David W. Allen

Mr. Allen is one of the founding partners of Goodell DeVries.  He has had an active trial practice since joining the bar in 1976, focusing on personal injury defense in product liability, automotive claims, premises liability, and intentional tort claims. He has tried numerous cases throughout Maryland, both jury and non-jury.

Representative cases include:

Product Liability and Toxic Tort Litigation:

Asbestos Defense Group.  Currently heads, along with partner Thomas M. Goss, the defense of more than 20 clients in the Baltimore City asbestos litigation.  Case work-up includes all phases of case preparation, including fact investigation, expert development, discovery, settlement negotiations, and trial.  The Asbestos Defense Group prepares as many as 60 cases each month. 

Telectronics Pacing Systems, Inc. Member of national trial team for Telectronics in connection with claims based on allegations of life-threatening defects in pacemaker leads. Responsible for locating, organizing and producing documents for all clients within the Telectronics corporate structure and for coordinating class, Multidistrict Litigation, state and international document discovery. Responsible for development of electronic document management program. Also responsible for managing discovery directed to all class representatives and all MDL plaintiffs.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Represented Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in Maryland in connection with allegations of conspiracy to hide risks of asbestos. Acted as lead local trial counsel in consolidated trial involving more than 10,000 asbestos claims tried over 14 months, and in numerous other consolidated trial groupings.

BASF.  Member of team acting as national counsel for BASF in connection with Expandable Polystyrene products that allegedly caused rapid fire spread when improperly applied.

CHDC. Represented a manufacturer of an allegedly flawed pre-fabricated building design that was incorporated into a series of apartment buildings nationwide.

General Tort Liability Litigation:

Insurance Coverage. Mr. Allen handles a wide variety of liability and insurance coverage matters for a number of carriers, including Fireman’s Fund, Travelers, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, Aetna Casualty, Liberty Mutual, Scottsdale, and Harford Mutual, and for corporate clients, including United Rentals, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Consolidated Freightways, and Mack Truck.

Mr. Allen handles coverage matters including cases involving CGL policies, environmental coverage issues, automobile and uninsured motorist coverage, garage keepers policies, policies issued to interstate carriers, professional liability policies, and policies relating to premises liability.

Vehicle Claims. Mr. Allen has overseen numerous vehicle claims, including severe injury, multi-vehicle and truck accidents.  He has worked extensively with accident reconstruction experts, and coordinated onsite investigations immediately after accidents to preserve evidence, develop defenses before evidence becomes lost or stale,  and determine whether equipment involved was defective.  He also worked with experts in developing case-specific vehicle tests, such as stopping rates.

General Liability Claims. Mr. Allen manages cases including general liability claims, fire loss claims, premises liability claims, and intentional torts, such as assault and defamation. Also handles coverage issues, as well as claims involving employment issues, and allegations of professional negligence.

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Professional Experience

  • Partner – Goodell DeVries (1988 - Present)
  • Partner – Semmes, Bowen & Semmes (1984 - 1988)
  • Associate – Semmes, Bowen & Semmes (1976 - 1984)

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Professional Associations

  • The Defense Research Institute
  • American Bar Association
  • Maryland Defense Counsel, Inc.
  • Maryland Bar Association

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Selected Reported Cases

  • Werdann v. Bill & Jenny Enterprises, 1993 U.S.App. Lexis 14910 (4th Cir.)(Case had been tried and lost by prior counsel; after reversal, jury returned verdict in favor of Mr. Allen's client)
  • Shipman v. City of Baltimore, 1991 U.S.App. Lexis 18715 (1991)
  • Sara Lee v. Homasote, 719 F.Supp. 417 (D.Md. 1989)
  • Bishop v. Twiford, 562 A.2d 1238 (Md. 1989)
  • Schaefer v. National Airlines, 499 F.Supp. 920 (1980)

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Publications and Seminars

  • Author of chapter entitled "Preparation and Trial of Tort Claims," included in Maryland Trial Lawyers Handbook published by Maryland Institute for Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers ("MICPEL").
  • On faculty for MICPEL seminar entitled "Handling the Basic Tort Case"  addressing discovery and how to try a civil case.
  • Presentation to the Network of Trial Law Firms with accompanying paper entitled "Discovery of Electronic Databases Prepared for Purposes of Litigation Management."
  • Presented full-day seminar regarding examination of witnesses presented by National Business Institute with accompanying paper entitled "Using Direct Examination to Win Your Case."
  • On faculty of a full-day seminar entitled "Trying the Wrongful Death Case in Maryland: Strategies in Preparation and Valuation," presented by National Business Institute with paper entitled "Defense Perspectives."
  • Presented seminar regarding automobile liability coverage as part of six-week MICPEL course on insurance law issues with accompanying paper entitled "Automobile Liability Policies Under Maryland Law."
  • Organized and presented a seminar to the Maryland Attorney General's Office entitled "How to Try a Civil Case."
  • Author, "Let's Try Something New Again: The Effect of Allstate v. Atwood on the Resolution of Coverage Disputes," with accompanying seminar presentation.
  • Served on faculty of MICPEL's annual program addressing proper techniques for taking depositions and nine-day trial advocacy course.
  • Presented a series of seminars to several insurance carriers concerning Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act.
  • Former co-chair of Goodell DeVries continuing legal education program. Designed and taught trial advocacy course for all associates, including videotaped mock trials and programs addressing various trial advocacy issues and recent developments in the law.
  • Instructor – Georgetown University Law Center's Legal Research and Writing Program for first-year students (1975 - 1976).

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Community Activities

  • Member of Vestry, St. Martin's-in-the-Field Episcopal Church, Severna Park, Maryland (1991 - 1993; 1998 - 2001) and Senior Warden (1999 - 2001).
  • Tutor, Anne Arundel County Literacy Council (1993 - 1995).
  • Member, Johns Hopkins Hospital Hemapheresis Donor Board (1990 - 1994).
  • Handles pro bono claims through Maryland Volunteer Legal Services, Inc.

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