Gary W. Hart

Phone: (304) 340-1191 | Fax: (304) 340-1050 | Email:
500 Lee Street East, Suite 1600, Charleston, WV 25301-3202

Gary W. Hart is the former General Counsel to the Firm. He currently serves as Of Counsel and offers his services as a mediator within the Litigation Practice Group. Mr. Hart regularly works with clients to defend product liability and other personal injury claims and to resolve business disputes. He is regularly called upon to assess, document and report incidents that include personal injuries where immediate response is a critical component in the ultimate resolution of the case. 

Specific examples of his litigation experience include:

  • Defended a chemical processing plant in a deliberate intent case where an employee sustained severe burns over 60% of his body which he alleged were due to mishandling of chemicals
  • Defended a coal company against a worker alleging he sustained serious injuries when he was pinned between a remote-controlled continuous miner and the wall of the coal mine
  • Multiple representations of elevator and escalator manufacturing and servicing companies in cases involving alleged defects on escalators resulting in falls, alleged drops or sudden stops in elevators and shoe entrapments and falls on escalators
  • Represented coal companies against plaintiffs claiming that improper maintenance of mining equipment led to exposure to fumes from the equipment, resulting in accidents and personal injuries
  • Representing trucking companies in immediate investigation of accidents, inspection and collection of evidence, retention of experts, etc., in anticipation of litigation
  • On behalf of an international chemical company, served as “ad hoc” regional counsel to support in-house legal department.  Defended company in multiple wrongful death and personal injury cases, as well as property damage claims resulting from accidental chemical releases
  • On behalf of regional convenience store chain, tracks and monitors all its litigation to ensure consistent application of company’s litigation policies and discovery responses and coordination among operational personnel and other service providers
  • Represented manufacturer of a small compactor which plaintiff alleged was defective because it did not have a seatbelt interlock to force the plaintiff to wear the seatbelt before starting  the compactor; the plaintiff drove the compactor off the side of a trailer while not wearing the seatbelt and fell, sustaining injuries resulting in quadriplegia
  • Represented coal companies and landowners in disputes regarding overloaded coal trucks that allegedly led to traffic accidents causing fatalities
  • Represented a compressor manufacturer where plaintiff claimed that a defect in the compressor permitted natural gas to enter the compressor, causing an explosion of an oil drilling rig resulting in burns and other personal injury
  • Represented a manufacturer of highway construction equipment against a plaintiff who alleged the design of the controls of the equipment were defective, resulting in the driver of the equipment running into the plaintiff, causing severe leg injuries
  • Represented a manufacturer of highway construction equipment against a plaintiff who alleged that the suspension on large compactors caused back injuries
  • Represented a coal company against the estate of a truck driver who was fatally injured when the tractor-trailer he was driving downhill overturned; plaintiffs alleged improper inspections of a coal haulage vehicle and improper road design

Specific examples of his trial experience include:

  • Defended a coal company against a contractor who had tractor-trailer brake failure during descent of a steep haul road, claiming that improperly marked roads caused his accident and serious injuries
  • Represented a coal company in a multi-million dollar business dispute concerning coal lease payments and overriding royalties, breach of contract and early termination of that lease
  • Co-counsel in defense of auto manufacturer in wrongful death claim of teenager in a “t-bone collision”; parents asserted the seatbelts were defective and therefore caused the death
  • Co-counsel in defense of auto manufacturer in claim that engine alternator was defective, causing fire in engine, resulting in severe burns to plaintiff
  • Defended utility company in premises liability claim that it was required to assist in unloading of pipe truck, where load spilled onto plaintiff causing serious injury

Mr. Hart joined the Firm in 1981 after receiving his law degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law, where he was the Research Editor of the Kentucky Law Journal. He is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell® and is listed in Woodward/White's The Best Lawyers in America® for Personal Injury defense and in West Virginia Super Lawyers®.

Mr. Hart is a member of the Kanawha County Bar Association. He is admitted to the West Virginia State Bar; the United States Supreme Court; the United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit; and the United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia. 

Legal Experience
1981 - PresentJackson Kelly PLLC
1981J.D.University of Kentucky College of Law
1978B.A.University of Kentucky (Political Science)
Bar Admissions
1981West Virginia
Court Admissions
2004U.S. Supreme Court
1992U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
1982U.S. District Court, Northern District of West Virginia
1981U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia

Professional Involvement:
  • Member, West Virginia State Bar
  • Member, Kanawha County Bar Association


Teaching and Lecturing:
  • Presenter - 2008 Arkansas Trucking Seminar, "Pictures Worth a 1,000 Words: Use of Photography and Videography in Accident Reconstruction, Mediation and Trial"

Awards and Honors:
  • Named in the 2014-2017 editions of West Virginia Super Lawyers® for Personal Injury - Products: Defense Law
  • Listed in the Litigation Section of Super Lawyers® Business Edition for Personal Injury - Products, 2013-2015
  • Named in the 2013 edition of West Virginia Super Lawyers® for Personal Injury - Defense:  Products Law
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent Rating
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® for Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants and Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, 2008-2018
  • Named in the 2012 edition of West Virginia Super Lawyers®
  • Graduated with distinction from the University of Kentucky, 1978
  • Research Editor, Kentucky Law Journal, 1981
  • Staff Member, Kentucky Law Journal, 1980



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