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Dave Bennett has established a diverse practice representing and defending the amusement, sports and recreation industries; colleges and universities; religious organizations and general liability throughout Illinois.

Dave has extensive experience in the preparation and trial of personal injury cases and has successfully defended clients in numerous jury trials, bench trials and arbitration hearings throughout the Chicago area and surrounding counties. He is also an approved attorney who represents clients on behalf of many insurance companies.

One of Dave’s main practice areas is the representation of clients involved in the amusement, sports, recreation and leisure industries. These clients include theme parks, water parks, sports teams and venues, health and fitness clubs, family fun centers, climbing facilities, trampoline parks, bowling centers, ice and roller skating facilities, concert venues, camps, carnivals, zoos, and festivals.

Dave is a member and past Board of Director of the International Amusement & Leisure Defense Association (IALDA), a national network of amusement defense attorneys and claims professionals who focus their practice on legal issues in the amusement industry. Through IALDA, Dave has been active in establishing risk management guidelines for the bowling and roller-skating industries.

He is an active speaker at industry events on risk management guidelines for best practices in preventing and defending accidents in the amusement industry. Dave is a member of the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA), where he is a frequent speaker at seminars nationwide, including the Amusement Industry Manufacturers and Suppliers International Safety Seminars (AIMS), IAAPA conventions, Bowling Proprietors Association of America (BPAA), Roller Skating Association International (RSA) and Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (IADTC) sponsored Trial Defense Practices seminars.

Dave and his wife Diane live in a northwest suburb of Chicago where they are raising their three children. Dave volunteers his time at his church’s legal aid clinic at Willow Creek Community Church’s Care Center.


  • Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D. 1989
  • Purdue University, B.S. 1986

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Related Practices

Professional Experience

Professional Affiliations

  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, Board of Directors (2001—2010)
  • International Amusement & Leisure Defense Association, Board of Directors (2010—2017)
  • International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, member
  • Appointed to the General Liability Council for an insurance risk retention group


  • AV Preeminent Attorney Designation by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Illinois Leading Lawyer 2019


Bennett Hosts Interactive Webinar Regarding Tort Liability for Drowning

  Shareholder, David Bennett, recently hosted an interactive webinar titled, Tort Liability for Drowning: Wrongful Death, Personal Injury, Defenses.  David taught strategies to defend drowning and swimming injury cases.  His co-faculty member for this 90 minute webinar was plaintiff’s attorney Douglas J. McCarron, partner at The Haggard Law Firm, Corel Gables, Florida.  Access the course ...

November 2019 | Firm News

Pretzel Attorneys and Staff Participate in Race Judicata

  Pretzel & Stouffer attorneys and staff, David Bennett, Donald Eckler, Jonathan Federman, Quinn Donnelly, Aimee Alvarez, Alex Beehler, Caitlin Donohue, Scott Howie, Kelly Kono, Mary Norris, Paula Villela, and Calvin Townsend, ran in Race Judicata last night. The 5K race benefits Chicago Volunteer Legal Services.    

September 2019 | Community

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Recognized as Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell

Pretzel and Stouffer partners, David Bennett, Robert Chemers, Suzanne Crowley, Matthew Egan, Patrick Healy, Brian Henry, James LaBarge, Edward Nielsen, Howard Pikel, Brian Rocca, Alan Schumacher, Brian Sundheim, John Smith, Richard Waris, and Timothy Weaver, were selected in 2019 by their peers as Preeminent for Highest level of Professional Excellence by Martindale-Hubbell.

July 2019 | Firm News


Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Obtain Dismissal for Youth Baseball Team

David Bennett and Kelly Kono, recently obtained a final dismissal of a case for two clients, a youth baseball tournament organizer and a youth baseball team, under the contact sports exception. In Illinois, participants have no duty to avoid negligent conduct while competing in a contact sport such as baseball. During a 14U travel baseball ...

July 2019

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Obtain Summary Judgment for Insurer

David Bennett and Rich Burgland recently obtained summary judgment in favor of their insurer client. The court found that their client had no duty to defend an underlying lawsuit seeking damage to residential apartment units from the insured’s allegedly faulty roof work. The court agreed with Dave’s and Rich’s arguments that both counts against the ...

July 2019