Forest has been practicing law for twenty-five years. He spent the first six years of his career as a partner with a large "defense" law firm mainly defending large corporations in civil lawsuits. Seeing the inequalities that existed in the justice system between wealthy and powerful companies and regular people, Forest was motivated to change his law practice, join Martin & Jones and help level the playing field for ordinary, hard-working people and their families.
With the experience Forest gained from defending lawsuits, he now represents people who have been severely injured or families of those killed due to the negligence of others. Forest has tried lawsuits for his clients to successful jury verdicts in numerous states, including North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. He has also successfully represented clients in lawsuits filed in Georgia, New Jersey, Tennessee, Ohio, Alabama, Minnesota, Florida, Utah and Illinois. Forest has argued appellate cases in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
Forest has obtained verdicts or negotiated settlements for his clients from corporations in the manufacturing, pharmaceutical, medical, railroad, and trucking industries. He continues to represent clients in a wide variety of cases, including asbestos disease, defective drug, professional negligence, and the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA).
Forest was lead counsel in a case in which he won what was reported to be the single largest FELA asbestos disease verdict in the country on behalf of a CSX railroad worker who contracted the asbestos related lung cancer, mesothelioma. Forest has also obtained other verdicts or negotiated settlements for his railroad worker clients against various railroads in numerous states.
Forest has been recognized by his peers as a Best Lawyer in America since 2008. He has also been chosen for inclusion in North Carolina Super Lawyers since 2010. Forest has achieved the highest attorney rating, "AV," by Martindale-Hubbell, an independent legal services company whose peer-review attorney ratings service is an objective indicator that an attorney has the highest ethical standards and professional ability. What these accolades and ratings do not show is Forest's commitment to and compassion for his clients.
Forest has held leadership positions in the NC Advocates for Justice, and NC Bar Association and has been a speaker at seminars sponsored by these and other legal organizations. He is a fellow of the Trial Lawyers Honorary Society of the Litigation Counsel of America.
Williams v. CSX Transportation, Inc. 176 N.C. App. 330 (2006) — Forest represented a retired CSX railroad employee who was diagnosed with the asbestos cancer
mesothelioma, in an Federal Employer's Liability Act ("FELA") claim against his former employer CSX railroad.
After a two-week jury trial during which CSX denied negligence, denied the Plaintiff was exposed to asbestos and
denied that asbestos caused Plaintiff's mesothelioma, Forest obtained a $7,500,000 verdict for his client.
CSX appealed to the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and Forest argued the case on appeal and won a
unanimous decision in favor of his client. CSX thereafter paid the entire judgement, plus interest and costs.
In Re Vioxx Prodcuts Liability Litigation — Forest successfully represented approximately forty clients from various states who suffered heart attacks or died while taking the
recalled prescription pain reliever Vioxx. Forest brought the lawsuits on behalf of his clients against the pharmaceutical giant Merck.
After years of litigation, and just months before two of his clients' cases were to be called for trial, Merck agreed to settle the claims
of Vioxx users, and Forest recovered for his clients their share of a nearly 5 Billion dollar settlement for all individuals injured by Vioxx.
Romero v. Mountaire Farms, 07-cv-0190 (E.D.N.C.) — Forest and his partner Chris Olson were class counsel and represented more than 10,000 poultry plant workers in a class and collective action
lawsuit against Mountaire Farms, a large poultry processing corporation, for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and the
North Carolina Wage and Hour Act ("NCWHA"). Mountaire was not compensating employees for work they were performing before and after their
shifts in violation of the wage and hour laws. Forest and Chris negotiated a settlement totaling nearly $7,850,000, and each class member received a
share of the settlement based on the length of their employment.
In Re DePuy ASR Hip Replacement Product Liability Litigation
Forest successfully represented multiple North Carolinians in their claims against DePuy for injuries caused by their defective hip implant devices.
McLaurin v. Prestage Foods, Inc. 7:09-CV-100-BR (E.D.N.C.)
Forest was lead counsel in a collective and class action representing hundreds of Prestage employees in claims for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act. The case settled at mediation for $1,800,000.