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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 Supreme Court
  • U.S. 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


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

Residential Complex Security Company Granted Dismissal

Dave Bennett, Richard Waris and Tom Draths recently obtained dismissal for a local security company in the Circuit Court of Cook County. The security company, comprised of former Chicago Police Officers and Cook County Sheriffs, was named as a defendant in an excessive force claim following a dispute in an apartment complex. Among the claims lodged ...

July 2015 | Firm News

Federal Court Dismisses Civil Rights Claims Brought Against Religious Institution

David M. Bennett and Donald Patrick Eckler, obtained a dismissal with prejudice as to all civil rights claims and pendent state law claims filed against a Chicagoland religious institution. Plaintiffs’ Complaint alleged violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 1981, and further alleged pendent state law claims for negligent supervision and ...

February 2014 | 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