Legal Services

Mass Tort & Class Action

Varner & Van Volkenburg, PLLC

WV Mass Tort and Class Action Defense

In West Virginia (WV), when several people claim to be injured by a company’s actions, they may bring a mass tort or class action lawsuit to recover their damages. The attorneys at Varner & Van Volkenburg, PLLC provide experienced WV mass tort and class action defense for our business clients facing these complex cases in state and federal courts throughout West Virginia and on appeal to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

 Multi-plaintiff cases can vary from personal injury and toxic tort claims to bad faith allegations against insurers. If you are named in one of these cases or another type of mass tort case, you need to work with an experienced and responsive legal team with a reputation for fighting mass tort and class action claims in WV.

How WV Mass Tort and Class Action Defense Works: Part I – Mass Tort Basics

A mass tort action may be brought by a group of plaintiffs who claim they were all injured as a result of one specific incident or one particular product. Traditionally, each plaintiff would file a separate claim, but numerous claims relating to the same incident would overwhelm the court system and the defendant. Mass tort rules allow several plaintiffs to join their actions into one lawsuit if they have similar complaints against the same defendant.

West Virginia mass tort rules, found at West Virginia Trial Court Rule 26, specify five types of cases that may be brought when common questions of law or fact occur under any of the following circumstances:

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A mass accident or a single event that injures numerous people

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A “personal injury mass tort” affecting many people and related to a mass-produced or widely available product

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A “property damage mass tort” dealing with replacement or repair of an allegedly defective product

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An “economic loss” claiming consumer fraud or warranty actions

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Multiple claims against multiple defendants based on nuisance or a similar property damage theory

If you have been named as a defendant in a mass tort lawsuit, you need a Clarksburg mass tort litigation lawyer on your side to protect your rights and the future of your business.  These types of cases can often become “bet the company” litigation and it is critical to have counsel that understands the nuanced issues that these claims present.

Understanding Class Action Cases

Class action lawsuits differ from mass tort cases in several ways. Pursuant to Rule 23(a) of the WV Rules of Civil Procedure, a class action may be filed if it meets all of the following four parameters:

  1. The class of plaintiffs is so large that joining all plaintiffs’ separate cases is impracticable
  2. The same questions of law or fact apply to all of the plaintiffs in the class
  3. The party named as class representative has the same claims or defenses as the rest of the class
  4. The class representative will protect the other class members’ interests fairly and adequately

At Varner & Van Volkenburg, PLLC, our team understands these legal requirements. Applying them to your circumstances. we can create a realistic approach to defending your case, taking into account the cost of litigation and the potential risks each claim presents.

Why You Need a WV Mass Tort and Class Action Defense Attorney

Facing mass tort and class action cases can be overwhelming and expensive for the company named as a defendant. Our goal as WV mass tort and class action defense attorneys is to provide our clients with the most cost-effective, successful resolution of these claims based on the client’s best interests. Depending on the facts of the case and the client, potential strategies may involve a full-blown trial or an early settlement using alternative dispute resolution.

Complicated rules govern these large cases. Specifically, Rule 23 of the WV Rules of Civil Procedure deals with class action matters, while WV Trial Court Rule 26 addresses mass tort litigation. If you are facing one of these multi-party lawsuits, it’s critical to have legal counsel that understands these rules and how they affect your case.

Not All Litigators Are WV Mass Tort and Class Action Defense Attorneys—But We Are

Most civil defense litigators have never handled a case with multiple plaintiffs and don’t have the experience needed to protect a defendant in these types of lawsuits. When it comes to a high profile, large damages case, a WV mass tort and class action attorney like those at Varner & Van Volkenburg, PLLC is essential.

If your company is facing a lawsuit brought by multiple plaintiffs, you need a law firm that understands the intricacies of WV mass tort and class action defense. Call the offices of Varner & Van Volkenburg, PLLC at (304) 918-2840 or email Jeff Van Volkenburg or Deb Varner at jdvanvolkenburg@vv-wvlaw and dtvarner@vv-wvlaw.com, respectively.

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360 Washington Avenue
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26301

Contact Us

360 Washington Avenue
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26301