D. Stephenson Schwinn

D. Stephenson Schwinn's Profile Image
Phone: (703) 246-0900
Fax: (703) 591-3673

Steve Schwinn has more than 30 years working as a trial attorney with the firm. He has been a Partner since 1991. Steve's substantial litigation experience includes defending multi-million dollar claims involving products liability, retail security, construction accidents and property damage. He was lead defense counsel in cases featured on 60 Minutes and The Justice Files, including one that led to Consumer Product Safety Commission hearings that modified pool equipment safety standards to reduce the risk of entrapment injuries. Steve serves as catastrophic claims counsel for clients in the District of Columbia and Maryland. He has also worked as consulting counsel on burn claims, and as regional coverage counsel for environmental insurance coverage litigation.

Steve has tried cases involving

  • construction contractors, crane operators and trucking companies in catastrophic personal injury, fire and flood claims
  • a propane gas distributor in personal injury and property damage claims resulting from an explosion
  • security contractors, retailers and entertainment venues in false arrest and third party criminal activity claims
  • professional sports teams, athletes, contractors, hospitals and hotels in workers compensation claims

Steve has held leadership positions in national insurance claims industry organizations. He served as Lead Chair of the District of Columbia Chapter of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance. In that capacity, he organized the first annual CLM Group admission to the Supreme Court of the United States in May 2011.

Before joining the Firm in 1983, Steve served as Law Clerk to Hon. William E. Stewart, Jr. and Hon. John R. Hess, Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

Representative clients include Philadelphia, Employer Mutual, and Zurich North America Insurance.

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Reported Cases

M.C. Dean, Inc. v. District of Columbia Dept. of Employment Services, 146 A.3d 67, 2016 WL 3654233 (D.C. Cir. 2016) (an award of permanent partial disability benefits for a shoulder injury is limited to benefits available under the schedule for loss of use of the arm. Any increase over the medical impairment must be directly linked to occupational impairment)

Casey v. Ward, 67 F.Supp.3d 45, 2014 WL 4387216 (D.D.C. 2014) (nightclub owner is not liable for a death caused by intentional, unforeseeable torts in a fight with patrons)

Presley v. Commercial Moving & Rigging, Inc., 25 A.3d 873, 2011 WL 3190330 (D.C. Cir. 2011) (consultant hired to oversee construction contractor’s compliance with contract specifications owed no duty to worker to ensure compliance with OSHA safety standards)

Travelers v. District of Columbia Dept. of Employment Services, 975 A.2d 823, 2009 WL 1951811 (D.C. Cir. 2009) (memorandum of informal conference cannot be converted into final order after application for formal hearing was voluntarily dismissed)

Smigelski v. Potomac Ins. Co. of Illinois, 403 Md. 55, 939 A.2d 189, 2008 (Md. Ct. App. 2008) (Virginia statutory employer was required to procure Maryland coverage for Virginia resident injured in Maryland)

Burge v. District of Columbia Dept. of Employment Services, 842 A.2d 661, 2004 WL 306142 (D.C. Cir. 2004) (basketball player was not entitled to lost-wage benefits because she voluntarily withdrew from employment for reasons unrelated to her injury)

Sibley Memorial Hosp. v. District of Columbia Dept. of Employment Services, 711 A.2d 105, 1998 WL 224885 (D.C. Cir. 1998) (hearing Examiner must presume Utilization Review opinion is determinative on issue of reasonableness and necessity of medical treatment)

Railco Multi-Construction Co. v. Gardner, 902 F.2d 71, 1990 WL 56490 (D.C. Cir. 1990) (District of Columbia Workers' Compensation Act of 1979 covers worker's disease becoming manifest after enactment, even though the employment events giving rise to injury occurred before it took effect)

Arneja v. Gildar, 541 A.2d 621, 1988 WL 57368 (D.C. Cir. 1988) (tenant's attorney brought slander action against landlord's attorney. Summary judgment for the landlord’s attorney affirmed on appeal)

Ringgold v. District of Columbia Dept. of Employment Services, 531 A.2d 241 ( D.C. Cir. 1987) (findings of Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission did not have binding effect on proceedings before D. C. Department of Employment Services)