Richard D. Abrams is a Partner at the firm’s Wilmington Delaware office who has been practicing law since 1991. A senior member of the firm’s Litigation Department, Mr. Abrams’s practice is focused entirely on the defense of insurance companies, claims against their insureds, and self-insured corporations. Mr. Abrams has tried numerous cases to verdict in both State and Federal court in Delaware, and has appeared many times before the Delaware Supreme Court, with an outstanding record of success in all forums.
Mr. Abrams specializes in the defense of catastrophic injury and property damage claims involving premises liability, construction defects, water infiltration, building envelope failures, motor vehicle and commercial transportation, product liability, foodborne illness, toxic tort, and professional liability claims against architects, engineers, design professionals, real estate and insurance agents. He also represents insurance companies in the defense of claims for bad faith and coverage.
Notable cases include: Recent defense verdict in supermarket slip and fall case where plaintiff suffered catastrophic back injuries causing him to become wheelchair bound. The jury rejected plaintiff’s liability theory, which was countered with overwhelming evidence by the defense. The pre-suit demand was $7,000,000.
Defended an insurance company in a coverage action brought in connection with consolidated foodborne illness claims against its insured. The underlying tort claims followed a hepatitis “A” outbreak caused by the consumption of contaminated green onions and sickening of over five hundred customers, including three fatalities. Claims exceeded the combined total of all available insurance, which was in the amount of $57,000,000.00.
Obtained summary judgment in coverage action where an oil refinery defendant, in an underlying personal injury suit, claimed to be an additional insured under its subcontractor’s policy where the subcontractor was not a party in the underlying action. The demand against the refinery in the underlying claim was $10,000,000.00.
Successfully defended a masonry contractor from a major water infiltration claim brought by a national commercial builder, where remediation costs exceeded $4,500,000.00. A panel of construction lawyers and engineers found in favor of the masonry contractor following a two week binding arbitration.
Successfully defended a national brand poultry processor, where a forklift operator ran over a non-party vendor’s employee causing catastrophic crush injuries. The case resolved at mediation following two prior unsuccessful attempts, with an extremely favorable result for the poultry processor. The pre-suit demand was $6,000,000.00.
Defended numerous cases to verdict where liability was admitted, with the only issue being damages. In all instances, the juries retuned verdicts for the plaintiffs, but awarded no compensation.
Obtained a defense verdict in ten minutes from a jury, following the presentation of a national supermarket’s defense in a slip and fall claim.
Mr. Abrams has enjoyed an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell since 2011, its highest rating awarded to lawyers with the highest ethical standards and professional ability, according to their peers. He regularly lectures on the topics of premises liability, loss prevention, evidence management, mediation, and negotiation. Mr. Abrams has also worked as a lobbyist in connection with state weatherization agencies and electric power companies pursuing deregulation and weatherization funding, and is a Delaware Superior Court Certified Mediator.
Born in Atlantic City in 1965, Mr. Abrams moved to Delaware in 1988 to attend law school after graduating from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in Psychology. Mr. Abrams has two grown daughters and three grandchildren. He currently resides in Wilmington and enjoys collecting baseball and music memorabilia, music trivia, theatre, concerts, and traveling.