Some of the biggest tort lawyers in the state may have cemented West Virginia's reputation as a judicial hellhole. Their threat to sue taxpayers over the firing of Jorea Marple as state school superintendent is completely without merit.
The state Board of Education should fight, not settle, any lawsuit. Taxpayers cannot afford any out-of-court settlement to Marple or her attorneys.
Marple contended in a letter to the state board that she has "suffered humiliation" and "anguish," that "her right to enjoy life free from the unfounded action by the board has been impaired," and she has been "severely inconvenienced in her life."
This claim so lacks merit that the board should countersue for legal fees and punitive damages.
The state constitution makes it clear that the state board hires and fires the superintendent, with or without explanation.
"The West Virginia Board of Education shall in the manner prescribed by law, select the state superintendent of free schools who shall serve at its will and pleasure."
In light of that, Marple's threat to file a lawsuit unless she is given her $165,000-a-year job back, along with back wages, and unspecified damages is a nuisance suit aimed at the taxpayers of West Virginia.
Marple claims wrongful termination.