Our Leading Ladies Series continues with yet another female Beasley Allen attorney who fights daily for the rights of her clients – Leigh O’Dell.
A native of Prattville, Alabama, Leigh and her siblings grew up working in her father’s small business, handling tasks from loading pallets to bookkeeping. This experience helped fuel Leigh’s appreciation for small businesses, corporate structures and tax planning. As a result, Leigh graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Accounting, and then continued onto law school at the University of Alabama with a focus on tax and corporate law – all with the goal of assisting her father with the family business.
However, the Lord had different plans for Leigh as her father passed away unexpectedly during her third year of law school. This lead to Leigh’s first exposure to the courtroom following her clerkship under Judge Ira DeMent. Through this experience, she came to understand the importance of helping people in need, and though she will always miss her father, she remains forever grateful to the Lord for redirecting her path to the work being done at Beasley Allen.
“I am thankful that though we have grown over the years and practice around the country, the atmosphere within our firm is still very much like a small Alabama firm,” Leigh said in respect to the Beasley Allen Law Firm. “The opportunity to help people at a point of real need, to stand in the gap for them, and to fight on their behalf against true corporate Goliaths is a privilege.”
Much of Leigh’s recent work has involved issues surrounding women’s health.
Leigh was recently selected to serve as co-lead counsel for consolidated multidistrict litigation (MDL) in New Jersey federal court concerning talcum powder’s link to ovarian cancer in women. Talc, a mineral made up of various elements, is ground down to make talcum powder – a cosmetic used to absorb moisture and is widely available in various products including baby powder. Tragically, multiple statistics show that nearly 14,000 women die from talc-related ovarian cancer annually. These lawsuits allege defendant Johnson & Johnson is liable for personal injuries or wrongful deaths that resulted from ovarian or uterine cancer in women who used the company’s talc products for feminine hygiene.
Leigh also handles other female-specific cases involving transvaginal mesh. Transvaginal mesh is used to repair conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The mesh is implanted through the vagina and is used to shore up pelvic organs that have become displaced due to age, childbirth, hysterectomy or obesity. Leigh is currently investigating cases linked to mesh manufactured by American Medical Systems, Bard, Boston Scientific, Caldera and Johnson & Johnson.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict litigation granted motions to create consolidated multidistrict litigations (MDLs) against seven mesh manufacturers under Chief Judge Joseph R. Goodwin in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. Judge Goodwin appointed Leigh as a member of the Plaintiffs Steering Committee for each of these MDLs.
Leigh is a member of the Alabama State Bar, where she is a member of the Federal Court Practice Section; Alabama Association for Justice; Alabama Law Foundation; Montgomery County Trial Lawyers Association; American Bar Association; Christian Legal Society and the Federal Bar Association. Leigh also is a member of the American Association for Justice and serves on the AAJ Transvaginal Mesh Litigation Group.
To contact Leigh, email Leigh.Odell@beasleyallen.com or call 800-898-2034.
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Each week, we will feature an outstanding female Beasley Allen attorney as part of our Leading Ladies series. These stories will highlight the unique ways women are contributing to the legal profession, and the opportunities that exist for young women interested in law as a career.