Current Civil Practice
In March, 2011, Mr. DePaulo successfully prosecuted and settled a federal securities act cause of action in the United States District Court of Nebraska on behalf of an individual investor. The civil action for fraud, misrepresentation and breach of contract was commenced against promoters of oil and gas drilling programs for investments over a ten-year period, and resulted in a return of the entire investment plus interests. Additionally, in December 2010, he successfully defended a registered investment advisor before FINRA in litigation arising out of the collapse of the stock market in late 2008. The action, appealed repeatedly by the unsuccessful plaintiff, resulted in the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals issuing a permanent injunction barring the plaintiff from commencing future actions against the defendant. Mr. DePaulo currently represents plaintiffs in actions for breach of fiduciary duties by trustees and looting of a closely held corporations by directors and officers. Additional investor actions against underwriters have been filed on behalf of individual investors for failure to adequately disclose the values of stocks have been filed and referred to FINRA for arbitration.He has also represented a plaintiff in an action to remove trustees of a family trust, and directors of closely-held corporations for self-dealing and minority shareholder oppression.
On February 8, 2011, Mr. DePaulo filed an action to enjoin the restart of the Bayer CropScience MIC (methyl isocyanate) plant in Institute, WV unless and until Bayer and related agencies of the state and federal government could certify that they had implemented the recommendations of the Chemical Safety Board's investigation following a fatal explosion at Institute in August 2008. The Institute plant was the only facility in the world that stored large quantities of MIC, the highly volatile toxic chemical released in December 1984 in Bhopal, India, killing tens of thousands of citizens of Bhopal. The Bhopal plant was modeled on the Institute plant; both were designed and constructed, and formerly owned by Union Carbide. On February 10, 2011, the US District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia granted a temporary restraining order, barring the restart of the Institute plant. In the ensuing weeks Bayer was required to produce more than 300,000 pages of documents in discovery. On Friday, March 18, 2011, immediately preceding a hearing on a preliminary injunction scheduled for Monday, March 21, Bayer announced that it would permanently cease all manufacture and storage of MIC at the Institute plant. Mr. DePaulo currently represents citizens of Instittue, West Virginia in actions before the US District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, against Dow Chemical for injuries arising from a 2009 release of ethylene oxide at an Institute, WV chemical plant.
Mr. DePaulo has filed a civil action against a drunk driver for injuries to a 23-year old single mother and infant child whose vehicle was struck in 2012 by a former City of Charles Town policeman, and against the City police and Jefferson County Sheriff's Department for civil rights violations in unlawfully attempting to shift blame for the motor vehicle accident to the injured 23-year old mother, and away from the former City policeman, whose whose alcohol level registered 2.3.Mr. DePaulo has settled claims against Polaris for the death of a sixteen year old child riding on an ATV with a defective clutch, and against Ford for bodily injury as a result of a defective throttle cable in a Ford Escape, which was subsequently recalled. Mr. DePaulo has represented plaintiffs successfullly in cases seeking damages for sexual abuse of students in the West Virginia school systems, including a claim of negligence in the against Philadelphia school officials for failing to disclose a former teacher's dismissal for sex abuse in communications with a subsequent employer within the West Virginia school system.