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Chapter 55     Entire Code
‹ Chapter 54  |  Chapter 56 › Printer Friendly Versions
Chapter 55  |  Article 55 - 7  |  Section 5
WVC 55- CHAPTER 55. ACTIONS, SUITS AND ARBITRATION;
JUDICIAL SALE.

WVC -7- ARTICLE 7. ACTIONS FOR INJURIES.

WVC 55-7-1 §55-7-1. Seduction.
An action for seduction may be maintained, without any allegation of proof of the loss of the service of the female by reason of the defendant's wrongful act.

WVC 55-7-2 §55-7-2. Insulting words.
All words which, from their usual construction and common acceptation, are construed as insults and tend to violence and breach of the peace, shall be actionable. No demurrer shall preclude a jury from passing thereon.

WVC 55-7-3 §55-7-3. Unlawful seizure or attachment.
If the property be distrained for any rent not due, or attached for any rent not accruing, or taken under any attachment sued out without good cause, the owner of such property may, in an action against the party suing out the warrant of distress or attachment, recover damages for the wrongful seizure, and also, if the property be sold, for the sale thereof.

WVC 55-7-4 §55-7-4. Action of replevin abolished.
No action of replevin shall be hereafter brought.

WVC 55-7-5 §55-7-5. Action for death by wrongful act.
Whenever the death of a person shall be caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default, and the act, neglect or default is such as would (if death had not ensued) have entitled the party injured to maintain an action to recover damages in respect thereof, then, and in every such case, the person who, or the corporation which, would have been liable if death had not ensued, shall be liable to an action for damages, notwithstanding the death of the person injured, and although the death shall have been caused under such circumstances as amount in law to murder in the first or second degree, or manslaughter. No action, however, shall be maintained by the personal representative of one who, not an infant, after injury, has compromised for such injury and accepted satisfaction therefor previous to his death. Any right of action which may hereafter accrue by reason of such injury done to the person of another shall survive the death of the wrongdoer, and may be enforced against the executor or administrator, either by reviving against such personal representative a suit which may have been brought against the wrongdoer himself in his lifetime, or by bringing an original suit against his personal representative after his death, whether or not the death of the wrongdoer occurred before or after the death of the injured party.

WVC 55-7-6 §55-7-6. By whom action for wrongful death to be brought; amount and distribution of damages; period of limitation.
(a) Every such action shall be brought by and in the name of the personal representative of such deceased person who has been duly appointed in this state, or in any other state, territory or district of the United States, or in any foreign country, and the amount recovered in every such action shall be recovered by said personal representative and be distributed in accordance herewith. If the personal representative was duly appointed in another state, territory or district of the United States, or in any foreign country, such personal representative shall, at the time of filing of the complaint, post bond with a corporate surety thereon authorized to do business in this state, in the sum of one hundred dollars, conditioned that such personal representative shall pay all costs adjudged against him or her and that he or she shall comply with the provisions of this section. The circuit court may increase or decrease the amount of said bond, for good cause.

(b) In every such action for wrongful death, the jury, or in a case tried without a jury, the court, may award such damages as to it may seem fair and just, and, may direct in what proportions the damages shall be distributed to the surviving spouse and children, including adopted children and stepchildren, brothers, sisters, parents and any persons who were financially dependent upon the decedent at the time of his or her death or would otherwise be equitably entitled to share in such distribution after making provision for those expenditures, if any, specified in subdivision (2), subsection (c) of this section. If there are no such survivors, then the damages shall be distributed in accordance with the decedent's will or, if there is no will, in accordance with the laws of descent and distribution as set forth in chapter forty-two of this code. If the jury renders only a general verdict on damages and does not provide for the distribution thereof, the court shall distribute the damages in accordance with the provisions of this subsection.

(c) (1) The verdict of the jury shall include, but may not be limited to, damages for the following: (A) Sorrow, mental anguish, and solace which may include society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices and advice of the decedent; (B) compensation for reasonably expected loss of (i) income of the decedent, and (ii) services, protection, care and assistance provided by the decedent; (C) expenses for the care, treatment and hospitalization of the decedent incident to the injury resulting in death; and (D) reasonable funeral expenses.

(2) In its verdict the jury shall set forth separately the amount of damages, if any, awarded by it for reasonable funeral, hospital, medical and said other expenses incurred as a result of the wrongful act, neglect or default of the defendant or defendants which resulted in death, and any such amount recovered for such expenses shall be so expended by the personal representative.

(d) Every such action shall be commenced within two years after the death of such deceased person, subject to the provisions of section eighteen, article two, chapter fifty-five. The provisions of this section shall not apply to actions brought for the death of any person occurring prior to the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred eighty-eight.

WVC 55-7-7 §55-7-7. Compromise of claim for death by wrongful act.
The personal representative of the deceased may compromise any claim to damages arising under section five of this article before or after action brought. What is received by the personal representative under the compromise shall be treated as if recovered by him in an action under the section last mentioned. When the judge acts in vacation, he shall return all the papers in the case, and orders made therein, to the clerk's office of such court. The clerk shall file the papers in his office as soon as received, and forthwith enter the order in the order book on the law side of the court. Such orders, and all the proceedings in vacation, shall have the same force and effect as if made or had in term. Upon approval of the compromise, the court shall apportion and distribute such damages, or the compromise agreed upon, after making provisions for those expenditures, if any, specified in subdivision (2), subsection (c), section six of this article, in the same manner as in the cases tried without a jury.

WVC 55-7-8 §55-7-8. Personal injury action where injuries result in death.
Where an action is brought by a person injured for damage caused by the wrongful act, neglect or default of any person or corporation, and the person injured dies as a result thereof, the action shall not abate by reason of his or her death but, his or her death being suggested, it may be revived in the name of his or her personal representative, and the complaint shall be amended so as to conform to an action under sections five and six of this article, and the case proceeded with as if the action had been brought under said sections. Additionally a separate and distinct cause of action may be brought, and if brought, shall be joined in the same proceeding for damages incurred between the time of injury and death where not otherwise provided for in said sections five and six. In either case there shall be but one recovery for each element of damages: Provided, That nothing in this section shall be construed in derogation of the provisions of section twelve of this article.

WVC 55-7-8a §55-7-8a. Actions which survive; limitations; law governing such actions.
(a) In addition to the causes of action which survive at common law, causes of action for injuries to property, real or personal, or injuries to the person and not resulting in death, or for deceit or fraud, also shall survive; and such actions may be brought notwithstanding the death of the person entitled to recover or the death of the person liable.

(b) If any such action is begun during the lifetime of the injured party, and within the period of time permissible under the applicable statute of limitations as provided by articles two and two-a of this chapter, (either against the wrongdoer or his personal representative), and such injured party dies pending the action it may be revived in favor of the personal representative of such injured party and prosecuted to judgment and execution against the wrongdoer or his personal representative.

(c) If the injured party dies before having begun any such action and it is not at the time of his death barred by the applicable statute of limitations under the provisions of articles two and two-a of this chapter, such action may be begun by the personal representative of the injured party against the wrongdoer or his personal representative and prosecuted to judgment and execution against the wrongdoer or his personal representative. Any such action shall be instituted within the same period of time that would have been applicable had the injured party not died.

(d) If any such action mentioned in the preceding subsections (a), (b) and/or (c) shall have been begun against the wrongdoer and he or she dies during the pendency thereof, it may be revived against the personal representative of the wrongdoer and prosecuted to judgment and execution.

(e) The applicable provisions of article eight, chapter fifty-six of this code shall govern the actions hereinabove mentioned, with reference to their abatement, revival, discontinuance, reinstatement and substitution of parties.

(f) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to extend the time within which an action for any other tort shall be brought, nor to give the right to assign a claim for a tort not otherwise assignable.

WVC 55-7-9 §55-7-9. Violation of statutes.
Any person injured by the violation of any statute may recover from the offender such damages as he may sustain by reason of the violation, although a penalty or forfeiture for such violation be thereby imposed, unless the same be expressly mentioned to be in lieu of such damages.

WVC 55-7-10 §55-7-10. Trespass abolished; trespass on the case to lie in lieu thereof.
The action of trespass is abolished. In all cases in which an action of trespass could have been maintained an action of trespass on the case shall lie.

WVC 55-7-11 §55-7-11. Suits against unincorporated common carriers.
Where common carriers are not incorporated, any one or more of them may be sued by his or their name or names only, to recover damages for loss of, or injury to, any parcel, package, or person; and such suit shall not abate for the want of joining any of the coproprietors, or copartners.

WVC 55 - 7 - 11 A §55-7-11a. Settlement, release or statement within twenty days after personal injury; disavowal; certain expressions of sympathy inadmissible as evidence.
(a) If a person sustains a personal injury, no person shall within twenty days from the date of the personal injury while the injured person is either: (i) An inpatient in any hospital; or (ii) partially or totally unable to engage in his or her usual trade, profession or occupation:

(1) Negotiate or attempt to negotiate a settlement of any claim for such personal injury with or for and on behalf of the injured person;

(2) Obtain or attempt to obtain from the injured person a partial or general release of liability for such injury; or

(3) Obtain or attempt to obtain any statement, either written or oral, from the injured person for use in negotiating a settlement or obtaining a partial or general release of liability with respect to the personal injury: Provided, That nothing herein shall prohibit a person acting or intending to act for and on behalf of the injured person from obtaining any statement, oral or written, from an injured person upon the express request of the injured person.

Nothing herein shall prevent a person who may be liable for damages on account of the personal injury from making an advance payment of all or any part of his or her liability for the damages; any sum paid during the twenty days by a person liable for damages on account of the personal injury is allowed as full credit against any damages which may be finally determined to be due an injured person.

Any settlement, release of liability or statement entered into, obtained or made in violation of this section may be disavowed by the injured person at any time within one hundred eighty days from the date of the personal injury by executing a written statement of disavowal and thereupon forwarding a copy of the same to the person violating this section, in which event the settlement, release or statement may not be admissible in evidence for any purpose in any court or other proceeding relating to the personal injury, if any consideration paid for the settlement of or the general release of liability for the personal injury, at the time of the forwarding of the copy of the written statement of disavowal, is repaid or returned to the person who paid the consideration.

(b) (1) No statement, affirmation, gesture or conduct of a healthcare provider who provided healthcare services to a patient, expressing apology, sympathy, commiseration, condolence, compassion or a general sense of benevolence, to the patient, a relative of the patient or a representative of the patient and which relate to the discomfort, pain, suffering, injury or death of the patient shall be admissible as evidence of an admission of liability or as evidence of an admission against interest in any civil action brought under the provisions of article seven-b, chapter fifty-five of this code, or in any arbitration, mediation or other alternative dispute resolution proceeding related to such civil action.

(2) Terms not otherwise defined in this section have the meanings assigned to them in article seven-b, chapter fifty-five of this code. For purposes of this section, unless the context otherwise requires, "relative" means a spouse, parent, grandparent, stepfather, stepmother, child, grandchild, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister or spouse's parents. The term includes said relationships that are created as a result of adoption. In addition, "relative" includes any person who has a family-type relationship with a patient.

WVC 55-7-12 §55-7-12. Liability of one joint tort-feasor not affected by release to, or accord and satisfaction with, another.
A release to, or an accord and satisfaction with, one or more joint trespassers, or tort-feasors, shall not inure to the benefit of another such trespasser, or tort-feasor, and shall be no bar to an action or suit against such other joint trespasser, or tort-feasor, for the same cause of action to which the release or accord and satisfaction relates.

WVC 55-7-13 §55-7-13. Contribution by joint tort-feasors.
Where a judgment is rendered in an action ex delicto against several persons jointly, and satisfaction of such judgment is made by any one or more of such persons, the others shall be liable to contribution to the same extent as if the judgment were upon an action ex contractu.

WVC 55-7-14 §55-7-14. Liability of visual or sound broadcasting stations for defamatory statements.
The owner, licensee or operator of a visual or sound radio broadcasting station or network of stations, and the agents or employees of any such owner, licensee or operator, shall not be liable for any damages for any defamatory statement published or uttered in or as a part of a visual or sound radio broadcast, by one other than such owner, licensee or operator, or agent or employee thereof, unless it shall be alleged and proved by the complaining party, that such owner, licensee, operator or such agent or employee, has failed to exercise due care to prevent the publication or utterance of such statement in such broadcast.

In no event, however, shall any owner, licensee or operator or the agents or employees of any such owner, licensee or operator of such a station or network of stations be held liable for any damages for any defamatory statement uttered over the facilities of such station or network by any legally qualified candidate for public office.

WVC 55-7-15 §55-7-15. Aid to victim of accident and victim of crime; immunity from civil liability.
No person, including a person licensed to practice medicine or dentistry, who in good faith renders emergency care at the scene of an accident or to a victim at the scene of a crime, without remuneration, shall be liable for any civil damages as the result of any act or omission in rendering such emergency care.

WVC 55 - 7 - 16 §55-7-16. Immunity from liability for ski patrol rendering emergency care.
(a) A member in good standing of a national ski patrol system who, without compensation, provides emergency aid or assistance to an injured or ill person at the scene of a ski resort rescue operation, outdoor emergency rescue operation or while otherwise performing ski patrol or while transporting an injured or ill person to a place for transfer to an available emergency medical center or hospital as the result of being on ski patrol, may not be held liable for civil damages for any alleged act or omission which is claimed to have occurred during the rendering of the emergency aid or assistance. The limitation of liability established by the provisions of this section apply to acts or omissions rendered in good faith.

(b) For the purposes of this section, a national ski patrol system is a national organization whose members are volunteers and do not receive compensation and are required to obtain training in safety and emergency medical treatment.

(c) For purposes of this section, the term "compensation" does not include access to a recreational facility, complimentary lift tickets, food, lodging or other gifts or discounts that may be offered or accessible to a person.

WVC 55-7-17 §55-7-17. Aid by trained hazardous substance response personnel; immunity from civil liability; definitions.
No person trained in a qualified program of hazardous substance emergency response certified by the state fire marshal pursuant to rules promulgated by authority of subsection (a), section five-a, article three, chapter twenty-nine of this code, who in good faith renders advice or assistance at the scene of an actual or threatened discharge of any hazardous substance and receives no remuneration for rendering such advice or assistance, is liable for any civil damages as the result of any act or omission in rendering such advice or assistance: Provided, That the exemption from liability for civil damages of this section shall be extended to any such person who receives reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses incurred in rendering such advice or assistance or compensation from his or her regular employer for the time period during which he or she was actually engaged in rendering such advice or assistance but is not extended to any such person who by his or her act or omission caused or contributed to the cause of such actual or threatened discharge of any hazardous substance.

For the purposes of this section, "hazardous substance" means any "hazardous substance" as defined in chapter eighty-eight, Acts of the Legislature, regular session, one thousand nine hundred eighty-five; any "chemical substances and materials" listed in the rules promulgated by the commissioner of labor pursuant to section eighteen, article three, chapter twenty-one, of this code; and any "hazardous waste" as defined in section three, article eighteen, chapter twenty-two of this code.

WVC 55-7-18 §55-7-18. Limiting liability of home care service providers, daycare centers and residential care facilities disclosing certain employment information.
When a residential care facility required to be registered, licensed or certified under the laws of the state, a licensed day care center, or an agency providing services in the home to children or incapacitated adults is asked to provide an employment reference with respect to a named individual who provided services to children or incapacitated adults for compensation, no person shall be liable for disclosing information related to the named individual's employment history, including a subjective assessment of whether the named individual is suited to provide services to children or incapacitated adults, unless it is alleged and proven that the information disclosed was false and disclosed with knowledge that the information was false.

WVC 55 - 7 - 18 A §55-7-18a. Employer immunity from liability; disclosure of information regarding former employees.
(a) Any employer or his or her designated agent who discloses job-related information that may be reasonably considered adverse about a former or current employee to a prospective employer of the former or current employee is presumed to be acting in good faith and is immune from civil liability for the disclosure or its consequences: Provided, That the disclosure of such information pursuant to this subsection shall be in writing and a copy of any such disclosure shall be provided to the former or current employee at the time of disclosure.

(b) For the purposes of this section, the presumption of good faith is rebutted upon a showing, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the information disclosed was:

(1) Knowingly false;

(2) Disclosed with reckless disregard for the truth;

(3) Deliberately misleading;

(4) Rendered with malicious purpose toward the former or current employee; or

(5) Disclosed in violation of a nondisclosure agreement or applicable law.

(c) For purposes of this section, "job-related information" means information concerning a person's education, training, experience, qualifications, conduct and job performance which is offered for the purpose of providing criteria to evaluate the person's suitability for employment.

(d) If an employer disclosed job-related information to a prospective employer of a former or current employee that was false or misleading, and if the current or former employee requests, then the employer shall give corrected information to every person or entity that is in the employer's records as having received the original information, with a copy thereof to the former or current employee.

WVC 55-7-19 §55-7-19. Liability of physicians who render services at school athletic events; limiting liability; exceptions.
(a) Any person licensed to practice medicine and surgery pursuant to the provisions of article three, chapter thirty of this code or any person licensed to practice medicine and surgery as an osteopathic physician and surgeon pursuant to the provisions of article fourteen, chapter thirty of this code: (1) Who is acting in the capacity of a volunteer team physician in attendance at an athletic event sponsored by a public or private elementary or secondary school; and (2) who gratuitously and in good faith prior to the athletic event agrees to render emergency care or treatment to any participant during such event in connection with an emergency arising during or as the result of such event, without objection of such participant, shall not be held liable for any civil damages as a result of such care or treatment, or as a result of any act or failure to act in providing or arranging further medical treatment, to an extent greater than the applicable limits of his or her professional liability insurance policy or policies when such care or treatment was rendered in accordance with the acceptable standard of care established in section three, article seven-b of this chapter.

(b) The limitation of liability established by the provisions of this section shall not apply to acts or omissions constituting gross negligence. For purposes of this section, the term "athletic event" includes scheduled practices for any athletic event.

WVC 55 - 7 - 20 §55-7-20. Limiting civil liability of nonprofits for arranging passage on excursion trains.
Any not for profit corporation for which one of its purposes is to arrange for persons or groups of persons to take excursions through, on, at or near places of scenic, historic or educational interest using trains, trackage or other related equipment and facilities of a regulated common carrier or governmental entity, shall not be liable for personal injury, wrongful death or property damage arising from the acts or omissions of the regulated common carrier or governmental entity so long as the role of the not for profit is limited to arranging for persons or groups of persons to participate in the excursion and providing tour information regarding the scenic, historic or educational qualities of the excursion area.

WVC 55 - 7 - 21 §55-7-21. Creating presumption of good faith for court-appointed licensed psychologists and psychiatrists conducting a child custody evaluation; method for assigning court and legal fees.
(a) A licensed psychologist or licensed psychiatrist who has been appointed by a court to conduct a child custody evaluation in a judicial proceeding shall be presumed to be acting in good faith if the evaluation has been conducted consistent with standards established by the American psychological association's guidelines for child custody evaluations in divorce proceedings.

(b) No complaint to a licensing or accrediting entity against a court-appointed licensed psychologist or psychiatrist relating to a child custody evaluation shall be considered if it is filed anonymously and does not include the full name, address and telephone number of the complainant.

(c) Any action filed against a licensed psychologist or licensed psychiatrist alleging tortious conduct related to evidence provided while acting as a court-appointed expert in a child custody matter shall contain a recitation of a specific allegation of breaches of American psychological association's guidelines for child custody evaluations in divorce proceedings. Failure to specifically plead such violations shall be cause for dismissal of the action.

(d) Any licensed psychologist or licensed psychiatrist who is named in a civil action as a defendant because of his or her performance of a child custody evaluation while acting as a court-appointed expert and who prevails due to a finding that he or she acted consistently with the American psychological association's guidelines shall be entitled to reimbursement of all reasonable costs and attorneys fees expended. WVC 55 - 7 - 22 §55-7-22. Civil relief for persons resisting certain criminal activities.
(a) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence is justified in using reasonable and proportionate force, including deadly force, against an intruder or attacker to prevent a forcible entry into the home or residence or to terminate the intruder's or attacker's unlawful entry if the occupant reasonably apprehends that the intruder or attacker may kill or inflict serious bodily harm upon the occupant or others in the home or residence or if the occupant reasonably believes that the intruder or attacker intends to commit a felony in the home or residence and the occupant reasonably believes deadly force is necessary.

(b) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence does not have a duty to retreat from an intruder or attacker in the circumstances described in subsection (a) of this section.

(c) A person not engaged in unlawful activity who is attacked in any place he or she has a legal right to be outside of his or her home or residence may use reasonable and proportionate force against an intruder or attacker: Provided, That such person may use deadly force against an intruder or attacker in a place that is not his or her residence without a duty to retreat if the person reasonably believes that he or she or another is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm from which he or she or another can only be saved by the use of deadly force against the intruder or attacker.

(d) The justified use of reasonable and proportionate force under this section shall constitute a full and complete defense to any civil action brought by an intruder or attacker against a person using such force.

(e) The full and complete civil defense created by the provisions of this section is not available to a person who:

(1) Is attempting to commit, committing or escaping from the commission of a felony;

(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself, herself or another with the intent to use such force as an excuse to inflict bodily harm upon the assailant; or

(3) Otherwise initially provokes the use of force against himself, herself or another, unless he or she withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.

(f) The provisions of this section do not apply to the creation of a hazardous or dangerous condition on or in any real or personal property designed to prevent criminal conduct or cause injury to a person engaging in criminal conduct.

(g) Nothing in this section shall authorize or justify a person to resist or obstruct a law-enforcement officer acting in the course of his or her duty.

WVC 55 - 7 - 23 §55-7-23. Prescription drugs and medical devices; limiting health care providers' liability exposure.
(a) No health care provider, as defined in section two, article seven-b of this chapter, is liable to a patient or third party for injuries sustained as a result of the ingestion of a prescription drug or use of a medical device that was prescribed or used by the health care provider in accordance with instructions approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding the dosage and administration of the drug, the indications for which the drug should be taken or device should be used, and the contraindications against taking the drug or using the device: Provided, That the provisions of this section shall not apply if: (1) The health care provider had actual knowledge that the drug or device was inherently unsafe for the purpose for which it was prescribed or used or (2) a manufacturer of such drug or device publicly announces changes in the dosage or administration of such drug or changes in contraindications against taking the drug or using the device and the health care provider fails to follow such publicly announced changes and such failure proximately caused or contributed to the plaintiff's injuries or damages.

(b) The provisions of this section are not intended to create a new cause of action.

WVC 55 - 7 - 24 §55-7-24. Apportionment of damages.
(a) In any cause of action involving the tortious conduct of more than one defendant, the trial court shall:

(1) Instruct the jury to determine, or, if there is no jury, find, the total amount of damages sustained by the claimant and the proportionate fault of each of the parties in the litigation at the time the verdict is rendered; and

(2) Enter judgment against each defendant found to be liable on the basis of the rules of joint and several liability, except that if any defendant is thirty percent or less at fault, then that defendant's liability shall be several and not joint and he or she shall be liable only for the damages attributable to him or her, except as otherwise provided in this section.

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (2), subsection (a) of this section, the rules of joint and several liability shall apply to:

(1) Any party who acted with the intention of inflicting injury or damage;

(2) Any party who acted in concert with another person as part of a common plan or design resulting in harm;

(3) Any party who negligently or willfully caused the unlawful emission, disposal or spillage of a toxic or hazardous substance; or

(4) Any party strictly liable for the manufacture and sale of a defective product.

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (2), subsection (a) of this section, if a claimant through good faith efforts is unable to collect from a liable defendant, the claimant may, not later than six months after judgment becomes final through lapse of time for appeal or through exhaustion of appeal, whichever occurs later, move for reallocation of any uncollectible amount among the other parties in the litigation at the time the verdict is rendered.

(1) Upon the filing of such a motion, the court shall determine whether all or part of a defendant's proportionate share of the verdict is uncollectible from that defendant and shall reallocate such uncollectible amount among the other parties in the litigation at the time the verdict is rendered, including a claimant at fault according to their percentages of fault: Provided, That the court shall not reallocate to any defendant an uncollectible amount greater than that defendant's percentage of fault multiplied by such uncollectible amount.

(2) If such a motion is filed, the parties may conduct discovery on the issue of collectability prior to a hearing on such motion.

(3) Any order regarding such motion shall be entered within one hundred twenty days after the date of filing such a motion.

(4) A defendant's share of the obligation to a claimant may not be increased by reason of reallocation under this subsection if:

(A) The percentage of fault of that defendant is equal to or less than the claimant's percentage of fault; or

(B) The percentage of fault of that defendant is less than ten percent.

(5) A party whose liability is reallocated is nonetheless subject to contribution and to any continuing liability to the claimant on the judgment.

(6) If any defendant's share of the obligation to a claimant is not increased by reason of the application of subdivision (4) of this subsection, the amount of that defendant's share of the reallocation shall be considered uncollectible and shall be reallocated among all other parties who are not subject to subdivision (4) of this subsection, including the claimant, in the same manner as otherwise provided this subsection.

(d) Nothing in this section may be construed to affect, impair or abrogate any right of indemnity or contribution arising out of any contract or agreement or any right of indemnity otherwise provided by law.

(e) Nothing in this section creates or recognizes, either explicitly or impliedly, any new or different cause of action not otherwise recognized by law.

(f) Nothing in this section may be construed to affect, impair or abrogate the provisions of section seven, article twelve-a, chapter twenty-nine of this code or section nine, article seven-b of this chapter.

(g) This section applies only to causes of action that accrue on or after the first day of July, two thousand five.

WVC 55 - 7 - 25 §55-7-25. Personal injury and wrongful death actions; complaint; specific amount of damages not to be stated.
In any action to recover damages for personal injury or wrongful death, no specific dollar amount or figure relating to damages being sought may be included in the complaint. However, the complaint may include a statement reciting that the amount in controversy satisfies the minimum jurisdictional amount established for filing the action. Further, and pursuant to the West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure pertaining to discovery, any party defendant may at any time request a written statement setting forth the nature and amount of damages sought. The request shall be served upon the plaintiff who shall serve a responsive statement as to the nature and amount of damages sought within thirty days thereafter. If no response is served within thirty days after receipt of service by the plaintiff, the party defendant requesting the statement may petition the court in which the action is pending to order the plaintiff to serve a responsive statement upon the requesting party defendant. This section applies only to complaints filed on or after the first day of July, two thousand eight.

WVC 55 - 7 - 26 §55-7-26. First responders who use forced entry in response to 911 call; limited immunity from civil and criminal liability.
     (a) "First responder" includes: law-enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical services personnel and others that respond to calls for emergency medical assistance.

     (b) Neither a first responder nor his or her supervisor, agency, employer or supervising entity is liable for any civil damages or criminal liability resulting from a forcible entry of a home, business or other structure if the first responder:

     (1) Is responding to a documented 911 call for emergency medical assistance;

     (2) Has made reasonable efforts to summon an occupant of the home, business, or structure by knocking or otherwise notifying the occupant(s) of his or her presence;

     (3) Has not received a response from an occupant within a reasonable period of time; and

     (4) Has a good faith belief that it is necessary to make a forcible entry for the purposes of rendering emergency medical assistance or preventing imminent bodily harm.

     (c) Nothing in this section shall affect the standard of care a first responder must employ when rendering aid after gaining entry.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.


Recent legislation affecting the Code

Citation Year/Session Short Title
§55 - 7 B- 6 D - (Repealed Code)
SENATE BILL - 586
PASSED - Regular Session

SB586 ENR  (Uploaded - 03/25/2014)
Removing unconstitutional language regarding jurors and verdicts in certain civil litigation
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.
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