Flaherty  |  Sensabaugh  |  Bonasso   PLLC

Charleston  |  Morgantown  |  Wheeling   304-345-0200

Mike’s Contact Information


304.347.4259 Tel
304.345.0260 Fx
304.545.0200 Cell
V-Card

Mike’s Secretary

Jill Dye

Services

Michael Bonasso, one of the firm’s founding members, has tried scores of cases to verdict in the Federal and State Courts in West Virginia and has appeared dozens of times before the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He has defended companies in the areas of complex, mass and class action litigation and product litigation for 38 years. That means experience, a broad knowledge base, excellent relationships and vision.

What makes him excel in defense work? “Understanding the client, the case and the client’s needs. Thorough case investigation and preparation. Extensive experience. And bringing a credible trial threat to the opposition.”

With respect to complex civil litigation, he has also handled numerous commercial litigation matters involving coal royalties, oil and gas supply contracts, business interruption claims, business interference claims and equipment leasing claims, among others.

In cases involving mass/class litigation, Mike has represented various industrial equipment and automotive manufacturers, commercial entities, and plant owners. As to product litigation, he has extensive experience in defending American, European and Asian manufacturers of automobiles, industrial equipment, agricultural machinery, recreational equipment, and consumer and commercial tools and equipment.

A born leader, Mike has served as our Managing Member since the firm’s inception. His leadership, work ethic and desire to serve are perhaps the greatest assets he provides to clients.

Practice Concentrations:

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Mass/Class Litigation
  • Automotive Product Liability
  • General Product Liability
  • Commercial and Business Counsel
  • Chairman of Firm’s Product Liability Group

 

Education:

  • J.D. West Virginia University College of Law (1978)
    • Order of the Coif
  • B.S. West Virginia University College of Business and Economics
    • Business Administration – (Accounting) (1975)
    • Magna Cum Laude
    • Outstanding Business School Graduate (1975)

Court Admissions:

  • United States Supreme Court
  • West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
  • United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States District Court for Southern District of West Virginia
  • United States District Court for Northern District of West Virginia

Professional Involvement:

  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
    • Corporate Counsel Committee – Vice-Chair
    • Corporate Counsel Symposium – Co-Chair
    • Law Firm Management Conference – Vice-Chair
    • Substantive Law Sections
      • Product Liability Section
      • Commercial Litigation Section
  •  Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia (DTCWV)
    • President (1997-1998)
    • Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer (1994-1997)
    • Board of Governors – two terms (1989-1994)
    • Substantive Law Sections
      • Product Liability Section
      • Commercial Litigation Section
  • Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Eastern Mineral Law Foundation (EMLF)

Awards & Honors:

  • AV Preeminent® Peer-Review Rated by Martindale-Hubble®
  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America©, 2003 – Present
    • 2012 – Lawyer of the Year – Charleston, WV – Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
    • 2017 – Lawyer of the Year – Charleston, WV – Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
    • 2018 – Lawyer of the Year – Charleston, WV – Bet-the-Company Litigation
  • Listed, West Virginia Super Lawyers, 2007 – Present
    • Top Ten Attorneys in West Virginia, 2016 and 2017
  • Listed, Chambers USA (Litigation:  General Commercial), 2009 – Present
  • Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation, 2016 – Present
  • Distinguished Service Award – DTCWV
  • The State Journal’s Who’s Who in West Virginia Business, 2014

Reported Cases:

  • Harrison v. Porsche Cars North America, Inc., No. 15-0381 (W. Va. Supreme Court, April 12, 2016)(memorandum decision)
  • Josephine Morgan v. Ford Motor Company, 680 S.E.2d 77 (W.Va. 2009)
  • Teresa Estep v. Ford Motor Company, 672 S.E.2d 345 (W.Va. 2008)
  • Arroyo v. Ford Motor Company, 59 Fed.Appx. 524 (4th Cir. (W.Va.) 2003)
  • In re Hearing Losses I, 212 W.Va. 471, 574 S.E.2d 803 (W.Va. 2002)
  • Hawkins v. Ford Motor Co., 211 W.Va. 487, 566 S.E.2d 624 (W.Va. 2002)
  • Moser v. Ford Motor Company, 28 Fed.Appx. 168 (4th Cir. (W. Va.) 2001)
  • In re Hearing Losses I, 208 W.Va. 169, 539 S.E.2d 112 (W.Va. 2000)
  • Gamblin v. Ford Motor Company, 204 W.Va. 419, 513 S.E.2d 467 (W.Va. 1998)
  • Helmick v. Jones, 192 W.Va. 317, 452 S.E.2d 408 (W.Va. 1994)
  • Riffe v. Magushi, 859 F.Supp. 220 (S.D.W.Va. 1994)
  • Taylor v. Ford Motor Company, 185 W.Va. 518, 408 S.E.2d 270 (W.Va. 1991)
  • Farley v. Meadows, 185 W.Va. 48, 404 S.E.2d 537 (W.Va. 1991)
  • Melbourne Bros. Const. Co. v. Pioneer Co., 181 W.Va. 816, 384 S.E.2d 857 (W.Va. 1989)
  • Transamerica Ins. Co. v. Arbogast, 662 F.Supp. 164 (N.D.W.Va. 1987)
  • Crane & Equipment Rental Company, Inc. v. Park Corp., 177 W.Va. 65, 350 S.E.2d 692 (W.Va. 1986)
  • Burks v. Wymer, 172 W.Va. 478, 307 S.E.2d 647 (W.Va. 1983)
  • State ex rel. Yanero v. Fox, 163 W.Va. 222, 256 S.E.2d 751 (W.Va. 1979)

Slip Opinions/Unpublished Cases:

  • Bailey v. Ford Motor Company, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86795 (S.D.W.Va. 2006)
  • Johnson v. Ford Motor Company, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10148 (S.D.W.Va., 2006)
  • Dravo Basic Materials Co., Inc. v. Cherry-Stone & Const., 47 F.3d 1164 (4th Cir. 1995)
  • Miller v. Pacific Employers Ins. Co., 875 F.2d 315 (4th Cir. 1989)
  • Transamerica Ins. Co. v. Arbogast, 835 F.2d 875 (4th Cir. 1987)

Community Involvement:

  • Civil Justice Committee of DTCWV (2002-2006)
  • Commission on the Future of the Judiciary in West Virginia (1997-1998)
    • Appointed by Chief Justice of West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
  • Charleston, West Virginia Police Civil Service Commission (1981-1984)
  • Soccer Coach in Kanawha Valley (18 years)
    • Middle Schools and recreational leagues

Lecturing, Presentations & Written Work:

Mike has participated in numerous seminars and presentations to state and national lawyer groups on issues related to corporate risk and litigation, law firm economics and law firm management, as well as seminars on pretrial and trial tactics/strategies.