Attorney goes toe-to-toe with insurance companies


By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

With a reputation as a straight shooter and no-nonsense litigator, David Moss has spent more than 30 years fighting for the rights of injured persons. Facing off against insurance companies, national corporations, hospitals, municipalities and individual defendants, his skills have resulted in numerous multi-million-dollar recoveries for clients and their families, with more than $10 million in successful claims in the past 12 months alone against hospitals, construction companies, railroad carriers, bars and drunk drivers.

A founding partner and shareholder of Moss & Colella, P.C., in Southfield, and named among the top one percent of auto accident lawyers in the U.S., Moss recently resolved a tractor-trailer accident in Monroe for more than $1 million.

“The truck driver lost control and jackknifed in front of my client’s son’s vehicle causing a head-on collision and killing the driver,” he explains.

Early in his career, Moss represented hundreds of railroad employees around the country for Federal Employee Liability Act (FELA) claims, experiences that taught him about highway design issues as well as serious traffic crash reconstruction matters and occupational diseases.

“That work has aided me with representing clients with serious medical problems, auto related fatalities, and other special circumstances such as highway design cases as well as construction site accidents,” he says.

He is currently handling a tractor-trailer accident in Ohio in which a young woman was seriously injured and required neck surgery. And in another challenging case a few years ago, he successfully represented a client whose husband stopped to assist a disabled motorist and was killed by a drunk driver.

Moss also has litigated numerous cases against Detroit-based casinos – including a  $15-million verdict for a Detroit family in a case involving a drunk driver and a casino.

“I’ve learned the nuances about inner workings of casinos with respect to surveillance, accident investigation and loss prevention tactics,” he says.

He also handles medical malpractice cases against doctors, hospitals and medical providers for professional negligence causing wrongful death and serious injuries – a recent success against an Oakland County Hospital resulted in a recovery of almost $2 million to a Detroit family whose loved one died.

With a sterling reputation in his battle against insurance companies, Moss recently was hired by local insurance defense counsel as a plaintiff expert in an insurance dispute in Florida, where he provided expert testimony.

Moss didn’t set out to be a personal injury lawyer. In boyhood, watching “Perry Mason” with his grandfather, criminal defense was his dream.

After earning his undergrad degree in political science and public administration, magna cum laude, from Western Michigan Univer­sity, he headed to the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law (now Detroit Mercy Law) for his J.D.

“I enjoyed the small environment, approachable professors, and a location that provided opportunities for internships with local judges and clerkships with downtown law firms – I was fortunate to have both experiences,” he says.

While litigation appealed, criminal defense did not. Because working in a large defense firm would likely delay trial experience, Moss opted instead for a smaller personal injury firm after graduation – and started trying cases almost right out of the gate.

Also a certified case evaluator/mediator, Moss enjoys mentoring and helping others. A managing partner of BSI Corporate Benefits LLC in Southfield and Bethlehem, Pa., where he provides the backbone for the BSI Claims Management division, his initial involvement was to help Tony DaRae start his own insurance agency.     

“That business has exponentially grown and his agency has exploded having clients all over the country,” Moss says. “Over the past 30 plus years, I’ve also helped numerous young lawyers who decided to start their own practices.”

A native of Southfield, and graduate of Southfield High School, Moss worked in Detroit from a young age and rode the Woodward bus to and from law school while living in Oak Park. 

He currently makes his home in Bloomfield Hills with his fiancée, Sharon Mayone. 

“We recently renovated our home and enjoy relaxing, cooking and hanging out,” he says. “We often attend Tigers, Red Wings and Lions games, we have season tickets to the DSO and are patrons of the DIA.”

When his son Henry was younger, Moss was an Assistant Scoutmaster and Henry – now in medical school – attained the rank of Eagle Scout. Father and son participated in several high adventure activities with the Boy Scouts, and both continue to enjoy hiking, kayaking, boating, and camping, as well as cycling and downhill skiing. Moss’ daughter Leah is an entrepreneur and, like her father, practices yoga.

“Being actively involved in my kids’ lives has been tremendously helpful in my practice by providing valuable insight into family dynamics as well as loss when tragedy has struck families,” Moss says.