James B. Matthews III
James B. Matthews is an experienced Athens personal injury attorney at Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. Jim handles a wide range of plaintiffs’ personal injury cases but focuses his practice on medical negligence, trucking accidents, premises liability, and business litigation. Jim is also actively working in hernia mesh litigation involving the C-Qur mesh products (he is State Liaison Counsel), the Ethicon Physiomesh product, and mesh products made by C.R. Bard, Inc. (he is co-lead counsel).
Jim is from Cordele, Georgia, where he attended Crisp County High School before going on to attend Georgia Southern University on a baseball scholarship. After being drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1978, Jim played professionally in the minor leagues for a short while before ultimately following a path towards his legal career. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1983.
With more than 35 years of legal experience, Jim has earned a reputation as a seasoned and successful trial lawyer. In the early years of his career, he worked for the defense in hundreds of personal injury cases. He defended hospitals and physicians, trucking companies, and manufacturers of various companies, including tobacco and asbestos products. He also worked on behalf of numerous companies in business litigation matters. Jim eventually decided to switch sides and, in 1990, he began practicing on behalf of plaintiffs. At Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C., he now handles a wide variety of personal injury and wrongful death cases brought by injured victims and their families, as well as plaintiff business litigation. Most of Jim’s clients are referred to him by other attorneys and former clients he has helped in the past.
Some of Jim’s notable cases include:
- A champion high school runner who suffered alleged medical malpractice, resulting in a below-the-knee amputation (the individual went on to become a world champion sprinter in the Paralympics)
- A three-year-old girl who was severely burned after an older child at a daycare center threw a lit match that ignited the young girl’s dress; in addition to obtaining settlement from the day-care facility, Jim proved that the girl’s dress did not meet federal standards of flammability for children’s clothing.
- The surviving family members of two railroad engineers who burned to death when the driver of a gasoline tanker truck attempted to beat the oncoming train, causing the engine to strike the tanker and burst into flame
- The family members of a 40-year-old mother who was killed during routine, outpatient arthroscopic shoulder surgery due to an anesthesia mistake
- Individuals who were exposed to hexavalent chromium in the workplace, resulting in serious, disabling, life-altering respiratory conditions
- A man who suffered severe burns over 70% of his body and face after a sugar refinery in Savannah exploded
- A woman who suffered from a defective hernia mesh that punctured her bowel, resulting in the need for eight separate surgeries over the course of three years to have parts of her intestines removed and address infected tissue
- A young woman who was killed in a private airplane crash
- Hundreds of families who had their homes contaminated with arsenic in the rural town in which they lived due to the presence of a pesticide plant nearby
- Numerous women who suffered injuries after receiving surgery to have plastic pelvic mesh devices implanted
- A 37-year-old mother who suffered amputations of both legs and lost her unborn child as a result of a crash involving a large truck
- Multiple cases involving paralysis of veterans being treated at VA hospitals
Jim’s outstanding work has earned him prestige and honors from numerous national organizations and publications across the country. He is an invited Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a prestigious organization that limits its membership to no more than the top 1% of trial attorneys from each state. He has also been voted to Best Lawyers in America® for the past 20 consecutive years and Georgia Trend Magazine designated him a Legal Elite. Jim has received the highest possible peer review rating, an AV® Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®.
Jim also worked for the St. Louis Cardinals as a professional baseball scout. Prior to this, he was an amateur coach, during which time he was honored with the American Baseball Coaches Association’s Honor Award for contributions to amateur baseball.
Jim and his wife, Lynn, have been married since 1983. They have three children. Walker is a CPA in Portland, Maine. Charles is an attorney in Richmond, Virginia. Mary is currently in law school at the University of Georgia. In his free time, Jim enjoys all types of outdoor activities, especially fishing, hiking, and golfing. He is also a trustee of the Georgia Southern University Foundation.