From Lacie Pierson in today’s Charleston Gazette-Mail:
The House of Delegates is advancing a bill that would remove the means for West Virginia workers and their families to seek financial relief beyond workers compensation insurance in the event they’re injured or killed due to negligence or indifference of their employers. . . .
The bill deals with part of workers compensation law that defines deliberate intent, which, in the case of existing law, refers to when an employer is aware of an unsafe working condition and doesn’t correct it, leading to a severe injury or death of an employee.
Under existing law, a person who is severely injured, or their family in the event the person dies, can file a lawsuit to receive some financial relief in addition to whatever support they receive from their employers’ workers compensation insurance policy.
If House Bill 4394 becomes law, it would eliminate that deliberate-intent portion of the law, which the Legislature previously articulated in 2015 to specify the threshold of injury and damage a person would have to suffer before their family could file a lawsuit for financial relief in addition to workers’ compensation.
(See also, West Virginia Metro News’ coverage.)
And guess who was there to support the bill?
I never underestimate Jenkins; he is one the state’s slimiest politicians. For example: back in the 2018 Republican senate primary, a Jenkins political ad featured a picture of his opponent in the Republican senatorial primary, Patrick Morrisey, that made it appear that Morrisey was personally congratulating Hillary Clinton. Of course, the picture had been photoshopped; in response, a Jenkins aide claimed it was "creative license." Additionally, that same year, he nominated Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize. (Yeah, I know.) Losing Jenkins from the WV Supreme Court is no loss, but I’ve already seen speculation that he’ll soon be running for a state office.