Justice’s refusal to step aside worsens situation

An editorial from the Charleston Daily Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In December, ABC News shone the national spotlight on state’s highest court detailing financial ties between Justice Robin Davis and plaintiffs’ attorney Michael Fuller.

Fuller, who hails from Mississippi, lined up $35,000 in contributions for Davis’ 2012 re-election campaign. He also paid $1 million to purchase a Lear Jet from Davis’ husband, attorney Scott Segal.

This all came as Fuller had a multi-million dollar case heading to Davis’ desk.

In 2011, a Kanawha County jury awarded $91.5 million to the family of Dorothy Douglas, who had filed a negligence lawsuit against nursing home Heartland of Charleston, which is owned by Manor Care Inc. A Kanawha County judge reduced the award by $1 million

The case ended up before the state Supreme Court last year and Davis wrote the majority opinion that preserved $40 million of the jury award. Fuller’s firm got a $17 million payout from the case — one of the largest lawsuit cuts the firm had ever received.

 When this came to light in December, Davis defended herself by saying she had no idea Fuller had donated to her campaign and did not know the details of her husband’s Lear Jet deal, which was negotiated through a broker.

The matter is coming up again because Fuller is once again representing a family suing Heartland of Charleston in another case making its way to the Supreme Court…

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