David A. Boswell
David A. Boswell (Dave) is a graduate of Dover High School (1984), the College of William and Mary in Virginia (B.A. 1988, with Honors in English), and the University of Pennsylvania School of Law (J.D. 1992, Class Officer, Editor of the Comparative Labor Law Journal). He resides in Rehoboth Beach with his wife and son.
Dave has an all-litigation practice in Kent and Sussex Counties, with his main office in Lewes. Dave's practice focuses on workers' compensation, serious personal injuries, and wrongful deaths.
A member of the American Association for Justice, the Delaware Trial Lawyers' Association, the Delaware State Bar Association, and the Terry-Carey Inns of Court, Dave has tried cases before the Superior Court of Delaware in every county, before the Industrial Accident Board, and before the United States Federal Court for the District of Delaware, and has handled appellate work before the Delaware Supreme Court and the United States Federal Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia. He also practices before the Delaware Court of Chancery.
Many seriously injured workers with lifelong injuries have been cut off from their proper benefits by workers' compensation carriers, and forced to rely upon Social Security Disability Income or Medicare. Dave has secured compensation for injured workers both through contested hearings before the Industrial Accident Board and in private settlements, that help both his clients and the taxpayers in this manner. In a case where a young boy lost his mother to a drunk drive in a head-on collision, Dave not only made a substantial insurance recovery for his client, but also pursued the personal assets of the defendant driver's family business. Dave filed a fraudulent transfer action in the Court of Chancery to unravel a shell game whereby the defendant driver's family sought to hide valuable assets. He moved to amend the complaint to add state-law RICO counts, and finally secured for his client an additional seven-figure case recovery form the defendants' personal assets.
In a state known for its trust-friendly laws, Dave enjoyed rare success in busting a trust in Kulp v. Timmons in 2002, on the way to collecting an old 1989 workers' compensation award for his injured client, who had been turned away by several other lawyers who considered the award to be uncollectible. Though the defendant filed bankruptcy proceedings, Dave persevered, and finally secured a recovery of nearly a half-million dollars for his client in 2004.
Dave's early career in Wilmington involved many civil rights, employment discrimination, and labor law cases, against defendants such as Chrysler, Fleet Bank, the Bank of New York, and the Department of Correction. He had one of the first Delaware cases brought under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, Testerman v. Chrysler. Dave will still accept the rare civil rights or employment discrimination case of exceptional merit, involving either substantial lost wages, or outrageous conduct by the defendant which creates an intolerable work environment.
In his very first Family Court case, Albanese v. Albanese, Dave went all the way to the Delaware Supreme Court, and secured a landmark decision reversing the Family Court. The Delaware Supreme Court held that a wife who bore several children during 11 years of marriage was not to be denied her equitable share of the home acquired through mortgage payments made throughout the marriage only because she had never worked outside the home, and because her husband had never placed her name on the deed. Dave saw the case not merely as one arising under the domestic laws, but also as a women's civil rights case. The Delaware Supreme Court's 1996 decision is taught in law school and in bar review classes, is known to every Family Law judge in Delaware, and has prevented countless women from economic disenfranchisement as the result of a divorce, simply because they chose to be mothers and homemakers. Dave received the 1998 Distinguished Pro Bono Publico Service Award for his efforts on this case.
Bar Admissions and Distinctions
- Code Revisors, State of Delaware (2009-2013) (supervisory editor of the Delaware Code)
- In Re: O'Bier, 833 A.2d 950 (Del. Ct. Jud. 2003) (appointed to present evidence of judicial misconduct and disability, which were upheld by the Court on the Judiciary).
- Bar of the United States Supreme Court (2001)
- Distinguished Pro Bono Publico Service Award, State of Delaware (1998)
- Bar of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1996)
- Bar of the United Stated District Court for the District of Delaware (1994)
- House Attorney, House of Representatives, General Assembly of the State of Delaware (1994-1997)
- Bar of the Delaware Supreme Court (1993)
- Judicial Law Clerk, Superior Court of Delaware (1992-1993)
Select Case Histories
- Estate of Gallagher v. Wal-Mart Stores. Inc., IAB No. 1335625 (IAB 2012) (established compensability of medical and total disability claims, and spousal death benefit claim).
- Landon v. Beebe Medical Center, IAB No. 1347547 (IAB July 20, 2011) (establishing a hotly-contested thoracic spine injury and proposed surgery as compensable after a 3-day hearing before the Industrial Accident Board, recovering total disability and medical benefits, and securing the foundation for future permanent impairment and disfigurement claims).
- Mariner v. Dollar Tree Stores, IAB No. 1253410 (IAB May 25, 2010) (the Board awarded to the claimant permanent impairment benefits of 64% to the one arm and 25% to the other, rejecting entirely the 30%/23% expert medical opinion presented by the workers' compensation carrier).
- Wingate v. Aramark, IAB No. 1155653 (IAB April 28, 2010) (where a workers' compensation carrier cut off further benefits for an old neck injury, the claimant secured an award of past and ongoing total disability benefits, increased permanent impairment benefits, and all medical and prescription benefits claimed, recovering nearly a half million dollars between the Board's award of past benefits and a subsequent commutation of future benefits).
- Mollock v. Mid-Atlantic Health Care, IAB No. 1296340 (IAB March 12, 2010) (securing award of an open period of temporary total disability benefits from the workers' compensation carrier for the injured claimant).
- Amaya v. Defender Resorts. Inc., IAB No. 1317480 (IAB July 28, 2009) (showing an employer's labor market survey to be so faulty that it was rejected entirely by the Board, and the claimant's temporary partial disability benefits therefore were awarded at the same rate as her total disability).
- Gargano v. Food Lion. Inc., IAB No. 1179173 (IAB October 10, 2008), subseq't hr'g. (IAB May 5, 2010) (fighting off successive efforts to terminate the injured worker's total disability benefits (and refuting successive faulty labor market surveys from the employer in the process)).
- Reynolds v. State of Delaware, IAB No. 1190124 (IAB August 31, 2007) (securing authorization for a shoulder surgery where causation and the reasonability of the procedure was disputed).
- Sanchez-Caza v. Estate of Whetstone. Del. Super., C.A. No. 02C-08-002 (THG) (Del. Super. Ct. Aug. 14, 2006) (Judgment Order) (in personal injury and wrongful death action for young boy who lost his mother against drunk driver and related entities, after securing $200,000 in insurance funds, Dave obtained another $1 million judgment secured by personal assets of the defendants, and collected on the judgment in full - one of, if not the largest, recovery of personal assets in excess of available insurance coverage in the lower two counties).
- Austin v. City of Lewes, IAB No. 1155449 (IAB Sept. 22, 2004) (showing an employer's labor market survey to be so "riddled with problems" that the Board rejected it entirely, but ordered artial disability at the total disability rate), rev'd. Del. Super., vacated entirely in Del. Supr., No. 62, 2005 (Jan. 10, 2006) (Stipulation and Order of settlement wherein the employer confessed error, agreed to vacatur of all decisions below and withdrawal of its petition to terminate, and agreed to pay the claimant's attorneys' fees).
- Hudson v. Tyson Foods, 2004 Del. Super. Lexis 246 (Del. Super. Ct. July 26, 2004) (finding that the Board erred in finding that the claimant was an independent contractor of a poultry company based on an independent contractor agreement and pay arrangements with former weighmaster, where the Board failed to consider evidence that Tyson Foods hired the claimant and hadthe right to direct and control his activities, as well as his former weighmaster's activity).
- Via v. Taylor, 224 F. Supp. 753 (D. Del. 2002), later proceeding. 2004 U.S. Dist. Lexis 11246 (D. Del. 2004) (vindicating the civil rights of privacy and free association of thousands of correctional officers, so that they may not be punished for off-duty associations which have no rational relationship to prison security); see "Love cost prison guard her job, Court gives it back" in The News Journal at AI (6/24/2004).
- Showell v. Mountaire Farms Inc., Del. Super. Lexis 507 (Del. Super. Ct. Dec. 9, 2002) (finding that a workers' compensation carrier that denied an injured worker's claim, then directed him to file a PIP claim with a motor vehicle insurer, only to later admit that the workers' compensation claim was compensable, was not entitled to avoid paying the injured workers' medical bills), aff'd. 826 A.2d 514 (Del. 2003) (Table).
- Kulp v. Timmons, 944 A.2d 1023 (Del. Ch. 2002) (busting a trust as a fraud on creditors, and as a violation of the spendthrift trust statute, among other grounds).
- Holland v. Zarif, 794 A.2d 1254 (Del. Ch. 2002) (this Chancery Court decision halted the Delaware Department of Labor's practice of using clerical or intake staff to mislead the public regarding the quantum of evidence necessary to support an administrative charge of employment discrimination or otherwise refusing to accept such charges, and thereby halted the Department's former practice of systematically disenfranchising some 25% of prospective employment discrimination plaintiffs of their civil rights).
- State v. Haith, Del. Super., Cr. A. # 98-02-0369, Alford, J. (Del. Super. Ct. March 5, 1999) (holding that warrantless body cavity search for a failure-to-signal traffic stop is unconstitutional).
- Brice v. State, Dep't of Correction, 704 A.2d 1176 (Del. 1998) (en Banc) (holding the Department of Correction responsible for the legal fees of a State Merit System employee who was denied a promotion in favor of less qualified candidates on the basis of gross favoritism and nepotism; see Bias case winner recoups legal costs" in The News Journal at Bl (2/7/1998).
- Williams v. Chait, Del. Super., C.A. No. 91C-08-005-HDR (Del. Super. Ct. Oct. 10, 1996) (Verdict) (in case involving a pattern of harassment and stalking by a doctor's wife, secured a jury verdict for the plaintiff of $82,000 in compensatory damages, plus $50,000 in punitive damages).
- Albanese v. Albanese, 1996 Del. Lexis 56, 676 A.2d 900 (Del. 1996) (reversing a Family Court decision that denied a wife any equitable interest in the former marital home notwithstanding eleven years of mortgage payments made from marital income, because she did not work outside the home while bearing and raising four children).