CourtWatch Updates

As an additional service to members, the West Virginia Chamber offers CourtWatch Updates, real-time briefings of decisions coming down from the West Virginia Supreme Court. Below are the CourtWatch Updates from 2022. A full CourtWatch 2022 report will be available at the 2022 Annual Meeting and Business Summit.

 

The West Virginia Supreme Court has ruled against a coal miner and reinstated the temporary suspension of his miner certifications after he tested positive for marijuana metabolites (“THC”) on a random drug screen. The coal miner contested his suspension by the WV Office of Miners Health, Safety and Training, claiming the positive drug screen was due to his use of CBD oils, a legal substance in West Virginia. The Court noted that this was its first opportunity to evaluate the “intent” argument as it relates to CBD products. In a narrow 3-2 decision, the Supreme Court held the coal miner had not properly contested the test results, and his claim that he had used CBD oils was not a defense to his positive drug test. The Court stressed that while the West Virginia Legislature has authorized the sale of CBD products, the applicable statutes and rules provided no authority to treat the consumption of a CBD product as a legal defense to a positive test for Cannabinoids/THC. Justice Armstead authored the majority opinion and was joined by Justices Walker and Wooton. Justices Hutchison and Moats dissented and, in a footnote, “encourage[d] the Legislature to study and rectify this issue because CBD products, contaminated with THC, are becoming common in the marketplace and accidental consumption of forms of THC are likely to become commonplace.”

 

Majority Opinion

Dissent

On the afternoon of May 6, 2022, an Order was released from the State Supreme Court announcing that the Justices had unanimously voted to deny the request for an emergency stay of the ruling from Kanawha County Circuit Judge Duke Bloom in the eligibility challenge to WV State Senate candidate Andrea Kiessling. Judge Bloom had ruled earlier that Kiessling was not an eligible candidate under the residency requirement in the West Virginia Constitution. The Supreme Court decision will allow the ruling of Judge Bloom to remain in place.

 

 

CourtWatch 2021

The West Virginia Chamber is pleased to present the 2021 edition of CourtWatch: The Impact of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals on Our State’s Economy. This report covers twenty-three of the most important decisions of our state’s highest court and provides a discussion and analysis on how your business may be affected. We express deep appreciation to the attorneys of our Legal Review Team who volunteered their time and expertise to review the cases decided by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals in the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Terms of Court. Click below to read the report.