The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

October 4, 2012

Our Readers Speak — Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012


W.Va. needs more jobs, not more lawsuits

This week (Oct. 1-5) marks Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week nationwide, and there is perhaps no other state in the nation where it is more appropriate to reflect on the impact lawsuit abuse has on our daily lives than here in West Virginia. That’s because our state continues to earn the unfortunate ranking of worst lawsuit climate in the nation.  

These national rankings, as unpopular as they may be for many West Virginians, merely echo what significant job providers are already telling us — West Virginia has too many lawsuits and our court system just doesn’t compare to neighboring states.

While state lawmakers have taken some steps to address issues with our state legal system, it is clear that we haven’t done enough. With nearly half of the states passing meaningful legal reform measures last year alone, the Mountain State is actually falling further behind.

West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse encourages local residents to think about what matters most for their families and friends — more jobs or more lawsuits?  

We’ve witnessed firsthand what life is like as a “Judicial Hellhole” for the last decade, and it isn’t pretty. Our state ranks poorly for job creation and household incomes.  

It’s about time we finally choose more jobs, and not more lawsuits. It’s a choice that will ultimately benefit all West Virginians.

Richie Heath

Executive Director

W.Va. Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse,

Charleston

 



SRJ staff works hard, is very competent

This is a response to the “No Excuse” editorial that ran in The Register-Herald on Tuesday, Sept. 25.

I recently came out of retirement and worked one month at the Southern Regional Jail. I previously retired from the Mount Olive Correctional Complex with eight years of service, so I am very familiar with corrections and “inmate games.”

I can personally testify that the administration, shift commanders, training personnel and officers at SRJ are very competent and in control of all aspects of the Southern Regional Jail. Being an officer is very stressful; and as the lawyer who was mentioned in the article is aware, anyone can file a lawsuit.

Every day an officer is approached by a female inmate and told if he doesn’t bring tobacco in for the inmate, she will say he traded her tobacco for sex; or he is falsely accused of using excessive force by male inmates.

On my first day as an officer at SRJ, I was told by a female inmate that I would probably be their next victim.

I don’t know if Officer Wilson is guilty or not. I never saw him do anything illegal while I was working with him at SRJ.

Southern Regional Jail is very fortunate to have the quality of personnel they have considering their pay, the stress and the long hours they have to work. One thing that would help with the female inmate problem would be better pay to make the job more attractive to hire more female officers.

I would also remind you that SRJ employees have rights, and accusations are not convictions.

Charlie Myers

Victor