Phyllis M. Potterfield practices extensively in chemical, asbestos and other toxic tort litigation and related workers’ compensation claims. She has developed substantial medical knowledge in occupational diseases and in the selection and preparation of expert medical, industrial hygiene and toxicological witnesses. Ms. Potterfield regularly represents chemical and other manufacturing companies in premise, products and employer liability claims.
Ms. Potterfield is a past chair of the Workers’ Compensation Committee of the West Virginia State Bar Association. She helped to draft the 2003 Business Coalition Workers’ Compensation reform legislation. Additionally, she assists with organizing and presenting at seminars on workers’ compensation law and related issues. Currently, Ms. Potterfield is a member of both the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia and DRI, the Voice of the Defense Bar.
Her community activities include Rotary, West Virginia Special Olympics and Clumber Spaniel Club of America. She is Past President and Director of the Association for Retarded Citizens in Kanawha-Putnam Counties, Inc. (now the ARC of Three Rivers, Inc.).
Ms. Potterfield is a Phi Beta Kappa undergraduate from Newcomb College of Tulane University. She served on the Law Review prior to graduating from Tulane University College of Law in 1975 as a member of the Order of Coif. She is a former law clerk to Justice Pascal F. Calagero of the Louisiana Supreme Court and Administrative counsel to the Louisiana Supreme Court before returning home to West Virginia in 1981.
West Virginia Occupational Pneumoconiosis Claims — Represented coal companies, manufacturing companies and contractors in over 2500 claims for occupational pneumoniosis benefits before the West Virgina Workers'' Compensation Office of Judges, Board of Review and Supreme Court of Appeals from 1986 until about 2005. Participated in the drafting of amendments to the West Virginia workers'' compensation law, adopted in 2003, which have significantly controlled the numbers of these claims now filed against companies doing business in West Virginia.
Boggess et al v. Monsanto (USDC S.D. W.VA), 1984-85 — Member of defense team representing Monsanto in actions brought by employees and former employees alleging injuries as the result of exposure to 2,4,5-T, dioxin (TCDD), para-aminobiphenol (PAB) and other chemicals at a manufactuting plant in Nitro, West Virginis from the 1940s to the 1980s. Trial last almost 11 months and resulted in a defense verdict with the exception of a single plaintiff''''s claim related to PAB. Case involved a multitude of complex issues based on the passage of time, the 40 year time span, numbers of chemicals involved, exceptions to workers'''' compensation immunity and the difuculty of presenting technical scientific evidence.