HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall University and the West Virginia University College of Law have each received $1 million as part of a joint effort to develop consumer-related information and programming.
Both institutions receiving money to launch a Joint Consumer Assistance Project for West Virginians. Clarksburg consumer attorney David Romano led the efforts to make the donations possible. Romano is the lead counsel on the consumer class action case Swiger v. Amerigas, which involves 14,000 West Virginians.
“The goal of the joint project is to ensure all hard-working West Virginians will have resources available to protect their property and to be informed of their rights as consumers,” Romano said.
Damien Arthur, assistant professor of public administration and policy at Marshall University, will lead the efforts in Huntington. He said the issue of consumer rights is controversial.
“The Federal Consumer Rights Protection Bureau has struggled to maintain funding and leadership,” he said. “Folks need to know what they’re entitled to.”
The project will include establishing and maintaining a website with consumer information, as well as the development of a website to assist those who must represent themselves in consumer disputes.
“WVU’s law school really provides quality research on consumer protection, particularly in the state of West Virginia. They will do that research from a legal standpoint and a policy standpoint to some extent,” he said. “We’ll help out with that.”
Arthur said there is not a date set for when the website will become operational.