With a passion for justice, Anne McGinness Kearse seeks to hold accountable numerous corporations that put profits before safety. Through litigation, Anne pursues the implementation of better safety practices and corporate governance measures for those corporations, as well as just compensation for victims of toxic exposure, extreme and life-altering injuries, workplace injuries and diseases, severe burns, brain damage, loss of limb and paralysis, and wrongful death resulting from negligence and defective products. Devoted to occupational safety, Anne recently secured a jury verdict against SAR Automation, L.P. for $8.8 million* for the wrongful death of a worker who fell at a Boeing facility leaving behind a widow and two small children.
Anne works closely with victims and their families, often meeting with them in their homes for consultations. She strives to provide each client with personalized attention and individual justice, whether the case is part of a class action or stands alone. Anne believes in building relationships with co-counsel and often collaborates with other attorneys, including estate and probate counsel, in order to approach each case from a team perspective.
Anne represents workers diagnosed with the devastating disease mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure in the chemical, electric power generation, steel or construction industries. She also represents victims of household exposure— children and spouses who developed mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases after being exposed to asbestos fibers that a family member unwittingly brought home from work on clothes or belongings. Anne has tried several noteworthy asbestos cases, including Cox vs. A&I Company, West Virginia’s first household asbestos exposure case, and the 2002 West Virginia Consolidated Asbestos Trial against Union Carbide in which unsafe working conditions were found 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. In addition to asbestos, Anne represents and has secured settlements for flavoring workers who suffered respiratory ailments and other diseases caused by toxic chemical exposure.
While in law school, Anne supported the 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 was a member of the trial team that litigated Falise v. American Tobacco Company.*
Well-versed in navigating complex litigation, Anne holds several leadership positions within the firm, managing legal teams associated with occupational disease, toxic exposure and severe personal injury. Anne has written several articles of interest to the plaintiffs’ bar and frequently speaks on asbestos litigation, general product liability, legal ethics 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 co-authored the 12th chapter of the book, “Pathology of Asbestos-Associated Diseases” (Medicolegal Aspects of Asbestos-Related Diseases: A Plaintiff’s Attorney’s Perspective, 3rd ed., 2014). 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 served as the 2016-2017 President of the Public Justice Foundation, a charitable organization focused on protecting people and the environment and increasing access to justice. She is currently the Immediate Past President for Public Justice and has been on the Board of Directors since 2010. In 2011, Anne served on the Executive Board for a local chapter of Safe Kids USA, advocating for childhood injury prevention. Anne is recognized as a BV® rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell®.
AWARDS AND ACCOLADES:
The Best Lawyers in America® 2016 Charleston, S.C. “Lawyer of the Year”: Mass tort litigation/class actions – plaintiffs
2011–2019 Mass tort litigation/class actions – plaintiffs
University of South Carolina School of Law Alumni Association 2018 Complete Lawyer Award 1998 Bronze Complete Award
The National Trial Lawyers 2010
Top 100 Trial Lawyers™: South Carolina
The Legal 500 United States 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016 Mass tort and class action: plaintiff representation – toxic tort
South Carolina Super Lawyers® list 2013–2018 Class action/mass torts; Personal injury – products: plaintiff; Personal injury – general: plaintiff
Benchmark Plaintiff 2013 National “Litigation Star”: mass tort/product liability – plaintiffs 2012–2014 South Carolina “Litigation Star”: mass tort/product liability – plaintiffs
2014 Top 150 Women in Litigation list: South Carolina: mass tort/product liability – plaintiffs.