Anne McGinness Kearse
Anne McGinness Kearse focuses her practice on severe personal injury, representing children and adults in cases involving workplace injuries, toxic exposure, catastrophic burns, brain damage, loss of limb and paralysis, as well as wrongful death resulting from negligence and defective products. Through litigation, she has spent more than a decade seeking to hold accountable numerous corporations that put profits before safety, from the asbestos and tobacco companies to various consumer product manufacturers. Anne's work has been instrumental in causing the implementation of better safety practices and corporate governance measures and holding companies accountable for consumers' health and safety. She serves in a managing role for the firm's occupational health and catastrophic injury practice groups.
Anne works closely with families suffering from extreme and life-altering injuries caused by negligent manufacturing or management. She represents people severely burned by the ethanol-based fuel gel used in decorative firepots and is a member of the Motley Rice team litigating dozens of claims against manufacturers Napa Home and Garden, Inc., and Fuel Barons, Inc., and their insurers. Additionally, she represents a West Virginia resident seriously injured by carbon monoxide poisoning while a hotel guest and recently resolved a suit filed by a family whose young daughter suffered brain damage after a near drowning.
During law school, Anne supported the legal team representing the State Attorneys General in the historic lawsuit against Big Tobacco, which resulted in the largest civil settlement in U.S. history. After graduation, she helped litigate Falise v. American Tobacco Company and began representing asbestos victims. Today, she continues to represent people diagnosed with the devastating, deadly occupational disease mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure in the chemical, electric power generation, steel or construction industries. She also litigates asbestos claims for household exposure victims, including children and housewives who developed mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases because they were exposed to asbestos a family member brought home on clothes or belongings.
Anne has tried several noteworthy cases, including Cox vs. A&I Company, West Virginia's first domestic asbestos exposure case, and the 2002 West Virginia Consolidated Asbestos Trial against Union Carbide in which the company was found to have maintained unsafe working conditions at its plants throughout the state. In addition to maintaining an active trial schedule, Anne represents Canadian Workers' Compensation Boards in U.S. courts to recoup benefits they paid Canadian asbestos victims.
Anne currently chairs the American Association for Justice Committee on Asbestos Education for the Asbestos Litigation Group. She has written several articles of interest to the plaintiffs' bar and frequently speaks on asbestos litigation, general product liability and tort reform at seminars across the country. She has been published on major legal issues, including forum non conveniens and defective products abroad, corporate misconduct, medicolegal aspects of asbestos litigation and mass tort litigation. Anne contributed to the 12th chapter of the book, "Pathology of Asbestos-Associated Diseases." (Medicolegal Aspects of Asbestos-Related Diseases: A Plaintiff's Attorney's Perspective, 2nd ed., 2004). Edited by Victor L. Roggli, MD; Tim D. Oury, MD, PhD; and Thomas A. Sporn, MD, this publication is a comprehensive asbestos reference book used by both physicians and attorneys.
Anne's peers selected her for inclusion in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 editions of The Best Lawyers in America® for her work in mass tort litigation/class actions- plaintiffs, and the 2012 and 2013 editions of Benchmark Plaintiff, The Definitive Guide to America's Leading Plaintiff Firms & Attorneys recognized her as a "Litigation Star" in both its national and South Carolina rankings for mass tort/product liability. The National Trial Lawyers named her in 2010 as one of its Top 100 Trial Lawyers™ in South Carolina. She was also highlighted in the 2009, 2011 and 2012 Litigation editions of The Legal 500 United States (mass tort and class action: plaintiff representation- toxic tort). Ann was selected by her peers for inclusion in the 2013 South Carolina Super Lawyers® list and is recognized as a BV® rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell®.
In 2012, Anne was elected to the Board of Governors for the South Carolina Association for Justice and asked to serve on its Legislative Policy Working Group. She was also elected in 2012 to the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a chair of its Committee on Asbestos Education for the Asbestos Litigation Group and Vice-Chair for STEP (Section of Toxic, Environmental and Pharmaceutical Torts). In 2011, Anne was re-elected to the Public Justice Foundation's Board of Directors and, in 2012, was elected to serve on the Foundation's Executive Committee. She was named in 2011 to the Executive Board for Safe Kids Trident Coalition, a local chapter of Safe Kids USA, to advocate for childhood injury prevention.
Anne is a member of the American Association for Justice, American Bar Association, South Carolina Association for Justice and Litigation Counsel of America Trial Lawyer Honorary Society. A University of South Carolina School of Law bronze Compleat Award recipient, she is also a member of the Order of the Coif, Order of the Wig and Robe, John Belton O'Neal Inn of Court and the James L. Petigru Chapter of the American Inns of Court.
* The Best Lawyers in America® 2012 (Copyright 2011 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.)
* Please remember that every case is different. Although it endorses this lawyer, The Legal 500 United States is not a Motley Rice client. Any result we achieve for one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.