Things are happening at the legislature that are going to affect you in ways you may not even understand at this point. Whether you are Republican or Democrat does not matter, the current leadership of both houses is doing everything possible to push through bad legislation that affects your rights to be heard in a court of law. Our founding fathers believed the right to be heard in a court of law by your peers (members of your community) was a fundamental US Constitutional right (it is the 7th Amendment to the US Constitution).

What are they doing?

If you buy a new car and it’s a lemon, tough luck! Your rights to sue the car manufacturer and get a car that works properly or get your money back will be gone. That’s what a car dealer legislator is trying to pass. That can happen to any of us. Is it fair?

If your employer breaks safety rules and puts you in harm’s way and you are unable to take care of your family, tough luck. You won’t be able to sue them for the harm you suffer. You may get a little workers’ compensation and then become a ward of the state (or your kids will because you can’t support them). If employers don’t have to follow the safety rules because they can’t be held responsible, do you believe they will? Maybe some will, but I assure you – Some Will Not.

Business owners will also not have to follow safety rules, like having handrails, fire alarms and proper fall protection from heights. The business owners can’t be sued for that with current proposed legislation. Does that make you and your family safer?

For landowners, there is now a bill to allow forced pooling of you natural gas. In other words, you will no longer be able to say no to a gas lease if at least 80% of your neighbors want to lease their minerals. What ever happened to free choice? What happened to the Federalist Papers drafted by James Madison, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton?

This is real! Your rights are being taken away right before your eyes. Recognizing this war on West Virginia rights, workers and wages, Sen. Jeff Kessler has called for West Virginians to join him in at the “Show Up, Stand Up” rally on Monday. It will be held at 12 noon on the north side (river side) of the West Virginia Capitol building. Please attend and let these people know the 7th Amendment and your family’s safety is important and you don’t want them TAKING AWAY YOUR RIGHTS.

We at Goddard & Wagoner PLLC support many “Republican” ideologies. We support the right to own guns, we support coal, we support religious freedom, we support a smaller government, we support capitalism. However, we do not (and CANNOT) support any government which idly throws away our individual rights in the name of supporting business. Supporting business does not mean giving free reign and unbridled immunity to big business at the costs of injured West Virginians.

I thought these new leaders were sick of government interference with individual rights. Apparently that is far from true. They have forgotten why they were put there. Please show up and help us remind them. Also, please feel free to re-post this and get people to come with you. Once these rights are gone, you may never get them back.

If you have questions, please call us at Goddard & Wagoner PLLC – (304) 451-3500.