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West Virginia State University Designs Energy Management Concentration to Support West Virginia’s Growing Natural Gas Industry

By Briana J. Marino West Virginia State University has developed a new academic program designed to educate the next generation of oil and gas employees, developers, and industrialists in the Appalachian region. WVSU now offers a Concentration in Energy Management associated with its Bachelor of Science...

Judgment As Matter Of Law Granted In 1st Ethicon Pelvic Mesh Bellwether Trial

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — (Mealey’s) The first Ethicon pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation bellwether trial ended Feb. 18 when the judge granted the defendant’s motion for judgment as a matter of law ( In Re: Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No...

Babst Calland: Proposed Bill to Allow Unlimited Drilling Waste in West Virginia Landfills

By W. Brian Nickerson As reported in the Spirit of Jefferson newspaper, Senate Bill 474 , introduced in the West Virginia Senate on Monday, February 3, would amend W. Va. Code § 22-15-8 to allow commercial waste facilities to accept drill cuttings and associated hydraulic fracturing waste above...

Babst Calland: West Virginia Senate Passes Future Fund Bill

By Ben Milleville The West Virginia Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 461 , known as The Future Fund Bill, on February 21 st . The Bill, as described in an Associated Press story published in the Charleston Gazette, would create a new fund that would be financed by 25 percent of the severance...

Babst Calland: Natural Gas ’Forced Pooling’ Bill Currently Pending in West Virginia Legislature

By Briana J. Marino As reported in The Wheeling Intelligencer , the West Virginia Legislature continues to consider H.B. 4558 and S.B. 578 , which would allow oil and gas producers to create production units through “Forced Pooling.” If passed, such a law would allow natural gas producers...

Babst Calland: West Virginia Cracker Plant Could Have Multibillion Dollar Impact on State Economy

By W. Brian Nickerson As reported in the Pittsburgh Business Times , the proposed ethane cracker plant near Parkersburg, West Virginia, could potentially have a multi-billion dollar positive effect on the state’s economy. Emeritus Professor of Economics Tom S. Witt of West Virginia University...

Babst Calland: Advocates From Pa., Ohio, West Virginia Urge Common Approach To Shale Gas Taxation

By Joshua F. Hall As reported by Pittsburgh’s NPR News Station, 90.5 WESA, three advocacy groups, Leaders of Policy Matters Ohio, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, and the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy, sent a letter to the governors of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Court Ruling a Victory for Kentucky Pipeline Eminent Domain Opponents

By J. Kevin West On March 25, 2014, a Circuit Court in Kentucky ruled in favor of those opposed to an interstate natural gas liquids (“NGLs”) pipeline’s potential use of eminent domain under the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The interstate pipeline is not subject to regulation...

Babst Calland: Natural Gas Fueled Powerplant Planned for Marshall County, West Virginia

By Morgan Condra Plans by Moundsville Power LLC to build a natural gas power plant were approved by members of the Marshall County Commission on April 22, 2014. The proposed 549 megawatt natural gas power plant is considered the first “downstream” project of its kind in West Virginia,...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: False Billing Leads To Record Settlement In Medicare/Medicaid Fraud Case

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia has announced a record $4.675 million settlement with a medical lab for false billings to Medicare and to West Virginia Medicaid. R. Booth Goodwin, of Charleston, WV, said in his press release that Calloway Laboratories of Woburn,...

WV’s High Court Upholds State Public Policy Violation For Fired Employee Who Refused to Retaliate Against a Co-Worker Who Filed His Own Discrimination Claim

by Julie Arbore As West Virginia employers are undoubtedly aware, there is a cause of action in the state commonly known as a “ Harless claim” for wrongful discharge when an employee can show that his or her discharge contravenes some substantial public policy of the State of West Virginia...

MDL Jury Awards $3.27 Million In 2nd Ethicon Pelvic Mesh Trial

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — (Mealey’s) A West Virginia federal jury on Sept. 5 returned a $3.27 million verdict in the second Ethicon Inc. multidistrict litigation pelvic mesh bellwether trial (Jo Huskey, et al. v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., No. 2:12-5201, S.D. W.Va.). After deliberating for less...

Babst Calland: Magnum Hunter’s West Virginia 'Monster Well' the Largest Utica Well Drilled to Date

By Sarah Carter As reported by Columbus Business First and NGI’s Shale Daily , Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation’s first Utica well in West Virginia has reported production of 46.5 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, thereby rendering the Stewart Winland 1300U well in Tyler County...

Babst Calland: Southwestern Energy to Acquire 413,000 Acres in West Virginia and Pennsylvania from Chesapeake Energy

By Scott K. McKernan Southwestern Energy Co. announced that it has signed a deal to acquire 413,000 net acres in West Virginia and Pennsylvania from Chesapeake Energy Corp. for $5.375 billion, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times . This acquisition includes 256 producing and 179 unoperated or nonproducing...

Babst Calland: Mountaineer Keystone LLC Finalizes Acquisition of PDC Mountaineer LLC

By W. Brian Nickerson As reported by the Pittsburgh Business Times on October 15, 2014, Wexford-based Marcellus driller Mountaineer Keystone LLC has finalized its acquisition of joint-venture partner PDC Mountaineer LLC for a reported sale price of $500 million. PDC Mountaineer was created in 2009...

Babst Calland: Sunoco Moves Forward With Marcellus/Utica Pipeline

By Elena L. Rorabaugh Fox Business reported that Sunoco Logistics Partners will invest $2.5 billion in the Mariner East 2 pipeline, which will carry natural gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays to an East Coast port. Mariner East 2 will connect processing plants in Pennsylvania, West...

Babst Calland: West Virginia University Announces Launch of Field Laboratory for the Long-Term Study of Shale Gas Production Operations

By Christopher "Kip" Power West Virginia University recently announced that it will be establishing the “Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory,” at a site in the Morgantown Industrial Park near the WVU campus. The laboratory is being funded as part of a five-year...

Babst Calland: Labor and Employment Professor’s Study Shows that the Marcellus Shale has Boosted the Construction Industry

By Marc J. Felezzola According to a report in the Pittsburgh Business Times , Robert Bruno , a labor and employment relations professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has determined that the shale fields in Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and Northern West Virginia are a strong...

W.Va. Jury Finds Spoliation Of Evidence, Awards $155,000 Against Actos Manufacturer Takeda

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — (Mealey’s) A West Virginia state court jury on Nov. 17 found that Actos is not unsafe and that manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. was not negligent in the case of a man who developed bladder cancer while taking the diabetes drug, but the panel did find spoliation...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: W. Va. Residential Homeowner Can Recover Costs of Repairs Even If Greater Than Fair Market Value of House

By Eric J. Hulett, Member Until recently, owners of damaged homes in West Virginia had some limits on the amount of damages they could recover in a lawsuit. Now, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has significantly revised prior case law and expanded available damages in Brooks et al v. City...

March 2014 Jury Verdict Round-Up: Top 5 Personal Injury Verdicts

During February 2014, the attorney editors on the LexisNexis Jury Verdict team covered several notable personal injury verdicts from across the country. We’ve come up with an informal list of the top five cases that really captured our attention this past month. If you are interested in submitting...

In Case You Were Getting Comfortable With the Timing of Final Paychecks…

by Kaitlin L. Hillenbrand The West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act is the law that governs the way employees are paid upon separation from their employment in West Virginia. That Act has been in a state of flux recently. If you are an employer, you probably know that you used to have to pay...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Fayette County, W. Va., Commission Amends Code to Require Local Approval for UIC Wells

Operators of future underground injection wells in Fayette County, West Virginia will be required to obtain a permit from the county approving the placement of the well. The County Commission amended the development code to require permits for underground injection control (UIC) wells. A public hearing...

Supreme Court Lets Stand West Virginia Ruling Striking Plaintiffs’ Tobacco Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court on June 8 declined to review a ruling by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals rejecting the claims of more than 1,000 state residents against the tobacco industry ( Ronald Accord, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al. , No. 14...

Babst Calland: Gov. Tomblin Forms The West Virginia Commission On Oil And Natural Gas Industry Safety

By Briana J. Marino On July 9, 2015, Governor Tomblin announced the formation and appointment of members to the West Virginia Commission on Oil and Natural Gas Industry Safety. Publicized during Governor Tomblin’s State of the State address in early 2015, the Commission is charged with “reviewing...