State ex rel. Crafton v. Burnside

In State ex rel. Crafton v. Burnside, 207 W. Va. 74, 528 S.E.2d 768 (2000), involving chemical exposure civil actions, the Court addressed discovery matters. In Crafton, the Court explained that the lower court had adopted a case management plan, based upon the consent of the plaintiffs and defendants, which would permit the cases to be tried in a reverse bifurcation manner, allowing issues of damages and causation to be tried prior to issues of liability of the multiple defendants. Upon advice of new legal counsel, the plaintiffs sought reversal of the reverse bifurcation plan. The lower court denied the motion, and the plaintiffs filed a petition for writ of prohibition with the Court, seeking to prevent implementation of the case management plan of reverse bifurcation. The Court granted the writ of prohibition, based upon the withdrawal of consent by the plaintiffs, and remanded the issue to the lower court for de novo review of whether the plan of reverse bifurcation should be utilized in this case. 207 W. Va. at 79, 528 S.E.2d at 773.