CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The president of the West Virginia Association for Justice, a group made up of trial attorneys, is dismissing a recent poll from West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse.
“Every time they run a poll, they run a push poll. They ask questions that are designed to elicit a specific answer,” said Bernie Layne with the law firm of Mani, Ellis & Layne. “They won’t show us their poll. They won’t show us their sample size. They won’t tell us what they’re questions are.”
In the poll MBE Research conducted for WV CALA, 98 percent of respondents listed jobs and the economy as their top priorities and 48 percent said they did not think those issues were adequately addressed during the 2014 Regular Legislative Session.
The survey, which largely focused on West Virginia’s legal climate, also found 38 percent of those participating said they believe lawsuit reforms would have a positive impact on the state’s economy and job market, while 53 percent supported the creation of an intermediate court and 51 percent said lawsuits hurt job creation in West Virginia.
Layne said the source of the poll should be considered. “Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse touts themselves to be a grassroots organization. They’re not,” said Layne.
“What they are is an astroturf organization that’s comprised of corporations that include tobacco, insurance, oil and gas, chemical and pharmaceutical companies, medical associations, automobile manufacturers.”
A total of 401 interviews with West Virginia voters were conducted from March 17-18 for the WV CALA poll. According to MBE Research, the survey has a 4.9 percent margin of error.