Although Ben’s practice has always focused on products liability and crashworthiness cases throughout his legal career, his secondary specialties are in the areas of nursing home litigation, aviation crashes and construction injuries. His work at Beasley Allen Law Firm as a member of the Personal Injury and Products Liability Section spans this array of litigation. In particular, he has received verdicts and settlements in numerous crashworthiness cases that have resulted in multi-million dollar recoveries for his clients.
Most recently, Ben was a member of the trial team that won $16.8 million in damages over a defective cab guard that the jury found failed to protect a log truck driver from being killed by logs that broke through the truck’s cab. He has also obtained a $12 million verdict against a cab guard manufacturer for a defective product in a crashworthiness case.
In addition, Ben received a $9.9 million verdict in fall 2014 against Mazda Motor Corp. from a Bessemer, Alabama, jury after a three-week trial. The case involved a post-collision, fuel-fed fire in a 2008 Mazda 3 vehicle that collided with a pole. Mazda had designed the vehicle inconsistent with industry standards by placing an unguarded muffler next to the fuel tank, which ruptured the tank during the impact.
Ben was also on the trial team that obtained a $3 million verdict against Toyota in Oklahoma City in 2013. The case was the first in the nation tried on the theory that Toyota’s throttle control software was defective and could cause unintended acceleration. The Oklahoma jury determined that punitive damages should also be awarded. Toyota settled the case before the punitive phase of the trial.
Ben has obtained a $2.75 million verdict against Ford Motor Co. in a Montgomery, Alabama, wrongful death case and a $3.5 million verdict in a Chilton County, Alabama, wrongful death case. Ben was also part of the trial team that obtained a $4 million verdict in Montgomery County against Wal-Mart in a defective tire case.
Awards and Ratings
Ben was selected as a finalist for Public Justice’s 2014 Trial Lawyer of the Year, along with the other members of the trial team, for his work in the verdict against Toyota in Bookout, et al v. Toyota that was tried in Oklahoma City in October 2013. This award is given by Public Justice to the lawyer or trial team making the most outstanding contribution to the public through precedent-setting litigation in the last year. Ben has also been selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers consistently from 2010 through 2017, published by Business Alabama magazine, and to Best Lawyers since 2013.
In December 2008 and 2010, Ben was selected as Beasley Allen’s Lawyer of the Year for the Product Liability Section. In 2012 and 2014, Ben was selected as the firm’s Litigator of the Year. The Litigator of the Year Award is presented to the attorney or attorneys 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.”
Currently, Ben serves on the Court Advisory Committee for the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. Ben is a member of the Executive Committee for the Alabama Association for Justice. He previously was elected to serve on the Executive Committee for the Young Lawyers Section of the Birmingham Bar Association; and he was once selected “Boss of the Year” by the Birmingham Magazine.
Ben has frequently lectured on legal topics for various organizations including: the Alabama Trial Lawyer Association, the Birmingham Bar Association, the Cumberland School of Law, the National Business Institute, the Southern Trial Lawyers Association and Faulkner University’s Thomas Goode Jones School of Law.
Ben has also published a book titled “Tire Litigation: A Primer” to help lawyers know what questions to ask as they evaluate potential tire cases, and how to get started. The book is available free to lawyers. For your copy, visit benbaker-law.com/book/.
Before joining Beasley Allen, Ben graduated from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law in 1993 and began his law practice with the Birmingham, Alabama, firm Emond & Vines. He is a former partner in the Birmingham firm Hogan, Smith & Alspaugh.
Ben is a past board member of the Paseo movement in Alabama, part of the Anglican 4th day movement. Ben and his wife are members of the Christchurch, an Anglican Parish in Montgomery. Ben is also a past board member of the Landmarks Foundation of Montgomery – a non-profit organization committed to preserving historic structures. Ben is past president of the Board of Directors for The Least, a prison ministry, and still serves as a volunteer.
Ben was raised in Ozark, Alabama. He is married to the former Kimberly Strag of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and they have one daughter and two sons.