When I was 10 years old, I was involved in a terrible accident. Driving down a dirt road in Mershon, GA, I was with my Aunt Maveline. I remember I was going on an errand with her. I had a brought a glass of sweet tea with me. It was really a beautiful day. There was no way we could have known how much that day would affect our lives.
We came up to a four-way stop at the dirt road, and Aunt Maveline was always such a careful driver. We pulled out from the stop, like you are supposed to. A huge dump truck blasted through the stop sign and side swiped us, coming right at me.
All I can remember was the loud noise of a car screeching and glass everywhere. The tea glass I was holding exploded. Shards of glass flew into my face, slashing it from my cheek all the way down to my lip. The whole side of my face was just hanging wide open.
I had to have eight to ten plastic surgeries before I was actually put back together again. I was teased horribly as a child, with bandages all over my face.
My parents and my grandparents were from South Georgia, and they didn’t know how to fight big companies. The truck driver and the company he worked for got away, almost scot-free. We barely had enough to pay for my surgery. I took what little was left and dedicated my life to fighting for folks that have been in accidents like mine. It became my dream and my dedication to become a lawyer. Through faith and determination, God placed me in the field of product liability. Today, I defend families just like mine against negligent corporations to help them get the compensation they deserve and get back on the road to healing.
Joseph (“Joe”) E. Ritch obtained his law degree from the University of Tulsa College of Law in 2002, where he graduated with honors and published a note in the International Law Journal. After graduating from law school, Joe went on to obtain his L.L.M. in taxation from the University of Florida, one of the top tax law programs in the country.
Joe joined the law firm of Wigington, Rumley, LLP in January of 2007. As an equity partner in October 2011, Joe successfully litigated numerous cases throughout the country and has obtained significant verdicts and settlements. He has litigated cases in Texas, California, Michigan, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, and Ohio. His work on a Texas dram shop case resulted in the largest dram shop verdict in the state of Texas for 2009.
He has successfully prosecuted oil and gas well site accidents against various Fortune 500 companies. In addition to oil and gas well site litigation, Joe has expanded his practice into environmental litigation and has worked to represent clients affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010. He is also working in connection with air quality groups around the country to combat defectively designed outdoor wood boilers (OWBs) that pollute the air.
- 2009: Largest dram shop case in the state of Texas
- 2010: Successfully took on big oil companies in the Gulf Disaster
- 2010-2014: Top Texas Lawyer, Texas Monthly
- 2012-2021: Top 100 Trial Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers
- 2020-2021: Texas Super Lawyers
- 2010-2017: Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars
- Member, Texas Bar Foundation
- Member, Attorneys Information Exchange Group
His accomplishments have been featured in Texas Monthly, Verdict Search, Texas Lawyer, and numerous other publications from Texas to Michigan.
In May of 2014, Joe teamed up with Michael A. Elliott to form Elliott & Ritch, LLP and pursue earnest dedication to defending families that have been affected by tragedy. Since then, he has successfully represented hundreds of families in need, resulting in millions of dollars in settlements.
Product Liability $7 Million
Snubbing unit failure
Product Liability $5.7 Million
Bar Blamed for Drunk Driving Death
Product Liability $5 Million
Seat Back Failure
Product Liability $4 Million
Defective Steering Linkage
Product Liability $3 Million
Product Liability $2.7 Million
Defective Products $1.8 Million
Injury Due to Defective Product
Product Liability $1.5 Million
Failure of Airbag to Deploy
Product Liability $1.2 Million
Defective Roof System
Commercial Truck Accident $875,000