WEIRTON - For a little more than a year, a "big city" law firm has been working to provide its personal injury services to represent the people of the Ohio Valley.
Formed in 2010 by founding partners Eric Chaffin and Roopal Luhana, Chaffin Luhana is a national law firm focused on representing plaintiffs in claims involving personal injuries, medical malpractice and mass torts.
"That's all that we do," Chaffin explained. "We only represent the plaintiffs."
The firm is driven by the motto "Doing good by doing right," providing a hands-on approach to provide a credible voice in the legal system for all of its clients.
"We stand by our motto," Luhana said. "We continue to do the right thing."
Chaffin is a former federal prosecutor, trying multiple white collar cases in New York.
He exclusively represents personal injury victims, consumers, whistleblowers and shareholders in state and federal trial courts and appellate courts across the country. He also previously worked as a litigator with Reed Smith in Pittsburgh.
Luhana focuses on representing injured consumers in mass tort litigation, product liability litigation and catastrophic personal injury cases. She has been recognized by the courts for her work with women's causes.
The law firm, with a local office located at 3054 Pennsylvania Ave. in Weirton, observed its one-year anniversary as part of the community in March.
While the firm was established in New York City, it was Chaffin's own connections to the Ohio Valley that led to the establishment of an office in Weirton.
Chaffin grew up in Hancock County, graduating from Oak Glen High School in 1989.
His late father, Edison Chaffin Jr., was a carpenter and steelworker at the former Weirton Steel.
His mother, Carol Neeley, is a Bethany College graduate who has specialized in social work for many years.
"I think there's a lot of really good people in the valley," Chaffin said, noting it was a natural fit to eventually open an office in the area.
The firm also has an office in Pittsburgh in addition to New York.
Chaffin said the firm has been welcomed by the Ohio Valley in the last year, and attracted the talent of many local employees from a variety of backgrounds, including social workers, medical personnel and the local media.
"We've been really fortunate with the response from the community," he said.
It's not just about the law, either. For the last four years, the firm's partners and their families have operated the nonprofit Chaffin Luhana Foundation as a way to honor their backgrounds and build upon the values instilled in them by their families.
The foundation provides endowments to individuals and groups, creates community-based enrichment projects and supports scientific research to impact those in need.
The foundation also has partnered with Paralympian Stephani Victor, who serves as its spokesperson.
Victor, who once was a client of Chaffin Luhana's, is an medal-winning athlete and motivational speaker who encourages people to overcome their obstacles.
Among the local projects in the works is a distracted driving program, working with local high schools and providing first-hand accounts and other information about the dangers of distracted driving.
"We do care about the community," Chaffin said. "We want to be helpful."