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James Charles Peterson

Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler, PLLC
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James Charles Peterson
Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler, PLLC

      James C. Peterson graduated from William Mitchell College of Law in Minnesota in 1976. Following graduation, he accepted a position as law clerk to a Minnesota state trial court chief judge; practiced briefly with a plaintiffs’ personal injury firm and then spent four years serving as chief corporate litigation counsel for a worldwide non-profit organization. For the past 40 years, he has concentrated his efforts in litigating severe personal injury, medical/legal malpractice, product liability, insurance bad faith cases, as well as mass tort/class action litigation involving defective products, pharmaceuticals, and insurance issues. He has been a member/partner of the law firm of Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler, PLLC, since 1983.

           He has settled and/or tried to jury verdict million dollar medical and legal malpractice cases. He has also received recoveries in excess of $1 million in product liability cases, numerous million dollar verdicts and/or settlements involving serious motor vehicle accidents, as well as serving as co-lead counsel on the settlement of the largest pharmaceutical class action litigation in the history of the State of West Virginia, involving the diet drug Fen-Phen. Settlements and verdicts handled on behalf of his firm Hill & Peterson or on a co-counsel basis exceeds $1.6 billion. 

           For the past 25 years, Mr. Peterson has devoted the majority of his time to mass tort/class action and major medical malpractice litigation. Representative mass tort/class action litigation experience includes Burch, et al. v. American Home Products Corporation, et al., (Fen-Phen diet drug litigation); Martin, et al., v. Allstate Insurance Company (nationwide insurance fraud); Sprouse, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson Corporation, et al., (Propulsid -acid reflux medication); (Baycol, a cholesterol lowering drug);  McCaffery,et al. v Warner Lambert Company, et al., (Rezulin - type II diabetes drug); McCallister, et al., v. Purdue-Pharma, Inc., et al (Oxycontin - potent pain killer drug); Community Health Ass’n., et al. v. Lucent Technologies, Inc., et al., (Settled a certified nationwide business class action involving over 85,000 businesses for defective telecommunications products -Y2K issue); VIOXX Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1657, US District Court for the Eastern Distrist of Louisiana; (osteo-arthritic pain medication); CSS, Inc., et al v. Fibernet (class action for failure to provide uninterrupted telecommunication services); In Re: E. I. Dupont de Nemours and Company C-8 Personal Injury Litigation, CA 2:13-md-2433, SDOH (Involved in representation of 3,500 plaintiffs who suffered various cancers and other illnesses due to exposure to C-8 (a chemical used in the manufacture of Teflon) in public drinking water. Global settlement reach in 2017 for close to $1 billion.) Martin, et al. v. State Farm Automobile Insurance Company, et al., (class action on behalf of policyholders in West Virginia for failure to make commercially reasonable offers of underinsured motorist coverage);  In re: Marcellus Shale Litigation CA No. 14-C-3000 before the West Virginia Mass Litigation Panel (MLP), (private nuisance suits involving oil/gas fracking, drilling and development);  Ferrell et al., vs. U-Haul Company of West Virginia, CA No. 11-C-1426 (putative class alleging improper charges for environmental fees in truck rental contracts); The Bakery, LLC, et al., v. Pritt, et al., CA No. 15-C-10 (certified class for economic loss arising from a diesel fuel spill which contaminated Lewisburg and Ronceverte water systems, tentative settlement reached Spring 2017 for approximately 9,500 residents and businesses); and In Re: Water Contamination Litigation, CA No. 16-C-6000. This case was merged by WV MLP Judges and USDC SDWV Judge Copenhaver with Good v. American Water Works Company, Inc., et al., Case No. 2:14-CV-01374 (putative class alleging economic and personal injury loss due to water contamination, tentative settlement reached Fall 2016, for over 250,000 residents and businesses in the 9-county area).

           Mr. Peterson has been board-certified as a civil trial specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) since 1990; named member of the year by the West Virginia Trial Lawyers Association in both 1988 and 1993; served in a variety of positions with both state and national trial lawyer organizations, including president of the West Virginia Trial Lawyers’ Association (1996-1997); and certified to practice in the states of Minnesota, Ohio, and West Virginia. Over the course of his career, he has been admitted pro hac vice in over a dozen other jurisdictions. While serving as chief corporate counsel for an international non-profit organization in the late 1970's, Mr. Peterson argued cases before courts in Ireland and Germany.

           Since 1987, Mr. Peterson has presented over 40 papers and articles nationwide on various legal topics in over two dozen states. Other legal publications include a chapter in a book published by the National Brain Injury Association involving hedonic damages; an article on the same topic appearing in the monthly publication TRIAL for the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (American Association for Justice), and a law review article entitled “Trial Techniques - Selecting and Using Expert Witnesses in Bad Faith Cases” 19 Am. Jour. Trial Adv., 543, (Spring 1996), Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama. 

           Mr. Peterson is recognized as a life member of American Association for Justice (AAJ), an honor bestowed on approximately 50 lawyers for that nationwide trial organization and was selected in 2005, along with two of his partners Ed Hill and Harry Deitzler as Trial Lawyers of the Year, by Trial Lawyers for Public Justice (TLPJ).    

Since 2017 Mr. Peterson has spent the majority of his time engaged in the Nationwide Opioid litigation. See, In Re: National Prescription Opioid Litigation. Case no. 1:17-md-2804. Hon. Dan A. Polster. His firm, along with five other nationwide firms, have taken lead roles in pursuing abatement damages against virtually every manufacturer and distributor of opioids along with numerous pharmacies for creating the Nationwide Opioid pandemic. To date, over 50 Billion Dollars in abatement funds have been generated by way of Jury Verdicts and settlements to assist local cities , counties, towns and State Attorney Generals to wipe out this pandemic.

           Mr. Peterson presently lives in Charleston, West Virginia. Mr. Peterson enjoys running, hiking, golfing, and is an avid wine enthusiast. In 1996, he started a winery in Napa, California, by the name of Falcor Wine Cellars and spends part of his spare time performing numerous winery functions.

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