Rhon E. Jones, who joined our firm in 1994, manages the Toxic Torts Section. Rhon has been involved in cases for the firm where the settlements or verdicts have totaled over $1.1 billion dollars. Among his notable cases is the settlement of the largest toxic tort claim in U.S. history in Anniston, Alabama, regarding PCB contamination by Solutia, Monsanto and Pharmacia. That total federal court settlement exceeded $700 million.
Rhon is currently leading our firm’s involvement in claims of personal and property damage related to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. As all Americans now know, on April 20, 2010, a massive offshore oil rig known as the Deepwater Horizon, owned by Transocean and operated by BP, exploded and caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico, about 50 miles from Louisiana’s coastal wetlands, killing 11 workers and injuring 17 others. Since the rig sank, the spill site has continued to leak oil into the Gulf, creating an environmental and economic disaster affecting the entire Gulf Coast region. This will be the largest disaster of this sort in our nation’s history.
At the time of this writing, almost 200 million gallons of oil have spilled into the Gulf, according to estimates, and approximately 35% of Gulf waters were closed to commercial and recreational fishing. Delicate wetlands were clogged with oil, harming ecosystems essential to the seafood industry and endangered ocean wildlife, birds and fish. Oil spill damage and fears caused tourism along the Gulf Coast to plummet, leaving hotels, rental properties and restaurants empty at what is traditionally the busiest season for these businesses. Our firm has filed a number of lawsuits in federal district courts in Alabama, Florida and Louisiana to help protect businesses and individuals harmed by the oil spill.
Rhon earned his J.D. from the University of Alabama in 1990, after earning his B.A. from Auburn University in 1986. He has taught Torts at Jones School of Law in Montgomery, and he is a regular speaker at national, regional and state seminars on various subjects for both Plaintiff and Defense counsel. In July 2007, Rhon received a Certificate of Recognition from the Alabama State Bar Committee on Volunteer Lawyers Program in tribute to his nomination for the 2007 Alabama State Bar Pro Bono Award. Rhon is also a board member of Public Justice Foundation, a national public interest law organization. He has been selected to Alabama Super Lawyers 2009 and 2010.
Rhon is an Advisory Board Member of the Family Sunshine Center, whose mission is to prevent domestic abuse. Rhon is also a former member of the Board of Directors of the Janice Capilouto Center for the Deaf, which fills special needs for the hearing impaired. He continues to actively support both. He is a member of the First Baptist Church in Montgomery, where he teaches Sunday School. Rhon is married to the former Deanne Rawls, and they have four children.
Rhon is doing a tremendous job for the firm’s clients in the Gulf oil spill disaster. He, as well as other lawyers and section staff, put in long hours each day on this project. All agree that Rhon’s leadership has been the key to our getting the job done. We are blessed to have a person such as Rhon to head up such an important project.
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