist fighting for special treatment for your clients (in your case, Big Business). How are you different from Mr. Layne?

          As for my cites, here are a few:

 (you're probably familiar with this one as it mocks your organization)

          The Medical Malpractice Myth by Tom Baker (2005, Univ. of Chicago Press)

          I threw you a bone with the last one as that study suggests medical costs might increase due to the "fear" of lawsuits, not the actual results of lawsuits themselves. I also have to get back to running my business or I would be on here all day providing you with additional cites.

          Finally, Shadow, I am not yet convinced totally in a "loser pays" system as I suspect it would have harsh effects on the ability of the average joe to bring claims against the large monied interests who this system would truly favor. I have served on juries before and have known a few judges. Based on my own anecdotal experience, I would say that those cases that go to trial are rarely slam dunks for one side or the other. They are close calls which require a jury of our peers to decide. In a loser pays system I fear that these "close" cases, which often need to be brought to effect change, would not be brought for fear of having to pay the other sides' costs and attorney fees. Before I could get on board with loser pays, I would want to see existing mechanisms in the law actually enforced before we go changing our judicial system in a major way.

      • Shadow

        As a libertarian, I am sure you would have no problem with a "Loser Pays" system for torts. That would be a good start onTort Reform.

        • Darren McKinney


          Liberty4All is actually West Virginia trial lawyer association president Bernie Layne pretending to be a regular citizen. Of course, he and his ilk have had plenty of experience pretending to represent the "little guy" when, in fact, they're simply looking out for themselves.

          -Darren McKinney, American Tort Reform Association, Washington, D.C.

      • Max one wants to prohibit someone having their day in is the fact that little cliques of judges and lawyers who control the court systems in some of our counties do not play by the established rules...and thus it makes for the reputation we have in this state...we need an appellant court for the abuses those few perpetrators carry out to rape and pillage businesses for their own profit.

        • liberty4all

          Max, we have that already in the Supreme Court of Appeals. Any new "intermediate" court would cost millions of taxpayer money which we do not have at this time. Finally, it is not needed. According to the annual statistical report released by the WV Supreme Court, the number of appeals in 2012 declined to a 25 year low (with half of those cases being workers compensation, abuse and neglect, and criminal appeals. According to the National Center for State Courts, our decrease in the number of appeals is more than 3 times higher than the national average. With these statistics, it is hard to justify spending millions of taxpayer dollars to form an additional court.