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 Companyand 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 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.
Anne 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 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.
In 2011, Anne served on the Executive Board for a local chapter of Safe Kids USA, advocating for childhood injury prevention. Anne was a University of South Carolina School of Law bronze Compleat Award recipient and is recognized as a BV® rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell®.