Strengthened through adversity, Beasley Allen has earned a national reputation for being at the forefront of Consumer Litigation. It is a testament to the accomplishments of a number of individuals united in their passion for helping others.
In 2016, some of those individuals were tapped to lead the firm into the next generation as part of the new Executive Board, created by Managing Attorney, Tom Methvin. These leaders are LaBarron Boone, Rhon Jones, Leigh O’Dell, Andy Birchfield and Gibson Vance. All have practiced at the firm for many years and have been instrumental in its success. The group works with Tom and the Board of Directors to identify new areas for future growth as well as processes for the smooth, daily operation of the firm.
Remaining resolute in the calling and purpose made clear 40 years ago, but with an eye on the future, firm leadership has embraced opportunities that have helped shape Consumer Litigation in the U.S.
The firm has obtained justice for those injured by defective General Motors ignition switches and exploding Takata airbags, Gulf Coast states devastated by the BP oil spill, and countless consumers injured or killed by defective drugs and medical devices. It has even taken on giant pharmaceuticals such as Johnson & Johnson for deceptively marketing its talcum powder, which is linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. It has challenged the predatory lending industry that often preys on minorities, economically disadvantaged and the elderly. The firm has exposed corporate fraud such as the VW emissions cheat scandal, Exxon Mobile’s violation of leases in Alabama and recovered millions of dollars lost by state Medicaid agencies as a result of fraudulent price reporting by the nation’s largest drug manufacturers.
In addition to helping improve health and safety for consumers and workers and holding bad corporate actors accountable for fraudulent and deceptive business practices, the cases Beasley Allen attorneys have handled involved verdicts and settlements amounting to more than $26 billion.
Its record-setting cases include:
- The largest verdict against an oil company in U.S. History – $11.9 Billion
- The largest pharmaceutical drug settlement in U.S. History – $4.85 Billion
- The largest state Medicaid fraud litigation – $1.3 Billion
- The largest individual private environmental settlement in U.S. History – $700 Million
- The largest predatory lending verdict in U.S. History – $581 Million
Firm leaders also hold steadfast to the significance of each individual case. Some cases, even those that involve a small number of plaintiffs, have proven to be a powerful tool in the pursuit of justice.
One of those cases occurred in 1993. Retired farmer Durwood Spivey was crushed to death after his B-7100 Kubota tractor rolled over. The tractor was sold to Spivey without a rollover protection structure (ROPS), even though such a structure had been available to the tractor industry since the 1950s.
His widow, Dixie, chose Beasley Allen to file a lawsuit on her behalf against the tractor’s maker, Kubota. They learned that Kubota had considered the possibility of such an accident, but vetoed adding ROPS, protection that could have saved Spivey’s life, because it was not cost effective.
After four days at trial, Kubota offered Dixie $10 million in exchange for her silence about the damning information. She refused and eventually settled for $10 million minus the conditions of silence. Dixie instructed the firm to share the information with the public.
Like many other Beasley Allen clients, Mrs. Spivey’s courage helped save numerous lives and prompted significant changes for an entire industry.
Visit BeasleyAllen.com throughout the week for more reflections on the firm’s first 40 years.