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.
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.
Most recently, Ben and the firm’s Managing Attorney for the Atlanta office, Chris Glover, obtained a $12 million verdict against Toyota Motor Corp. and Toyota Motor Sales USA in Anderson, South Carolina state court while representing the family of a high school senior who lost her life as a result of a defective rear axle in a Toyota 4Runner. The defect in the axle caused it to fracture allowing the vehicle to become uncontrollable and roll into a power pole.
Ben was also 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.
Currently, Ben serves as 1st Vice President for the Alabama Association for Justice. He is a board member of the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation. Ben is also a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), a national organization comprised of both plaintiff and defense trial attorneys, and is committed to the preservation of trial by jury.
Ben previously served on the Court Advisory Committee for the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. He previously served as a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for the Alabama Association for Justice.
Ben also previously was elected to serve on the Executive Committee for the Young Lawyers Section of the Birmingham Bar Association; and was once selected “Boss of the Year” by the Birmingham Magazine.
Awards and Recognitions
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 Midsouth Super Lawyers consistently from 2010 through 2020, published by Business Alabama magazine, and to Best Lawyers since 2013. He was named Best Lawyers 2021 Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs section.
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.”
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 is a past board member of the Paseo movement in Alabama, part of the Anglican 4th day movement. He and his wife are members of the First United Methodist Church of 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.
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.