Jimmy F. Rodgers, Jr.


Since starting to work with Jerry Summers in January 1995 in what was then known as the law firm of Summers, McCrea & Wyatt, Jimmy has worked in two primary practice areas:  products liability law and union-side labor law. Even while occasionally getting involved in criminal defense or first amendment cases, Jimmy’s work has always centered on representing people. Often he is pursuing justice for victims of dangerous corporate products—especially through asbestos and mesothelioma cases/claims—but also through other toxic tort cases involving things like water contamination at Camp Lejeune or RoundUp/glyphosate poisoning. When he’s not working on toxic tort cases, Jimmy can be found advocating for employee rights and well-being in the workplace, usually through his advising and representing labor unions. Whether handling product liability cases or union-related matters, Jimmy has been on the other side of the table battling many of the nations’ largest corporations.

On his products liability cases, Jimmy screens his cases carefully to make sure the medical diagnosis and proof of exposure are sound. Because of this intake system, opposing lawyers are assured Jimmy’s clients have legitimate, medically-sound diagnoses, which lets Jimmy demand a premium level of compensation for his clients. Using his many years of experience dealing with mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other asbestos-related diseases, Jimmy considers all available options for each prospective case including, where feasible, filing of a lawsuit outside Tennessee. Regardless whether a lawsuit is possible or desirable, Jimmy helps the victim or their family understand and pursue alternative or additional options for compensation including claims against the many asbestos-related administrative trusts and a possible federal workers’ compensation claim (where, for example, a victim was exposed while working for T.V.A.). The fact Summers, Rufolo and Rodgers (or its predecessors) has been involved in asbestos litigation since the late 1970s means the firm has a unique database of information with which to serve its clients. Because of this database and Jimmy’s years of toxic tort experience, out-of-state firms have associated with Jimmy on many cases over the years. Likewise, if it’s in the client’s best interest, Jimmy gets the help of out-of-state firms to file lawsuits or pursue compensation in other states.

Over the years, Jimmy has expanded the firm’s union-side labor practice both in terms of numbers and geographical scope. Jimmy represents labor unions and organizations whose jurisdictions collectively cover all of Tennessee. Several of his union clients have jurisdictions extending into other states including Georgia, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Virginia. Jimmy is proud to represent so many local unions and labor-related organizations and especially the hard-working blue-collar folks who are members of those groups. In his labor law practice, Jimmy has pursued cases/grievances on behalf of unions in federal and state courts, in arbitrations, in contract negotiations, and in matters before the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the U.S. Department of Labor. He has handled numerous arbitration cases involving discharge/termination, contract interpretation, or both.

Although he does not do so anymore, Jimmy has advised and represented many individuals in work-related cases in both state and federal court. The cases he has handled include harassment, discrimination, and the Family Medical Leave Act. He has also represented individuals with such claims before the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and its sister state agency known as the Tennessee Human Rights Commission.


  • University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville, Tennessee
    • J.D. – May 1994
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
    • B.A. with high honors – May 1991
    • double major: Economics and Political Science
    • Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity
  • Dale Carnegie Course in Effective Speaking and Human Relations, Chattanooga, TN
    • August 1989
  • Tyner High School, Chattanooga, TN
    • May 1987

Professional Associations

  • AFL-CIO Union Lawyers Alliance – 2006 to present
  • Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association – 1995 to present
  • American Association for Justice – 1996 to 2021, 2023
  • Chattanooga Bar Association – 1995 to present
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • American Bar Association – 1997 to 2012
  • Federal Bar Association – 2004 to 2012
  • Justices Brock/Cooper American Inn of Court, Barrister and now Master – September 2013 to present

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee – 1994
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Tennessee – 1995
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit – 1995
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Tennessee – 2015


  • named to the 2012 Mid-South Super Lawyers list in the area of Personal Injury Plaintiff: Products
  • named to the 2013 Mid-South Super Lawyers list in the area of Personal Injury Plaintiff: Products
  • named to the 2014 Mid-South Super Lawyers list in the area of Personal Injury Plaintiff: Products
  • named to the 2015 Mid-South Super Lawyers list in the area of Personal Injury Plaintiff: Products
  • 2016 National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers – member
  • 2017 National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers – member
  • Chattanooga Bar Association, Board of Directors – member (2017 and 2018)
  • named to the 2020 Mid-South Super Lawyers list in the area of Class Action/Mass Torts
  • named to the 2021 Mid-South Super Lawyers list in the area of Class Action/Mass Torts: Plaintiff
  • named to the 2022 Mid-South Super Lawyers list in the area of Class Action/Mass Torts
  • named to the 2023 Mid-South Super Lawyers list in the area of Class Action/Mass Torts

Civic Activities

  • Christ United Methodist Church – current member; Staff Parish Relations Committee member (2014-2019), & Chair, (2015-2019); and Church Council member (2015-2022), & Chair (2020-2022)
  • Tennessee Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve – Ombudsman (2009 to 2021)
  • U.T. National Alumni Association, Board of Governors – member (2001-2004)
  • Hamilton County Chapter of the U.T. National Alumni Association, Board of Directors – member (1995-2004), and President (2000-2001)
  • Chattanooga Area Brain Injury Association, Board of Directors – member (1996-2006), and President (7/03-6/05)
  • Industrial Development Board for the City of Chattanooga, TN – member (October 2014 to present), Secretary (March 2015 to September 2019), Vice Chair (October 2019 to June 2021), and Chair (July 2021 to June 2023)

Representative Cases

  • Blackmon v. Ill. Cent. R.R., 2014 Tenn. App. LEXIS 287, Tenn. Ct. App. 2014
  • Trustees of the Iron Workers Dist. Council v. B & D Enters. & Contr., Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6658, E.D. Tenn. 2011
  • Nye v. Bayer Cropscience, Inc., 347 S.W.3d 686, Tenn. 2011
  • Nye v. Bayer Cropscience, Inc., 2009 Tenn. App. LEXIS 697, Tenn. Ct. App. 2009
  • Trustees of Iron Workers District Council of Tennessee Valley and Vicinity Pension Fund, et al, v. Howell, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50822, E.D. Tenn. 2008
  • Woody v. A.W. Chesterton Company, 2008 Tenn. App. LEXIS 146, Tenn. Ct. App. 2008
  • Chatt. Fire Fighters Assoc. Local 820 v. City of Chattanooga, 2007 Tenn. App. LEXIS 803, Tenn. Ct. App. 2007
  • Correll v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours, 207 S.W.3d 751, Tenn. 2006
  • Chatt. Area Regional Transportation Authority v. A.T.U. Local 1212, 206 S.W.3d 448, Tenn. Ct. App. 2006
  • Smythe v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours, 1999 Tenn. LEXIS 701, Tenn. Workers’ Comp. Panel 1999
  • Murvin v. Cofer, 968 S.W.2d 304, Tenn. Ct. App. 1997
  • multiple labor arbitration decisions (some reported, some unreported)

Representative Clients

  • Chattanooga Area Labor Council
  • Chattanooga Building & Construction Trades Council
  • Knoxville Building & Construction Trades Council
  • Tennessee Building & Construction Trades Council
  • Air Engineering Metal Trades Council
  • Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1212
  • Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Local 25
  • Chattanooga Area Fire Fighters Association Local 820
  • Chattanooga Electrical Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee
  • Graphic Communications Conference Local 197-M
  • I.B.E.W. Local 175
  • I.B.E.W. Local 2113
  • Insulators and Allied Workers Local 46
  • Insulators and Allied Workers Local 46 J.A.T.C.
  • Iron Workers Local 384
  • Iron Workers Local 704
  • Iron Workers Local 704 Joint Apprenticeship Committee
  • Operating Engineers Local 917
  • Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 43
  • Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 43 J.A.T.C.
  • Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 102
  • Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 538
  • Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 538 J.A.T.C.
  • Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 572 J.A.T.C.
  • Tri-State Musicians’ Union Local 80
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