Thomas J. Hurney, Jr., is a trial lawyer with significant experience in the defense and trial of complex, class action and health care litigation. He practices out of the Firm’s office in Charleston, West Virginia.
Tom Hurney is one of Jackson Kelly’s most experienced trial lawyers. Over his forty years, he has tried cases to juries ranging from health care, products, and environmental liability, insurance bad faith, and commercial disputes. In recognition of his trial skills and civility, he was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
Tom’s strength is putting together teams to defend clients, both within Jackson Kelly and with other firms. He currently serves as national litigation counsel for a religious organization and has been admitted pro hac vice in cases pending in several states. Significant cases include:
- Summary judgment for a law firm in a legal malpractice case;
- Leading defense team in a large water contamination case
- A nine-week trial in 2018 representing a religious organization in a sexual abuse case.
Tom has defended utilities in class actions over service interruptions, and a variety of defendants in class and mass tort litigation related to transvaginal mesh and other medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and hospital credentialing. His health care practice includes defending medical liability actions and other health care litigation, including negligent credentialing and privileging, peer review and licensing issues, and administrative investigations.
Tom has a significant appellate practice, appearing in the Supreme Court of West Virginia over thirty-five times. An argument in January 2023 resulted in an opinion affirming dismissal of an action against a hospital in Katrib v. Thomas Mem’l Hosp. Ass’n, No. 21-0843, 2023 WL 2643787 (W. Va. Mar. 27, 2023). Other successful oral arguments include upholding a defense arbitration award where state agency claimed $100M in damages in W. Virginia Inv. Mgmt. Bd. v. Variable Annuity Life Ins. Co., No. 17-0486, 2018 WL 2769058 (W. Va. June 5, 2018), and the defense of the constitutionality of non-economic damage limitations in MacDonald v. City Hospital, Inc., 227 W.Va. 707, 715 S.E.2d 405 (2011). He has also filed amicus briefs for several organizations in a variety of cases.
Tom is an accomplished legal writer and frequent national speaker on a wide range of topics. He has written extensively on health care litigation, including three law review articles, and received the Robert L. Ghiz Award for Outstanding Service to the Physician Community of West Virginia in 2014 for his work on legislative reform.This past year, he co-authored a white paper titled “Nonlawyer Investment in the Legal Economy” for the DRI Center for Public Policy.
Tom has always been active in the legal community, serving on the State Bar Board of Governors and on various state and local Bar committees.Most recently, he was appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia to the Civil Rules Committee which studied and recommended amendments to the West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure. On March 29, 2023, the Court held a historic oral argument allowing individuals and groups to appear and present their positions on the proposed Rules. Tom appeared before the Court on behalf of the Committee. The oral presentation is available online here: http://www.courtswv.gov/supreme-court/calendar/2023/dockets/03-29-23ad.html (Hurney appears at 3:57:20).
Tom is very active in defense legal organizations. From 2017 to 2018, he was President of the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys (ADTA), a select group of trial lawyers whose membership is limited to one lawyer in any city with population of up to one million people. He currently serves on the DRI Law Institute which has oversight over DRI’s seminar offerings. He served on the faculty of the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) Trial Academy in 2014 and is a member of the Federation of Insurance and Defense Counsel (FDCC). He was the 26th President of the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia in 2008-2009. He is a permanent member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference.
As part of his community, Tom serves on the Board of the Kanawha County Public Library and has been fundraising chair for Legal Aid of West Virginia, among other things. When Tom is away from the office, he enjoys home renovation, music and playing guitar, cooking and grilling, walking, traveling the country, and rooting for the Dayton Flyers.