James W. Turner


For more than 25 years Jim Turner has been a trial lawyer that corporations call when they have complex cases in difficult jurisdictions. Jim has tried over 60 cases in the state and federal courts of West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, and Maryland. He has obtained dozens of defense verdicts and numerous other “wins” in cases involving allegations of serious injury or death.

Much of Jim’s work relates to purported toxic exposures and the diseases they are alleged to cause. These cases always involve the potential risk of high damages awards and require comprehensive, detailed, and specific defenses. Jim works closely with his clients to discover, develop, and refine these defenses. He has become an advocate for evidence-based science in the courtroom and has devoted years to developing defenses based on good science supported by experts, company witnesses and documents.

While the development and persuasive presentation of a powerful defense is critical, it is equally vital that plaintiffs’ cases be aggressively challenged. Jim has been highly successful in cross examining plaintiffs’ lay and expert witnesses at trial and challenging expert opinions under Daubert.

Litigation is often a zero sum game with winners and losers chosen by juries composed of ordinary citizens. Through his many trials, and jury research projects including mock trials, Jim has honed the twin messages of “good science” and “good companies” to give corporate clients their best chance to prevail at trial.

In addition to toxic tort litigation, Jim has defended corporate clients in cases involving traumatic injury and death, hearing loss, alleged occupation-related orthopedic injuries, and damage to property.

Jim is the Managing Member of the Huntington, West Virginia office.

Representative Experience

  • Defended power company in action brought by multiple plaintiffs alleging exposure to coal waste containing coal combustion residuals caused development of more than 40 health conditions, including various cancers, to themselves and family members
  • Successfully defended railroad transportation company in claims brought under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act where plaintiff alleged injury while drilling on railroad bridge negligence by failing to provide safe workplace, and claimed he had inadequate tools, training and manpower to safely perform his job
  • Received defense verdict in matter involving representation of railroad transportation company where plaintiff alleged permanent disability due to knee injury due to railroad’s negligence and claims the railroad negligently failed to provide him with appropriate equipment, supervision, and manpower to safely perform his daily work duties which resulted in cumulative trauma to his lower extremities
  • Defended railroad against claims of orthopedic injuries from long-term exposure to occupational risk factors and convinced plaintiffs’ counsel not to put an additional 50 cases into suit that they had previously threatened to do
  • Represented a railroad in over one hundred claims of solvent-induced brain damage. Ten cases were tried, all resulting in defense verdicts. The balance of the case docket was later dismissed on summary judgment following a successful Daubert challenge.
  • Defended chemical manufacturer against claim filed by employee of bronchiolitis obliterans as a consequence of occupational exposure to chemicals including hydrochloric acid
  • Designated by a railroad as its national coordinating counsel for various categories of occupational illness cases
  • Defended a Jones Act claim in Louisiana in which a career-ending injury was alleged. Succeeded in reasonably resolving the claim prior to the initiation of formal litigation.
  • Argued cases before the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in cases involving the Federal Employers’ Liability Act, the Safety Appliance Act, the Locomotive Inspection Act, the West Virginia Daubert standard, and the West Virginia Equestrian Activities Responsibilities Act

Licensed In

  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • West Virginia


  • J.D. West Virginia University College of Law
  • B.A. Washington University


  • Member, Board of Trustees, Huntington Museum of Art
  • KYOVA Interstate Planning Commission
  • Member, St. Mary’s Foundation Board of Directors
  • Past Chair, Transportation Committee, Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Past Member, Transportation, Infrastructure, and Logistics Committee, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


  • Peer Review Rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation (2024-Present), Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants (2011-Present), Railroad Law (2008-Present), Transportation Law (2020-Present)
  • Best Lawyers® 2024 Charleston, Transportation Law, Lawyer of the Year
  • Best Lawyers® 2021 Charleston, Railroad Law, Lawyer of the Year
  • Best Lawyers® 2018 Charleston, Railroad Law, Lawyer of the Year
  • Best Lawyers® 2016 Charleston, Railroad Law, Lawyer of the Year
  • Super Lawyers®
  • Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference
  • Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Executive Committee Member, National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
  • The State Journal, West Virginia’s Top Lawyers, 2010

Speaking Engagements

  • “On Gossamer Wings,” DRI Publication Article on Daubert Effort
  • Speaker and program coordinator at numerous NARTC and other railroad-sponsored meetings over the past 20 years on topics such as toxic torts and trial techniques.

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