Ashby Bridgforth Allen 1922-2015

Published in Richmond Times-Dispatch, October 25, 2015

ALLEN, Ashby Bridgforth, 93, noted Richmond trial attorney, passed away of Lewy Body Disease peacefully at his home on October 23, 2015.

Mr. Allen was a native of Victoria, Va. He attended preparatory education at University of Richmond and Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1943 with a B.A. He served as a pilot in the Army Air Corps in the Pacific Theater from 1943 to 1945.

Following his military service, he received his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1948. With his father, George E. Allen Sr. and his two brothers, George E. Allen Jr, and Wilbur C. Allen, he founded the law firm of Allen, Allen, Allen and Allen in Richmond. He was instrumental in leading the firm to specialize in personal injury and to incorporate the law firm as a business. As a premier trial lawyer in the 1950s, he won one of the earliest successful products liability cases against a U.S. automobile manufacturer in Mahone v. Ford Motor Company. With a lifelong interest in science and engineering, Ashby developed substantial expertise in the fields of mechanics, electricity, hydraulics and safety engineering.

Mr. Allen was a member of the Lawn Society at the University of Virginia. He was a life-long contributor to the University’s Student Aid Foundation, the Athletic Foundation, the School of Arts and Sciences and the Law School Foundation. He was passionate about University of Virginia sports, especially football and basketball. He was a founding member of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, a member of the Virginia State Bar, a President of the Richmond Trial Lawyers Association, a Governor of the American Association for Justice, a member of American Trial Lawyers Association, a Board member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. With his two brothers, Wilbur and George, he endowed a chair in honor of their father at the University of Richmond School of Law. Mr. Allen was a member of the Country Club of Virginia, Princess Anne Club and the Mediterranean Society. He was an avid world traveler. He will be remembered for his gentle, kind nature and his generosity.

Mr. Allen is survived by his loving wife of 30 years, Sara Snyder Allen; his four children and their spouses, Ashby Bridgforth Allen Jr., Charles Littlepage Allen and his wife, Carol, Rebecca Warren Allen and Mary Frances Allen and her husband, George Cogan; his six grandchildren, Robert Bridgforth, Elizabeth Littlepage and Mary Margaret Allen; Ashby Bridgforth, James Zachery and Jonathan Edwards Cogan; and numerous nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his father, George E. Allen Sr.; his mother, Mary Lee Bridgforth Allen; his siblings, George E. Allen Jr., Florence McNally, Lucy Burke Meyer and Wilbur C. Allen; and his stepson, Joseph Brent Freeman.

The family is grateful to his caregivers, Karen King, Mary Toombs and Kevin Terrell. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Bon Secours Hospice, 8580 Magellan Pkwy., Richmond, Va. 23227. Services will be held on 11 a.m. Friday, October 30, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 6000 Grove Ave., Richmond, Va. 23226.