SMS Quarterly Newsletter 

With offices in Charleston and Morgantown, West Virginia, Shuman, McCuskey & Slicer, PLLC publishes quarterly newsletters to keep clients up-to-date with news at the firm, as well as important court decisions and changes in the law that affect personal injury, medical malpractice, legal procedure, insurance, construction, public entities, and other legal matters relevant to our clients and practice.

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April2016

Newsletter Archives

April 2016 

Attorneys Tim Linkous and Jennifer Tampoya obtained two voluntary dismissals in medical malpractice cases.

SMS Owner Dwayne E. Cyrus and Associate Dominick Pellegrin obtained dismissal on behalf of the West Virginia Consolidated Public Retirement Board in a lawsuit alleging the improper calculation of a retirement estimate.

SMS authored an article for the West Virginia Healthcare Association regarding the recent case SER Wheeling Hospital Inc. et al. v. Wilson.

January 2016

Congratulations to SMS Co-Founder Dave Shuman, who was again nominated as a Super Lawyer. SMS also wants to congratulate its attorneys, Brian Warner, Natalie Schaefer, Molly Miner, Philip Sword, Kimberly Bandy, and Joseph Cramer, who were nominated as Super Lawyers Rising Stars!

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

October 2015

David L. Shuman and Roberta F. Green prevailed before West Virginia’s Supreme Court of Appeals on a petition challenging the lower court’s ruling on venue in a wrongful death action. The 4-1 decision confirmed defendants’ reading of a contractual venue-selection clause and transferred the action to the correct county for further proceedings.

July 2015

Founding member John McCuskey and Member Roberta Green represented a West Virginia energy group before West Virginia’s Supreme Court on a contractual dispute. In a 5-0 decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the SMS client, also finding that the appropriate venue is the Business Court.

April 2015

SMS Firm Co-founder and Managing Member David L. Shuman and Associate David L. Shuman, Jr. recently obtained a complete defense jury verdict in a medical malpractice action tried in Kanawha County. The case involved the selection and use of appropriate anticoagulant therapy to treat a dissection of the Plaintiff’s decedent’s left internal carotid artery.

January 2015

SMS welcomes its newest attorneys David Butler, Maggie Burrus, and Michael Dunham.  This edition also addresses recent West Virginia legal updates including issues involving arbitration, consumer protection damages, prevailing wage, civil rights law, and the inapplicability of the learned intermediary doctrine to drug manufacturers.

July 2014

SMS welcomes its newest attorney Dominick Pellegrin in its Charleston office.   Member Natalie C. Schaefer presented at a seminar entitled “Applying the Rules of Evidence: What Every Attorney Needs to Know.”  This edition also addresses recent West Virginia legal updates including issues involving arbitration, consumer protection damages, prevailing wage, civil rights law, and the inapplicability of the learned intermediary doctrine to drug manufacturers.

January 2014

SMS Members Lou Ann S. Cyrus, Karen T. McElhinny, and Natalie C. Schaefer achieved the highest peer-reviewed AV® Preeminent® rating. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings® are an objective indicator of a lawyer’s high ethical standards and professional ability, generated from evaluations by other members of the bar and the judiciary in the United States. This edition also addresses recent West Virginia legal updates including issues involving foreseeability, the application of the Federal Arbitration Act, ERISA, and the validity of forum selection clauses.

October, 2013

SMS founding member Dave Shuman achieved selection to The Best Lawyers in America® 2013 in the field(s) of medical malpractice. SMS also proudly to announces Morgantown office Managing Member Tim Linkous obtained the AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell.  This edition also addresses recent West Virginia legal updates including issues involving limiting instructions at trial, employment law, deliberate intent exception to worker’s compensation immunity, and spoliation of evidence.

July, 2013

Dave Shuman was nominated as a 2013 Super Lawyer for the fifth consecutive year.  Also, Tim Linkous and Natalie C. Schaefer were nominated again as 2013 Super Lawyer Rising Stars.  Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Will Slicer received the 2013 Martindale Hubbell® Client Distinction Award.  This edition also addresses recent West Virginia legal updates including issues involving negligence and governmental entity defenses such as the “special relationship” test, insurance coverage law, medical malpractice law under the MPLA, qualified immunity for State agencies, and pre-judgment interest.

January, 2013

SMS proudly welcomes its newest attorneys Phil Sword, David L. Shuman, Jr., and John Blanc.  This edition also addresses recent West Virginia legal updates including issues involving HIPAA, the availability of uninsured coverage, and agency theory of liability against hospitals for doctors’ purported negligence.

October, 2012

David L. Shuman obtained the Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™ and was Nominated as a 2012 Top Attorney for West Virginia.  Mr. Shuman received the AV Preeminent status, the highest rating for professional ethics and legal ability by peers. Fewer than 5% of all law firms qualify for this distinction, making members of the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers the most respected in the country.  Mr. Shuman was also nominated as a Top Attorney in West Virginia for Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Defense.  This edition also addresses recent West Virginia legal updates including issues involving deliberate intent, sexual harassment, and admissibility of evidence.

September, 2012

SMS attorney Natalie C. Schaefer, authored an article regarding the use of Technology in Litigation in the September 2012 issue of DRI’s flagship publication, For the Defense, a national monthly magazine. The article focused on the use of social media in the discovery process, as well as the various technological formats available for use in  trial.

July, 2012

David L. Shuman was nominated for Super Lawyers for the fourth year in a row.  Additionally, attorneys Tim R. Linkousand Natalie C. Schaefer were nominated as Rising Stars.  This edition also addresses recent West Virginia legal updates including issues involving Medicaid subrogation liens, informed consent, and the borrowed servant doctrine.

April, 2012

Attorney Charlotte Lane has joined the firm.  Ms. Lane has unmatched experience in government and regulatory affairs, business strategy services and conflict resolution (mediation and arbitration). Ms. Lane was appointed by the President of the United States to serve as a Commissioner on the United States International Trade Commission. Prior to that Presidential appointment, Ms. Lane spent a number of years as a Commissioner and Chairman of the West Virginia Public Service Commission.  This edition also addresses recent West Virginia legal updates including issues involving depositions of high-ranking officials, sovereign immunity of the State, independent contractor law, arbitration, and damages for pain and suffering.

January, 2012

SMS proudly announces that David L. Shuman was nominated for Super Lawyers for the fourth year in a row.  Additionally, attorneys Tim R. Linkous and Natalie C. Schaefer were nominated as Rising Stars.  This edition also addresses recent West Virginia legal updates including issues involving Medicaid subrogation liens, informed consent, and the borrowed servant doctrine.

October, 2011

Firm attorneys obtained several dismissals of cases involving construction defects, consumer protection allegations, and business interruption. This edition also addresses recent West Virginia legal updates including issues involving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, insurance bad faith, arbitration, and consumer credit protection law.

July, 2011

SMS joins the fight and participates in Relay for Life and Race for the Cure.  Natalie Schaefer becomes a pro bono CASA volunteer after extensive training.  CASA volunteers protect the rights and interests of children in abuse and neglect proceedings.  This edition also addresses recent West Virginia legal updates including issues involving the survival of consortium claims when the underlying claim is dismissed, proximate cause, and insurance coverage for medical payments.c

April, 2011

SMS goes social!  Join SMS on Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter for firm news and legal updates.  Lou Ann Cyrus andNatalie Schaefer obtained a defense verdict in a civil rights case against a former West Virginia State Trooper.  AttorneysDave Shuman, Karen McElhinny, and Natalie Schaefer present at various seminars on dental malpractice, municipal liability, and evidence at trial.

January, 2011

SMS is dedicated to you by Personal Attention; Meeting Client Needs; Diversity of Practice; Ethics; and Proven Excellence.  This edition outlines multiple attorney victories.  Member Tim Linkous presented to a large panel of physicians in West Virginia regarding preparation of a case if a physician is involved in litigation. This edition also addresses West Virginia legal updates involving issues of employment discrimination and consumer credit protection.

October, 2010

SMS is pleased to announce that two excellent, experienced lawyers recently joined our firm: Natalie C. Schaefer in our Charleston office and Williams “Bill” Adams in our Morgantown office. Tim Linkous presents to dietitians regarding risk of professional liability.  This edition also summarizes several recent West Virginia legal updates including cases involving deliberate intent and the rules regarding dismissal and summary judgment.

July, 2010

SMS assists with HospiceCare by sponsoring and participating in the annual Smoke on the Water Chili Cookoff.   Member Karen McElhinnyspoke at the annual West Virginia Academy of Ophthalmology meeting. Member Timothy Linkous also spoke to several large gatherings of West Virginia physicians to discuss insurance and legal issues pertinent to their practices. Member Lou Ann Cyrus, Member Dwayne Cyrus, Member Timothy Linkous and Associate Molly Miner attended a Litigation Conference hosted by an insurance company in Springfield, Missouri. Lou Ann Cyrus presented information pertaining to multiple issues at this annual Conference on several past occasions.

May, 2010

2010 Marks 100 Years Of Shuman Law Services In West Virginia. Though Founding SMS Member David L. Shuman has successfully practiced law in West Virginia for 38 years, the Shuman family celebrates the 100th year of representing WV

clients in 2010. “My grandfather, Albert Shuman, started his practice in Monongalia County after graduating from the West Virginia University College of Law in 1910,” stated Shuman. “Since then, my family continually maintained at least one actively practicing lawyer in this State.”

January 14, 2010

The firm discusses technological advances it has made to its offices in order to better serve clients.  Firm achievements include successful outcomes in cases involving negligent maintenance of a parking garage, insurance coverage questions, an injury based on alleged police misconduct, two separate allegations of denial of medical care against the West Virginia Department of Corrections, a slip and fall injury case, and a medical malpractice matter.

October 15, 2009

Firm attorneys obtained two summary judgments in related mass tort flood litigation.  This newsletter also informs clients about important changes in new Medicare guidelines that could affect clients.

July 15, 2009

Founding Member David Shuman was named to Super Lawyers magazine.  The firm’s successes included a summary judgment dismissing a medical malpractice case on substantive grounds, the dismissal of another medical malpractice case during an expert deposition, a summary judgment in a mass tort flooding case, and several insurance defense matters.

April 15, 2009

The firm announced its sponsorship of a local youth basketball team, as well as numerous successful results for its clients.  A summary judgment was obtained in a complicated federal land use and zoning case, and dismissals were obtained in three medical malpractice cases and a prisoner’s rights case.  In a case before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the firm successfully argued for dismissal in a case based on constitutional rights involving a drug sting.

January 15, 2009

At the end of 2008, several of the firm’s attorneys gained admission into other state’s bars, including Kentucky, Ohio, and Virginia.  The firm’s attorneys obtained several successful results, including a summary judgment in a case of deliberate intent based on a mining injury and a dismissal in a civil rights case based on abuse by a corrections officer.

October 15, 2008

During the previous three months, the firm achieved numerous successful results on behalf of its clients.  In one case, the attorney obtained a jury verdict and counter-claim award for property damage in a case arising out of a motor vehicle accident.  The firm also obtained a dismissal in a wrongful death case, as well as a summary judgment in a motor vehicle accident stemming from alleged police wrongdoing during a routine stop for speeding.

July 15, 2008

The firm participated in fundraising activities to support a local HospiceCare.  The firm’s attorneys also obtained successful results for several of their clients, including a voluntary dismissal in a workers’ compensation/personal injury claim and a dismissal in a medical negligence case.

April 15, 2008

The firm successfully obtained summary judgments and dismissals in several cases, including matters involving insurance defense, racial slurs against a prisoner, and award of only nominal damages in a personal injury car accident case.  The firm also assisted with an application for a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity for filing with the State’s Public Service Commission.

January 15, 2008

Successful results reported in this newsletter include dismissals in cases involving alleged sexual abuse by a prison guard; negligent recording of tax assessments against real estate; a slip and fall premises liability case; a personal injury construction negligence case; and a medical malpractice case.  The firm also delves into the constitutionality of the Medical Professional Liability Act and recent West Virginia court decisions that have addressed this legislation.

October 15, 2007

The firm obtained several summary judgments for its clients, including matters involving medical malpractice, insurance defense, and industrial accidents.