The Daily Mail's Feb. 11 editorial, "Like suing carmakers for operator error," underscores the absurdity of the Kanawha County Commission's recent scheme to essentially deputize personal injury lawyers to file lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies.
This is exactly how former Attorney General Darrell McGraw abused his office to reward his campaign contributors with lucrative state lawsuits.
One of the great inconsistencies in this county commission action is that municipalities across the country regularly pay out huge taxpayer-funded awards and settlements because of lawsuits with similar circumstances.
Consider these two statements: "You made the pill, so I'm suing you for my drug abuse" and "You built the road, so I'm suing you for my drunken driving accident."
For variety, replace "drunken driving" with "driving while texting" or "high-speed." It happens regularly.
As the Daily Mail notes, "West Virginia's habit of shaking down corporations" helps to "create the state's reputation as a judicial hellhole." West Virginia has been on the American Tort Reform Association's "Judicial Hellhole" list for 10 consecutive years.
Career politicians in county government should not resort to "jackpot justice" to generate revenue. It's time to fix our broken legal system, not to make things worse.
West Virginia needs more jobs, not more government-sponsored lawsuits.
Thomas is executive director at West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse.