Throughout his career, Matt has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in the Alabama state and federal courts in a wide range of cases, involving professional liability, administrative law, business torts, trade secrets, fraud, will and trust disputes, contract disputes, bad-faith insurance claims, construction litigation, premises liability, and voter fraud claims. He has also handled numerous personal injury and wrongful death claims, including food poisoning, car accidents, rollovers and motorcycle accidents resulting in traumatic brain injuries. Matt also has handled appeals in state and federal appellate courts across the United States. His clients have received settlements totaling more than $46 million.
As a member of Beasley Allen’s Mass Torts Section, Matt is currently involved in defective medical device litigation. He is lead attorney on cases involving Zimmer Biomet’s Comprehensive Reverse Shoulder System, which is under a Class 1 Recall for excessive fracture rates of its humeral tray component leading to otherwise unnecessary and premature revision surgeries. He is also working on cases involving Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filters, which are implanted to stop blood clots but can migrate or fracture and lead to embolism, organ damage or death; 3M Bair Huggers, which are warming blankets used during joint replacement surgeries that can cause post-operative deep-joint infection; Viagra and Cialis, which can increase the risk of melanoma; and Biomet’s metal-on-metal hip implants, which can cause metal ions to be released into the human bloodstream and cause serious systemic reactions. Matt recently joined the talcum powder litigation team and will be working on cases involving Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products which have led to ovarian cancer in thousands of women.
Matt also has litigated hundreds cases involving Baycol, Vioxx, Zyprexa, Crestor, as well as well-known antibiotics that caused patients to develop Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. He was involved in litigation surrounding the highly publicized New England Compounding Center (NECC) fungal meningitis outbreak of 2012, as well as litigation involving Granuflo and Lipitor.
Matt ultimately led the firm’s involvement in litigation related to post-operative pain pumps used in routine arthroscopic shoulder surgeries. These pain pumps delivered large doses of anesthetic medications over a two to three-day period to shoulder joints to manage pain, but caused a devastating condition known as chondrolysis, where the cartilage in the shoulder joint was destroyed, requiring premature prosthetic joint replacement in young adults and teenagers. Among his clients were highly accomplished musicians, former college athletes, NFL prospects, NHL prospects and Olympic hopefuls. In January 2013, Matt served as co-lead trial counsel in the first bellwether trial in the coordinated California state-court litigation in Orange County, California.
Though Matt is involved in all aspects of the litigation process, he particularly enjoys taking depositions of physicians and other experts across many scientific disciplines. Over the years, Matt has developed a strong interest in orthopedic device injuries. He has helped develop experts in the areas of general causation, specific causation, regulatory, damages, and epidemiology.
Matt also enjoys handling Pro Bono cases through the Montgomery Volunteer Lawyers Program (MVLP). In his favorite MVLP case to date, he successfully defended a homeowner at trial against claims brought by a neighbor who alleged that her BMW was destroyed by the homeowner feeding stray cats who would occasionally lay on top of the BMW. He has also obtained judgements on behalf of homeowners who were scammed by contractors who never performed work after being paid; one contractor was eventually prosecuted by the Montgomery County District Attorney for fraud and theft. In another case, he successfully helped a school teacher invalidate a lease agreement where the owner failed to properly maintain the rental property’s heater during one of Alabama’s coldest winters on record.
Ratings and Awards
Matt has consistently been an AV-Preeminent Rated attorney, the highest peer-rating awarded for ethics and professional ability, since 2013. Matt was also nominated and selected by his peers in 2016, 2017, and 2018 to be among the Top 1% of America’s Most Honored Professionals®. The firm has received numerous letters over the years from judges, clients, and opposing counsel about Matt’s level of professionalism in and out of the courtroom.
Matt is a member of the American Association for Justice, Alabama Association for Justice, the American Bar Association, Montgomery County Association for Justice and the Montgomery County Bar Association. He is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Alabama, the United States District Court for Colorado and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits.
After earning his undergraduate degree from Auburn University Montgomery, Matt graduated from of Western Michigan University’s Thomas M. Cooley Law School, completing his coursework in only two years. Prior to law school, Matt was a Staff Assistant in the Mass Torts Section. He returned as a Law Clerk when he finished law school and was hired as an attorney in Mass Torts after passing the Alabama Bar Exam.
Matt is an avid outdoorsman. He particularly enjoys hunting upland gamebirds and fishing. He was recently invited to participate in the 2018 Oklahoma Grand National Quail Hunt in Enid, Oklahoma, a rare honor bestowed upon quail hunters, and only by nomination by an active member, and he travels each year to Gregory, South Dakota to hunt pheasants at Buffalo Butte Ranch. With regard to fishing, Matt’s personal freshwater record catch was a bass weighed in at 13.2 pounds. Matt also is an accomplished barbecue chef and grill master. He is married to the former Katherine Tanner Rees of Montgomery, Alabama. They have two daughters, Anna and Isabella, and attend ChristChurch Anglican where he serves on the Usher Guild. Matt currently serves as chairman of the board of directors for Southeastern Diabetes Education Services/Camp Seale Harris, a non-profit camp for children and teenagers with Type 1 diabetes and their families. Matt is also the president of his neighborhood’s homeowner’s association and a member of the board of directors for the Dr. Dave Welch Memorial Foundation, which supports numerous local charities with a particular emphasis on cancer research.