We announced last month that Charlie Stern had joined our firm. He will be the lead attorney in the Toxic Torts Section working on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure claims. Charlie is an experienced mesothelioma lawyer, and he is well prepared to handle asbestos cases. These cases are highly complicated and require someone with a true understanding of the facts, medical issues, science and law related to asbestos litigation.
For Charlie, representing people who suffer from mesothelioma and other debilitating diseases after being exposed to asbestos is an opportunity to fight for the very people who “worked in critical manufacturing facilities, helped build America’s great buildings and cities, served in the U.S. military, or were the mechanics who kept people in their cars and on the road.” These are people who were never told that the jobs they were doing to support their families were exposing them to life-ending dangers.
Charlie grew up in Dallas, Texas, received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and earned his Juris Doctorate in 2012 from the University of Texas School of Law. He gained immediate trial experience as an Assistant District Attorney for the Griffin Judicial Circuit in Spaulding County, Georgia, and represented his first Plaintiffs harmed by asbestos with another law firm, before joining Beasley Allen in September. Charlie now lives in his hometown of Dallas, where he focuses his practice on representing Plaintiffs who have been exposed to asbestos and asbestos-contaminated talc.
“He never stopped fighting”
Charlie says it was the plight of a 59-year-old client that solidified his devotion to representing clients harmed by asbestos exposure as a mesothelioma lawyer. The client was diagnosed with mesothelioma in late 2016. Charlie recalls:
You could tell that he was going to approach his mesothelioma diagnosis the same way he had lived his entire life – full of optimism, energy, and hope. The client was a husband of 30 years and a father of five grown women, all of whom had children of their own. He never stopped fighting his disease nor for the opportunity to hold accountable the company that exposed him to cancer-causing asbestos.
Through treatments and bad days, the man and his wife arrived at the courthouse every day of his six-week trial. Charlie recalls further:
On the final day of our case-in-chief, he slowly limped to the witness stand and poignantly told his story. The trial was a success by the standards we judge trials, but the client died just a few weeks after the trial ended. It was clear to me at the time and then confirmed when he died that the only reason he was even capable of continuing was to one last time help, protect, and provide for his family. In the end, that is what most of our clients care most about.
“Conspiracies of Silence”
Charlie says he knew then that he wanted to help others fight back against the asbestos industry’s failure to protect workers from asbestos exposure. He says:
To me, I look at the asbestos industry’s cover-up of the fact that asbestos could kill workers and people who came into contact with asbestos products as one of the first great ‘conspiracies of silence’ by massive corporations in modern history. Starting as early as the 1920s, these companies knew that their products could kill people.
There were easy measures readily available that these companies could have taken to protect workers. Charlie says:
But instead of informing people of the threat that asbestos posed and how to protect themselves, corporate actors deliberately withheld this information knowing that people would die. This is the standard blueprint that we have seen with corporate bad actors over the past century whether with asbestos, tobacco, opioids, or a host of other products.
“If we don’t have our clients’ backs … who will?”
Charlie, reflecting on his life and career, says:
I am fortunate, I received a good education, have had great opportunities in my law career, and have a supportive wife and family. Not everyone has those advantages. If we don’t have our clients’ backs and make sure their rights are protected, who will?
Charlie is a tremendous addition to Beasley Allen. We are fortunate that he chose to join the Firm. He also gives us a significant presence in Texas, which is very important.