Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

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Stacy Stevens, the personal representative of her late husband, Scott Stevens, filed suit on behalf of Scott’s estate against MTR Gaming Group, Inc. and International Game Technology, Inc. after Scott allegedly developed “gambling disorder,” embezzled more than $7 million from his employer to play video lottery machines, spent his family’s savings, and fatally shot himself. Stacy brought claims for negligence, breach of the duty of care, products liability, wrongful death, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint for failing to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. The federal district court certified to the Supreme Court questions of law relevant to resolving the motions. The Supreme Court answered the first certified question in the negative and declined to answer, as effectively moot, the remaining certified questions, holding that no duty of care under West Virginia law exists on the part of manufacturers of video lottery terminals, or the casinos in which the terminals are located, to protect users from compulsively gambling. View "Stevens v. MTR Gaming Group, Inc." on Justia Law

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Jarred Wellman, a West Virginia resident, was killed in a one-car rollover crash in West Virginia. Jarred was operating a 2002 Ford Explorer at the time of the accident. Plaintiff, a West Virginia resident and the father and administrator of Jarred’s estate, filed a complaint in the Circuit Court of Wyoming County against Ford Motor Company alleging product liability, negligence, and breach of warranty. Ford filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction on the grounds that it was a nonresident corporation. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss. Ford requested the Supreme Court to issue a writ of prohibition seeking dismissal from the underlying action. The Supreme Court granted the requested writ as moulded, holding (1) Ford has not shown that it is entitled to extraordinary relief whereby the Court would dismiss it from the underlying civil action; but (2) Ford’s assertions regarding its challenge to jurisdiction are of such a significant nature that the parties are entitled to an opportunity to develop the record and submit argument to be considered and determined by the circuit court. View "State ex rel. Ford Motor Co. v. Hon. Warren R. McGraw" on Justia Law