Each year, it is a unique pleasure to recognize lawyers in our firm who have done an exceptional job for their clients and for the firm, not only in the past year but throughout their career. Beasley Allen Litigators of the Year for 2014 are Leigh O’Dell and Ben Baker. The Litigator of the Year award is presented to the attorney or attorneys in the instance who demonstrate exceptional professional skill throughout the course of the year and best represent the firm’s ideal of “helping those who need it most.” Leigh and Ben have done especially well during the past year, and we are most appreciative of their dedication and hard work.
Leigh works in the Mass Torts Section. Currently, Leigh is the firm’s lead lawyer on the transvaginal mesh litigation, which involves thousands of victims who have had transvaginal mesh used to repair conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Complications include erosion of the mesh into the vaginal wall, chronic pelvic pain, urinary tract infections, bleeding, painful intercourse, urinary and/or fecal incontinence, organ perforation, and leg pain. Numerous surgeries are often required to remove the mesh, which can be risky. For many, symptoms can be debilitating and permanent. The transvaginal mesh is manufactured by various companies, such as American Medical Systems, Bard, Boston Scientific, Caldera and Johnson & Johnson. Leigh was selected to the transvaginal mesh Plaintiff’s Steering Committee for all four Multi-District Litigations (MDL).
Ben works in the firm’s Personal Injury / Products Liability section. Ben has worked on numerous cases aimed at compensating clients for human losses and influencing corporations to manufacture safer products as well as nursing home litigation, aviation crashes and construction site injuries. In the fall of 2014 Ben received a $9.9 million verdict against Mazda Motor Corporation for a post-collision fuel-fed fire accident caused by poor design of the 2008 Mazda 3. Ben also was part of the trial team that obtained a $3 million verdict against Toyota in Oklahoma City in 2013 as part of the unintended acceleration litigation.
Beasley Allen also selected Lawyers of the Year in each section. Those lawyers selected were:
In addition to these annual awards, this year it was our particular honor to establish a new award, the Chad Stewart Award. This honor was created in memory of Beasley Allen lawyer Chad Stewart, who passed away unexpectedly in April at the very young age of 41. In addition to being a dedicated lawyer who worked hard for his clients, Chad truly modeled Jesus Christ in his daily walk. The Chad Stewart Award was created to recognize a lawyer who best exemplified Chad’s spirit of service to God, his family and the practice of law in the task of “helping those who need it most.” We were proud to present the 2014 Chad Stewart Award to Gibson Vance.
Gibson is familiar to lots of the Report readers who also watch The Beasley Allen Report each week on WSFA. He is the longtime host of that popular show. Gibson practices in the firm’s Personal Injury and Consumer Fraud sections, concentrating in actions against those who negligently or intentionally harm others. He is active in service to the legal profession. Gibson is past president of the Alabama Association for Justice and the American Association for Justice. He received the Joe Tonahill Award by AAJ’s New Lawyers Division for his outstanding service to the civil justice system. Gibson also was appointed to the Alabama Judicial Compensation Committee by the Lt. Governor of Alabama, and he currently serves on the Troy University Board of Trustees. Gibson is a worthy recipient of the Chad Stewart Award.
Each of the lawyers recognized this year has done an excellent job and we are very thankful for them and for their efforts. Congratulations to all of these lawyers for a job well done. Their hard work and dedication to their clients is greatly appreciated.
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