Richard D. Dumont is a Partner in Selman Breitman’s San Francisco office and is a member of the firm’s Toxic Tort/Environmental, Products Liability, and Construction practice groups. Dick primarily represents manufacturers, suppliers, contractors and premise owners in personal injury and wrongful death litigation, including cases arising out of asbestos claims filed in state and federal courts in Northern and Southern California. Dick’s clients include gasket manufacturers, mechanical contractors and building supply companies. He also has experience in defending railroads sued in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, contractors sued in underground storage tank contamination lawsuits, developers and contractors sued in construction defect cases, and lawyers, doctors and dentists sued in malpractice cases.

Dick’s decades-long experience in Toxic Tort/Environmental litigation provides him a unique ability to evaluate, investigate and defend claims related to asbestos injury allegations. He works closely with National Counsel, insurance Claims Representatives and company representatives to achieve the best results for his clients, whether that means filing dispositive motions, trying cases or settling cases for the best possible value. Dick is very sensitive to the client's needs regarding accountability for the services rendered. 

Dick has been recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer in 2004, 2011-2019. He has also been recognized as a California Business Litigation Super Lawyer in 2013 and 2014.   

Dick is originally from San Francisco, California and presently resides in Marin County with his wife Alison.  He has three daughters, all of whom have graduated from college and currently live in other areas of the country.  

Representative Matters

  • Represented a sub-contractor in several cases where plaintiffs claimed they were dying of mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs, the only known cause of which is exposure to asbestos fibers.  Plaintiffs in each case claimed they were exposed to the asbestos fibers brought home on the clothing of their husbands who each worked as skilled tradesmen at various industrial facilities.  Plaintiffs also claimed that their husbands worked near employees of the client and that the employees of the client worked with and disturbed asbestos-containing products.  Successfully prevailed on summary judgment motions in each case on behalf of the client on the grounds that the client owed plaintiffs no duty of care because plaintiffs were never present at the jobsites where their husbands allegedly worked near the client's employees.
  • Represented a contractor in a case where plaintiff claimed he contracted mesothelioma as a result of working near the client's employees who disturbed asbestos-containing products in his presence.  After three weeks of trial, successfully settled the case for less than $50K, when the original demand was $1 million.
  • Represented a gasket manufacturer in over 50 asbestos cases where plaintiffs claimed that the client was the successor-in-interest to another company engaged in the business of selling other company's gaskets and whose assets, only, were purchased by the client.  Successfully prevailed on more than 10 summary judgment motions on the grounds that the client was not a successor-in-interest because the client never purchased the liabilities of the company.  Successfully negotiated dismissals for the client in the remainder of the over 50 cases.
  • Represented a company in a personal injury case where plaintiff claimed she was severely injured while she was riding a bike that struck the truck of the client when the driver of the truck suddenly opened the truck door as she was trying to pass the truck.  After one week of trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the client on all causes of action.
  • Successfully defended a client accused of causing ground water contamination.  Prevailed on a motion for summary judgment on the grounds that plaintiff could not establish that the client was one of several companies who allegedly caused the ground water contamination.
  • Successfully defended a railroad in a case where plaintiff claimed he was struck by a moving train, resulting in the amputation of his arm.  Prevailed on a motion for summary judgment when a witness was discovered who observed plaintiff playing "chicken" with the locomotive.
  • Represented a pipe covering manufacturer in a case in which plaintiff claimed he contracted lung cancer as a result of his exposure to asbestos.  After a three-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the client.  In speaking to the jury after the verdict was rendered, it was determined that the jury decided that plaintiff's lung cancer was caused by his 30+ pack-year smoking history.

Professional Associations And Memberships

  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, Member
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI), Member
  • Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada, Member

Awards

  • Super Lawyers: 2004, 2011-2019
  • Rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell

Past Employment Positions

  • San Francisco District Attorney's Office, Assistant District Attorney
  • Temporary Emergency Court of Appeals, Washington, D.C., Law Clerk

Bar Admission

  • California, 1983
  • District of Columbia, 1980

Education

Golden Gate University School of Law, J.D., 1979

University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1974

Major: History