State News : West Virginia

NWCDN is a network of law firms dedicated to protecting employers in workers’ compensation claims.

NWCDN Members regularly post articles and summary judgements in workers’ compensations law in your state.  

Select a state from the dropdown menu below to scroll through the state specific archives for updates and opinions on various workers’ compensation laws in your state.

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West Virginia



Two bills of interest to the Workers' Compensation Field:

SB 275
Also, as previously reported, an intermediate court of appeals of West Virginia is one step closer to reality asSenate Bill 275 advanced out of the Senate by a mostly party line vote of 18-14, with two Senators absent. As previously reported, Senate Bill 275 would create an Intermediate Court of Appeals which would hear, by right, all appeals from Circuit Courts after June 30, 2021, and its decisions would be accorded precedential effect by the lower courts. Appeals of decisions from that court to the Supreme Court of Appeals would be by discretion only. The judges are elected to 10-year terms by the citizens in non-partisan election. The bill creates a northern and southern district within West Virginia, each with a three-judge panel to hear appeals arising out of its geographical area and is expected to cost $6.3 million a year. Additionally, the bill significantly reorganizes workers' compensation appeals by transferring all powers and duties of the current Workers' Compensation Office of Administrative Law Judges to the three-judge panel of the Workers' Compensation Board of Review. The Office of Judges would issue final decisions on all objections in its possession on or before September 30, 2021, and will then sunset on October 1, 2021. The Intermediate Court of Appeals would exercise appellate jurisdiction over all decisions issued by the Office of Judges and the Board of Review after June 30, 2021.
The bill was reported to the House where it was double-referenced to Judiciary and then Finance. Its future in the House is cloudy, at best, given its history there.

SB 339 and SB 752
When the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act of 2017, as created bySenate Bill 386, was enacted, the program had serious shortcomings which had to be addressed in 2019 bySenate Bill 1037. One of those shortcomings, according to medical cannabis advocates and market watchers was the restrictive manner of delivery of medical cannabis. Indeed, Senate Bill 386 only permitted pills, oils, tinctures, and creams, but did not permit leaf or plant forms, unless such were approved by the Department of Health & Human Resources in the rules it was required to promulgate to implement the program. Therefore, when medical cannabis advocates in the Legislature had under consideration those very rules, as bundled in Senate Bill 339, they successfully amended the same in committee to permit dispensaries to provide medical cannabis in dry leaf of plant form. The committee amendments were adopted by the full House by a vote of 74-23, with three absent. Since the House amended a Senate bill, it was reported back to the Senate for concurrence. The Senate, meanwhile, had under considerationSenate Bill 752 which, among other things, expanded the definition of serious medical conditions for which medical cannabis is approved to include ulcerative colitis as well as opioid use disorder. Furthermore, the bill made it easier to change the form of delivery of medical cannabis by empowering the commissioner of the Bureau of Public Health to approve such forms upon a recommendation of the advisory board. This bill is expected to pass the Senate on February 26. Its future in the House seems bright, given the action that chamber took on the rules bundle in Senate Bill 339. 

For more information or any questions, please contact Dill Battle at 304-340-3800.