Flaherty  |  Sensabaugh  |  Bonasso   PLLC

Charleston  |  Morgantown  |  Wheeling   304-345-0200

Tom’s Contact Information


304.347.4232 Tel
304.345.0260 Fx

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Tom’s Secretary

Cindy Montague

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A founding member of the firm, Tom Flaherty focuses his practice on personal injury defense and commercial civil litigation. What makes him stand out? “A blue-collar work ethic learned from my father and more than 40 years of trial and appellate experience.”

Tom has a proven track record and is well respected by judges and peers on both sides of the bar. He describes his style of service as “diligent, prepared, responsive, efficient and effective with great attention to detail.”

A thinker and sharp strategist, Tom has represented multiple Fortune 100 companies, three West Virginia governors, and four justices of the West Virginia Supreme Court, all in separate matters. He has successfully argued multiple cases before the West Virginia Supreme Court and the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“I’ve tried more than 100 cases to verdict and won well over 90% of them. I’m passionate about figuring out the best way to get desired results for my clients.”

Outside the courtroom, Tom is chair of the WVU Board of Governors and Chairman of Brickstreet Mutual Insurance Company and three wholly-owned subsidiaries. He’s been listed in The Best Lawyers in America for more than 20 years – longer than any other West Virginia personal injury defense attorney. He has also been rated #1 for the past seven years by West Virginia Super Lawyers. In addition, Tom has co-chaired the Campaign for Legal Aid in West Virginia and currently serves as co-chair of the Capital Campaign for the Ronald McDonald House.

Practice Concentrations:

  • Civil Litigation
  • Personal Injury Litigation
  • Workplace Liability
  • Appellate Practice
  • Insurance Coverage/Extracontractual Exposure
  • Mediation

Education:

  • J.D., West Virginia University College of Law (1974)
  • B.S., West Virginia University (1971)
    • Business Administration

Court Admissions:

  • United States Supreme Court (1993)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (1978)
  • United States Courts of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (1978)
  • United States Claims Court (1990)
  • Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia (1974)
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia (1974)
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia (1979)

Reported Cases:

  • Covol Fuels No. 4, LLC v. Pinnacle Mining Co., LLC, 785 F.3d 104 (4th Cir. 2015)
  • Lightner v. Riley, 233 W. Va. 573; 760 S.E.2d 142 (2014)
  • Boggess v. City of Charleston, 234 W. Va. 366, 765 S.E.2d 255 (2014)
  • Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust v. Blankenship, 749 S.E.2d 329 (W.Va. 2013) – Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust v. Blankenship, 231 W. Va. 637, 749 S.E.2d 329 (2013)
  • Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Curtis, 748 S.E.2d 662 (W.Va. 2013) – Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Curtis, 231 W. Va. 596, 748 S.E.2d 662 (2013)
  • State ex rel. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Marks, 230 W.Va. 517 (W.Va. 2012) – State ex rel. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Marks, 230 W. Va. 517, 741 S.E.2d 75 (2012)
  • Stewart v. Newtown Energy, Inc., 2012 W.Va. LEXIS 419 (W.Va. 2012) – Stewart v. Newtown Energy, Inc., No. 11-0863, 2012 W. Va. 419 (W. Va. June 22, 2012)
  • Cal. State Teachers’ Ret. Sys. V. Blankenship, 2011 W.Va. LEXIS 50 (W.Va. 2011)- Cal. State Teachers’ Ret. Sys. v. Blankenship, No. 11-0839, 2011 W.Va. LEXIS 50 (W. Va. May 31, 2011)
  • State ex rel. WVCAG v. Tomblin, 2011 W.Va. LEXIS 9 (2011) – State ex rel. W. Va. Citizen Action Group v. Tomblin, 227 W. Va. 687, 715 S.E.2d 36 (2011)
  • Mylan Labs. v. Am. Motorists Ins. Co., 700 S.E.2d 518 (2009) – Mylan Labs. v. Am. Motorist Ins. Co., 226 W. Va. 307, 700 S.E.2d 518 (2009)
  • State ex rel. Citifinancial, Inc. v. Madden, 672 S.E.2d 365 (W.Va. 2008) – State ex rel. Citifinancial, Inc. v. Madden, 223 W. Va. 229, 672 S.E.2d 365 (2008)
  • Horkulic v. Galloway, 222 W.Va. 450, 665 S.E.2d 284 (2008)
  • West Virginia University Board of Governors ex rel West Virginia University v. Rodriguez, 543 F.Supp.2d 526 (N.D.W.Va. 2008)
  • Wetzel v. Employers Service Corp. of West Virginia, 221 W.Va. 610, 656 S.E.2d 55 (2007)
  • In re Tobacco Litigation, 218 W.Va. 301, 624 S.E.2d 738 (W.Va., 2005)
  • Goodwin v. Bayer Corp., 218 W.Va. 215, 624 S.E.2d 562 (W.Va. 2005)
  • Bennett v. Asco Services, Inc., 218 W.Va. 41, 621 S.E.2d 710 (W.Va. 2005)
  • Deskins v. S.W. Jack Drilling Co., 215 W.Va. 525, 600 S.E.2d 237 (W.Va. 2004)
  • State ex rel. E.I. Dupont De Nemours and Co. v. Hill, 214 W.Va. 760, 591 S.E.2d 318 (W.Va., 2003)
  • Stafford EMS, Inc. v. J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc., 270 F.Supp.2d 773 (S.D.W.Va. 2003)
  • Marks v. Watters, 322 F.3d 316 (W.Va. 2003)
  • Marks v. West Virginia Dept. of Health & Human Resources, 181 F.Supp.2d 639 (S.D.W.Va. 2002)
  • Shonk Land Co., LLC v. Ark Land Co., 170 F.Supp.2d 660 (S.D.W.Va. 2001)
  • Westwood v. Fronk, 177 F.Supp.2d 536 (N.D.W.Va. 2001)
  • Harris v. Allstate Ins. Co., 208 W.Va. 359, 540 S.E.2d 576 (W.Va. 2000)
  • State ex rel. Huffman v. Stephens, 206 W.Va. 501, 526 S.E.2d 23 (W.Va. 1999)
  • Devine v. American Ben. Corp., 56 F.Supp.2d 679 (S.D.W.Va. 1999)
  • Devine v. American Ben. Corp., 27 F.Supp.2d 669 (S.D.W.Va. 1998)
  • State ex rel. Erie Fire Ins. Vo. v. Madden, 204 W.Va. 606, 515 S.E.2d 351 (W.Va. 1998)
  • Hager v. Marshall, 202 W.Va. 577, 505 S.E.2d 640 (W.Va. 1998)
  • Matter of Starcher, 202 W.Va. 55, 501 S.E.2d 772 (W.Va. 1998)
  • Stump v. Ashland, Inc., 201 W.Va. 541, 499 S.E.2d 41 (W.Va. 1997)
  • State ex rel. West Virginia Fire & Cas. Co. v. Karl, 199 W.Va. 678, 487 S.E.2d 336 (W.Va. 1997)
  • Costilow v. Elkay Min. Co., 200 W.Va. 131, 488 S.E.2d 406 (W.Va. 1997)
  • State ex rel. Blankenship v. Richardson, 196 W.Va. 726, 474 S.E.2d 906 (W.Va. 1996)
  • Wisman v. William J. Rhodes and Shamblin Stone, Inc., 191 W.Va. 542, 447 S.E.2d 5 (W.Va. 1994)
  • Powroznik v. C. & W. Coal Co., 191 W.Va. 293, 445 S.E.2d 234 (W.Va. 1994)
  • Henderson v. Meredith Lumber Co., Inc., 190 W.Va. 292, 438 S.E.2d 324 (W.Va. 1993)
  • Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corp. v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 981 F.2d 136 (W.Va. 1992)
  • United Mine Workers of America v. Faerber, 179 W.Va. 73, 365 S.E.2d 353 (W.Va. 1986)
  • United Mine Workers of America v. Faerber, 179 W.Va. 65, 365 S.E.2d 345 (W.Va. 1986)
  • Farmer v. L. D. I., Inc., 169 W.Va. 305, 286 S.E.2d 924 (W.Va. 1982)
  • Mollohan v. Black Rock Contracting, Inc., 160 W.Va. 446, 235 S.E.2d 813 (W.Va. 1977)

Professional Involvement:

  • West Virginia State Bar
    • President (1995-1996)
    • Board of Governors (1985-1987; 1990-1995)
    • Chairman of the Board (1996-1997)
    • Chairman IOLTA Advisory Committee (2009-2013)
  • West Virginia Bar Association
  • Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia (DTCWV)
    • Charter Member
    • Original Officer
  • Kanawha County Bar Association (President, 1983-1984)
  • West Virginia Law Institute
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Trucking Industry Defense Association (TIDA)
  • American Bar Association
  • Eastern Mineral Law Foundation (EMLF)
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow (Inducted 1996)
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Fellow (Elected 1999)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Advocate (Inducted 1996)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) (Inducted 2003)
    • State Co-chair (2014)
  • National Center for State Courts Lawyers Committee (2014)

Community Involvement:

  • West Virginia University Board of Governors (2009 – Present)
    • Board Chair (2015 – Present)
    • Board Vice Chair (2013 – 2014)
    • Audit Committee Chair (2013 – 2015)
  • Campaign for Legal Aid of West Virginia (Co-chair 2011 – 2014)
  • Chairman, Board of Directors, BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company (January 2009 – Present)
  • Chairman, Board of Directors, SummitPoint Insurance Company
  • Chairman, Board of Directors, PinnaclePoint Insurance Company
  • Chairman, Board of Directors, Northstone Insurance Company
  • Legal Aid Society of Charleston (Former Member – Board of Directors)
  • Ronald McDonald House of Southern West Virginia
    • Co-Chair of Capital Campaign (2014 – Present)
    • Former Member-Board of Directors
  • Daymark, Inc. (Former Member – Board of Directors)
  • St. Anthony School Board (Former President)
  • Governor’s Judicial Advisory Committee (1992-2004)
  • Member, West Virginia Roundtable
  • Member, Mountaineer Athletic Club of West Virginia University
  • Deerfield Village Owners’ Council (1989-1999, President – 1997-1999)
  • Former Coach – Little League Baseball, Grade School Basketball

Awards & Honors:

  • Recipient, Distinguished West Virginian Award
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America©, 1995 – Present
    • Named “Charleston, West Virginia Best Lawyers Personal Injury Litigator of the Year” (2009)
    • 2012 – Lawyer of the Year – Charleston, WV – Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
  • Listed, West Virginia Super Lawyers (2007 – Present)
    • Top Ten, Ranked Number One in West Virginia, 2009-2017
    • Top Ten, Ranked Number Two in West Virginia, 2008
    • Top Ten, First Edition, 2007
  • AV Preeminent® Peer-Review Rated by Martindale-Hubble®
  • West Virginia Bar Foundation, Fellow (Inducted 2003)
  • Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, Permanent Member
  • American Inns of Court, Judge John A. Field, Jr. Chapter (Charter Member)
  • Listed, Chambers USA (Litigation: General Commercial), 2004 – Present
  • Outstanding Service Award – DTCWV
  • Outstanding Service Award – West Virginia State Bar

Teaching & Lecturing:

  • Frequent Lecturer for West Virginia Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Commission, Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia, West Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, National Business Institute, West Virginia Business Summit, Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Energy and Mineral Law Foundation and Client Groups. Recent presentations include:
    • Mediation, Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia (2008)
    • Employer’s Immunity Under Workers’ Compensation Statutes, Energy and Mineral Law Foundation (2007)
    • Joint and Several Liability Law: Changes in the Law and the Impact on Settlement and Litigation Strategies, West Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (2007)
    • Insurance Coverage Litigation, National Business Institute (2007)
    • Electing Judges in Virginia: Would that Assure Judicial Independence?, Virginia Trial Lawyers Association Annual Meeting (2005)
    • Trial Lawyer’s Mistakes: Eliminating Yours, Exploiting Theirs, Virginia Trial Lawyers Association 43rd Annual Convention (2002)

Writings & Publications:

  • Employers’ Immunity Under Workers’ Compensation Statutes: Deal or No Deal?, 28th Annual Energy and Mineral Law Institute (2007)
  • Developments in West Virginia’s Insurance Bad Faith Law – Where Do We Go From Here?, 98 West Virginia Law Review 267 (1995)
  • Constitutional Law – Due Process of Law – Creditors’ Rights and Prejudgment Remedies, 76 West Virginia Law Review 24 (1973)
  • Insurance Coverage Litigation, National Business Institute (2007)
  • How to Evaluate and Settle Personal Injury Claims in West Virginia, Professional Education Systems, Inc. (1992)
  • Avoiding Reversible Error in Examination of Witnesses and Jury Argument, West Virginia Continuing Legal Education (1983)