Don DeCandia brings over 25 years of experience to his primary practice areas of products liability, tort and personal injury, and ERISA litigation. He has litigated complex commercial cases and class actions and has a depth of experience in appellate work. Don believes that listening and attention to detail are key components of a successful practice. He maintains close communications with client contacts to ensure that informed judgment guides key decisions. Don has achieved the highest rating possible from Martindale-Hubbell and is recognized by Best Lawyers in America® and Southwest Super Lawyers®.
Don’s extensive experience in ERISA litigation includes representation of life, health and disability insurers, HMOs, self-funded plans, plan sponsors, plan administrators, pension plans, and third-party administrators.
Don has handled dozens of products liability cases in the vehicle context, including the defense of several tire manufacturers in tire failure litigation. He has also represented building product and power tool manufacturers, and his practice includes insurance cases and premises liability matters. Many of his cases involve claims for wrongful death and serious personal injury.
Don takes an active role in the management of the law firm. He presently serves as Department Head for Litigation, Co-General Counsel for the firm, and a member of the Client Relations Committee. Previously, he was a member of the firm’s Executive Committee (2011-2014), the Chair of the Tort, Products Liability, and Railroad Practice Group, and a member of the Associate, Intake, and Technology Committees.
University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1989
University of Notre Dame, B.A. in English cum laude, 1986
U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
United States Supreme Court
- In 2016, received summary judgment for self-insured medical plan and third-party administrator in ERISA matter involving claim for medical transport to Massachusetts General Hospital. Witte v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska and TransCanada USA Services, Inc. Retiree PPO Plan, U.S.D.C., D.N.M, No. 14-1084 SCY/GJF.
- Achieved dismissals on personal jurisdiction grounds of three corporate entities and successfully opposed jurisdictional discovery in products liability action involving a table saw. Also received summary judgment as to the remaining defendants in 2016. Plaintiff did not appeal any of these rulings. Lopez v. Delta International Machinery Corp., et al., No. 2:15-CV-00193 JB/GJF.
- Successful defense of Best Friends Animal Society in both State District Court and the New Mexico Court of Appeals in mandamus action that sought to curtail the City of Albuquerque’s Trap-Neuter-Return program for feral cats. Appellate decision issued in 2016. Britton v. Bruin, et al., No. D-202-CV-2013-09303; N.M. Ct. App. No. 34,283.
- Obtained summary judgment in premises liability case for a service station in 2016. Successfully opposed subsequent effort to amend complaint and subsequent parallel lawsuit. Madrid v. Valero Marketing and Supply Co., No. D-202-CV-2015-06968; Madrid v. CST Services, LLC et al., No. D-202-CV-2016-04929.
- New Mexico Defense Lawyers Association – Former Co-Editor and Editorial Board Member of NMDLA’s publication Defense News
- The CLM – Member of largest professional association in the insurance industry
- Board of Directors, Animal Humane Association of New Mexico, 1996-2004
- Member, Animal Welfare Board for City of Albuquerque, 2003-2005