West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

The Lion's Roar

This past July I had the great pleasure to become a member of the Lions Club International.  I joined the Moundsville, West Virginia club.  My grandfather had previously been a member of the Lions and I had previously known many others who were members, but I really did not know much about the club beyondThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Jeremy McGraw small portrait headshot.jpg generally knowing about its work with vision issues.  I was asked to join by a man that I respect very much and whom I have gotten to know since I moved to the Northern Panhandle, Gary Rider.   I met Gary through church and because his family has been friends with my in-laws for many years.  Gary was a teacher in Marshall County prior to his well deserved retirement and has long been active in community involvement clubs and events.  Gary encouraged me to take a look at the club and see if I liked what I saw.   I wanted to become more active and meet more people in the community so I attended several meetings as guest before formally joining.

A Leap Of Faith, Part Deux

Last Saturday, I stood on top of a building, I thought of my children. I thought CarrieBldg (2).jpegabout my friends. I thought about my life. And, with one deep breath, I stepped off the ledge.

This wasn't a suicidal mission. This was for charity and to help the women of the YWCA of Wheeling. The "Over the Edge" program consisted of individuals raising money to rappel over the Stone Center in Wheeling to support the YWCA and its purpose.

All Eyes Are On Ferguson, Missouri

For the past week or so, the attention of the nation has been focused on the events in Ferguson, Missouri, in the aftermath of the shooting death of 18 year-oldjea.jpg Michael Brown. While there are relatively few undisputed facts known thus far, we do know that Brown was shot six times by Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson PD. Accounts of what actually precipitated the shooting vary wildly. One account has Brown essentially being executed while attempting to surrender with his hands in the air, while another has Brown being killed after attacking the officer and trying to take his gun. An investigation is underway, and the entire nation is watching.

As always seems to happen when a tragedy like this hits the national news, social media has exploded with reactions covering the entire spectrum of possibilities. One side argues that Brown was a law-breaking, drug-selling thug who got what he was certainly going to get at some point in his young life, while the other screams that this is yet another case of an out-of-control, power-crazed, ticking time bomb of a police officer over-reacting to what should have been a routine situation. The fact is that the investigation is ongoing, and until it has been completed we really won't know what happened or, perhaps more importantly, why it happened.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Until last Sunday morning, I was one of those people who thought the Ice Bucket Corey P.jpgChallenge was silly and annoying. I could not believe how many times my husband could scroll through Facebook and watch people dump ice water over their heads. When I would see video clips in my own Facebook feed, I would not watch them for two reasons - because I was bothered by the fact that my friends had little else to post and because I was hoping no one would nominate me. I was also disappointed that people would rather douse themselves in freezing water than donate to a good cause. Those feelings came to an abrupt halt last Sunday morning when I happened to catch a feature on ESPN about Pete Frates. 

Let the Tans Fade

As I was given the opportunity to intern at Bordas & Bordas this summer, I knew skin cancer awareness.jpgthat I would be facing a new way of life, a way of life that many refer to as "the real world." I knew things in my life would change, like sleeping in no later than 7:30 a.m., being in bed by 10:30 p.m., and not having eight hours a day to do whatever I please. One thing that really got to me was that I had no time to catch some rays and lay by the pool as much as I had in the past. As my friends were all enjoying the sun and comparing tans, I was getting paler and paler. So, just like any other person my age, I made appointments at the local tanning salon and soon enough had some color. I thought, "What's the big deal? I have been tanning for homecomings, proms and weddings since I was in high school."

The problem with my generation is that we all think that we are invincible. We see things like car wrecks, drugs and alcohol abuse and think, "That will never happen to me." The more I think about that statement, I find that I think the exact same thing when it comes to putting myself under the florescent, ultra-violet rays. If you haven't figured out where I am headed with this entry, I am talking about skin cancer. Did you know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States? That more than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually? Or that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer over the course of a lifetime? If not, skincancer.org can inform you of these statistics and more.

Invitation to Have Fun and Get Exercise

Well, in my world, summer is officially over. Sure, there are a few more summer Linda Scaggs.jpgdays on the calendar, but the Bordas & Bordas bowling league begins on Tuesday August 26, 2014 at 6:10 p.m. at St. Clair Lanes. This signals the end of my summer, since I am secretary of that league. I am also President of the United USBC Board of Directors, so I like to encourage other women to join our sport.

I gave those League details because we are in desperate need of bowlers - first time bowlers, experienced bowlers, old bowlers or young bowlers (18 or older), we don't care. The Bordas & Bordas league has bowlers from 21 years of age to those in their 80's, with averages from under 100 to over 200 (I fall right in the middle). We are the largest league in our United Bowling Association with 17 teams of five women. Well, five is how many a team is supposed to have, but this year some teams only have three or four bowlers.

New Studies Raise Additional Concerns Regarding the Health and Environmental Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing

As hydraulic fracturing continues its march as the darling of natural gas drilling Zak Zatezalo small portrait headshot.jpghere in the Ohio Valley, so does the evidence of its potential to induce harm to humans and the environment. The uncertainties of the health risks associated with horizontal drilling, using massive amounts of water, pressure and certain hazardous chemicals to break down shale formations for natural gas extraction, has pushed countries worldwide to proactively regulate the use of this technology, such as a temporary ban in Germany in 2012 and a ban in France in 2011. While industry mouthpieces continue to reassure the public that all is well and there's nothing to be concerned about, ongoing research continues to suggest that these countries' efforts are well-founded, and two recent studies provide mounting evidence that we all need to be concerned about the knock-on effects of the Ohio Valley's natural gas boom.

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that looked at over 41,000 wells in Pennsylvania shows that newer and unconventional wells leak far more often than older and traditional ones. The results suggest that leaks of methane could be a problem for drilling across the nation. A team of four scientists analyzed more than 75,000 state inspections of gas wells done in Pennsylvania since 2000.
Overall "traditional", or vertical, wells drilled before 2009 had a leak rate of about 1 percent, while newer traditional wells drilled after 2009 had a leak rate of about 2 percent. However, the leak rate for "unconventional" wells - those being drilled horizontally in the Ohio Valley's fracking boom - was as high as 10 percent. Even more concerning is that the scientists don't know the size of the leaks or even their causes, but suspicion that companies are cutting corners amidst this drilling boom was strong enough to cause Pennsylvania to increase its efforts to stress proper cementing practices and make leak protection efforts on unconventional wells more stringent.

Adopt-A-Highway Update: The Second Clean Up Was Held on Sunday, June 22, 2014

I participated in the second of the three required Adopt-A-Highway clean ups for 2014 in memory of Stephanie K. Ward Stahl. I missed the first clean-up which wasStephanie K Ward-Stahl (3).jpg held on April 13, 2014 due to a prior commitment. I did chat with my friend, Sandra Ward Miller, Stephanie's Mom, at the clean-up. She mentioned that the April clean up only took an hour because there were so many volunteers. That truly shows the devotion of all the volunteers who consisted of family, friends, etc. It makes me very proud of the people in our little corner of the world. I'm just sorry that the reason that brings them all together is because a young person was taken away from her family and friends way too soon. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason in our lives. What that reason is in this particular incident, I do not know.

If I Could Keep You Little

A little over five years ago, my world changed. Allison Jo McGraw was born on July Allie 1.jpg2, 2009. While she wasn't born on the 4th of July, she did come home from the hospital on Independence Day which is quite fitting. Allie, from early on, has been fiercely independent in her own thoughts and opinions. She is strong willed, beautiful and loving. Even though it is very cliché, I could never have imagined the effect she would have on my life. Allie was the first little girl born on my side of the McGraw family in 60 years. You can imagine the disbelief from my parents when we found out that she would be a girl. I will always remember my quiet and reserved mother screaming over the phone "MIKE, PICK UP THE PHONE," to get my Dad to hear the news. From that time forward our lives exploded into a blur of pinks and purples. We picked the name Allison very quickly and knew we wanted to call her Allie. Her middle name, Jo, wasallie 2.jpg not selected so quickly. My wife wanted Allie's middle name to be Elizabeth and I preferred Jo. Jo is also Amanda's middle name. As we neared the due date Amanda told me I could go ahead and pick the middle name and whatever I chose would be fine. I now know, after telling the nurse to putAllison Jo on the birth certificate, that Amanda fully believed that I would pick Elizabeth after watching her go through labor.She was wrong. While Amanda has come around on the name Jo, I did not get the final choice for our second daughter, Lauren Elizabeth's name.

recent verdicts & news

Winning Experience: Read about our Appellate Decisions, as well as our Verdicts and Settlements.  Recent cases: Kilgore v. Bedi , (Ohio County, West Virginia, 2013) - Medical Malpractice, Personal Injuries - nearly $900,000 Verdict -- Turkoly v. Gentile et al. , Verdict, $5,100,000.00 (Medical Malpractice, Mahoning County, Ohio, 2013) -- Cox v. Personal Service Insurance Company , (Belmont County, Ohio, 2012) - Bad Faith Insurance Practices - $10,000,000.00 Verdict;