Product Liability Attorney
George A. Hilborn of Birmingham, Michigan, who practiced product liability law for over forty years, died of congestive heart failure on Thursday, December 20th. He was 77.
He will be remembered for his wit, humor, intelligence and most of all his passion to help those who had been harmed by defective products or others' negligence when no one else would.
After graduating from Cass Tech High School in Detroit, he joined the United States Army and served in Europe until 1958. Upon his return, he began his working career installing bumpers on Cadillacs in the old Fleetwood Plant. He married Dianne, his wife of 53 years, in 1959 and worked for various insurance companies while attending Wayne State University at night. Upon graduating, he worked as a teacher at Berkley High School and attended Detroit College of Law. In 1972, at the age of 36, he passed the bar exam and began practicing law.
George started his legal career in the office of General Counsel for Ford Motor Company. His area of expertise was managing law firms hired by Ford to defend their products against claimed defects. In 1979 he left Ford to head the legal department of Michigan Mutual Insurance Company. After several years with Michigan Mutual, he began a private practice, representing persons injured by defective products. In this he found his true passion believing that everyone is equal under the law. He spent the rest of his life fighting for justice for those who were harmed by others, taking cases others thought too difficult.
In 1993, George and his son Craig formed Hilborn & Hilborn, P.C. He worked with his son until the time of his death. He had numerous multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts. However, the dollar values were not nearly as important to him as helping people who had been told by other attorneys that they had no case. Nothing made him happier than proving there was a case. Justice was his passion.
In addition to practicing law, George engaged in charitable work, mostly though the First Methodist Church of Birmingham. He went to Chile several times to help build a library, to Ghana where he supported an orphanage and Prague to start a help center for the disadvantaged.
George and Dianne loved to travel, visiting all fifty of the United States and most of the continents of the world. He was also passionate about art, literature and politics. His quest for knowledge was never ending.
George is survived by his wife Dianne, daughters Dr. Susan Hilborn McCutcheon (Roy) and Joellyn Hilborn, his sons Craig (Ronda Martinez) and Bradley (Pauline), and four grandchildren: Richard, Allison, Amelia and Liam. George's son, John pre-deceased him by a mere two weeks. He is also survived by his sister Janice Young.
The family will receive friends at A. J. Desmond & Sons, Funeral Home (Vasu, Rodgers, & Connell Chapel), 32515 Woodward, on Sunday, January 6th from 2:00 until 5:00 pm.
Memorial Service will be held on Monday, January 7th at 10:30am at First Methodist Church 1589 W. Maple Road, Birmingham, MI. A memorial service for his son, John will be conducted at 1:30pm that day as well.
The family asks that contributions be made in lieu of gifts to Cass Community Social Services.
Read George Hilborn's Obituary and Guestbook on desmondfuneralhome.com.