Kenneth M. Argentieri

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Kenneth M. Argentieri is managing partner of the firm's Pittsburgh office. As a trial attorney for over 30 years, Mr. Argentieri has represented individual and corporate clients in complex litigation, including products liability, defamation, toxic tort, environmental, securities, class action, trade secret and commercial law. He has handled significant appeals in the federal circuit courts and the Pennsylvania Superior and Supreme Courts. He has served as national coordinating counsel and as regional counsel for clients in toxic tort matters. Mr. Argentieri has also served as a mediator to help resolve contract and securities disputes.

Mr. Argentieri is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and Ohio and regularly handles matters in federal and state courts. He is a 1981 graduate of Harvard Law School and a cum laude graduate of Harvard College.

Areas of Practice

  • Trial (Toxic Tort, Appellate, Media, Securities, Commercial Litigation)

Representative Matters

    Product Liability and Toxic Tort Litigation Experience

  • Designed national defense strategy for clients in asbestos and manganese exposure cases.
  • Served as national counsel for a contractor defendant in asbestos cases.
  • Served as national coordinating counsel for industry group in asbestos cases.
  • Obtained defense verdicts in asbestos cases as regional counsel for a manufacturing defendant.
  • Defended manufacturers of hand guns, bullet-resistant body armor, rifles, welding equipment, plasma cutting torches, hip implants, riding lawn mowers, punch presses, printing machines, dental appliances, gas valves, hydraulic lift cylinders, wall heaters and coal mining equipment in complex product liability cases.
  • Defended companies in lawsuits where plaintiffs alleged injuries from exposure to welding fumes, formaldehyde, silica and other allegedly toxic chemicals.
  • Obtained dismissal of strict liability claims and warranty claims against manufacturer of hip implant device.
  • Defended steel company employer in toxic tort case where plaintiff-employee attempted to bypass the worker's compensation bar and claimed that employer intentionally injured employee.
  • Defended rubber company in multiple suits alleging personal injuries from exposure to hazardous wastes that were allegedly discarded by the company.
  • Obtained dismissal of implied warranty, indemnity and contribution claims against distributor of product sold to designer of steel making furnace.
  • Defended chemical company in premises liability cases where subcontractor employees were injured and claimed unsafe working conditions; secured indemnification from contractors/subcontractors.
  • Mr. Argentieri has assisted clients with risk management and product stewardship issues relating to multiple products. He has assisted with the development of material safety data sheets (MSDS), with designing product brochures, with handling product recalls, with drafting distributorship agreements and terms and conditions for the sale of products, and with product testing issues.
  • Securities, RICO, Class Action and Shareholder Litigation Experience

  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of broker clients in a class action securities fraud case relating to the initial public offering for a waste disposal company; also obtained attorneys' fees for client.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a general partner of a real estate limited partnership in a class action RlCO case based on alleged securities, mail and wire fraud.
  • Defeated class certification motion on behalf of a broker defendant in a RlCO case asserting securities fraud in connection with the offering of units in a movie limited partnership.
  • Defeated class certification motion on behalf of a Web-hosting company that sent facsimile advertisements to its customers allegedly in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
  • Defended securities fraud claims against broker relating to the sale of a medical software company; secured indemnification of broker by seller.
  • Obtained court dismissal of two outside directors in class action securities fraud case alleging three-tier fraud scheme by international transportation and power generation company.
  • Defended company against shareholder class action alleging violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5; obtained dismissal of claims on behalf of all members of the class who purchased on a foreign stock exchange, thereby reducing potential damages to a fraction of the total possible damages.
  • Obtained settlement that the client found favorable on behalf of a 20% minority shareholder in a health maintenance organization based on claims of improper treatment by the majority shareholder.
  • Obtained settlement that the client found favorable of national class action lawsuit alleging defects in client's bullet resistant body armor.
  • Represented corporation in suit by minority shareholders alleging corporate waste and improper treatment of shareholder; obtained settlement that the client found favorable.
  • Obtained dismissal of federal court class action alleging that hospital breached its obligations under its tax exempt status by overcharging poor patients.
  • Obtained dismissal of state court class action alleging that hospital engaged in unfair trade practices in billing uninsured patients.
  • Represented car dealership in class action case involving allegations of improper sales practices relating to rust proofing services.
  • Environmental Litigation and Counseling Experience

  • Defended a steel company against CERCLA claim involving disposal of unused heating oil; case involved the CERCLA petroleum exclusion.
  • Defended company against CERCLA claims involving alleged disposal of PCBs.
  • Defended steel company against RCRA claims by EPA in connection with consent decree to remediate the steel company's plant.
  • Represented company that allegedly released radioactive materials into the environment; case involved challenges to the constitutionality of municipal laws.
  • Defended rubber company in multiple suits alleging personal injuries from exposure to hazardous wastes that were allegedly discarded by the company.
  • Obtained Act 2 release under Pennsylvania Hazardous Substance Control Act for company that innocently purchased land that had buried hazardous substances.
  • Defamation/Libel Litigation and Media Law Experience

  • Represent TV studio in opposing a subpoena sought by criminal defendant for copies of newsgathering outtakes that were not published by studio. Opposition raised the reporter's shield law.
  • Represent TV station in libel claim brought by veteran who alleged that a report challenging his war record defamed him. Summary judgment motion is pending.
  • Represent author in libel case brought by company and its CEO who claim that a book that criticized them and offered opinions on their business tactics is defamatory. Company dismissed its claim with prejudice prior to discovery.
  • Obtained settlement that client found favorable for manufacturer of computer software that assists medical providers in managing their pharmacy inventory in suit involving claims for trade libel, tortious interference and breach of contract.
  • Obtained relief for a student news reporting organization from an order prohibiting any contact with witnesses during a homicide trial.
  • Defended newspaper that published picture of individual different from the person described in the article.
  • Defended newspaper that printed "letter to the editor" by a public figure that was allegedly not written by the public figure.
  • Obtained dismissal of claim against newspaper that published article about a house fire where owner alleged that the article defamed him.
  • Defended client who was alleged to be negligent in printing the wrong 800 number in telephone directories.
  • Obtained dismissal of false light, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims under California's anti-SLAPP statute relating to client's recording of conversation with opposing party at public restaurant.
  • Commercial Litigation Experience

  • Obtained the dismissal of a Singapore company from an adversary proceeding based on lack of personal jurisdiction over the company.
  • Obtained order to compel arbitration in lawsuit brought by former student against post-secondary school in claim that the school breached its contract with the student and engaged in unfair trade practices.
  • Obtained settlement that client found favorable for minority shareholder of health maintenance organization against majority shareholder.
  • Obtained appellate court reversal of jury verdict in a breach of contract action relating to the sale of microprocessor units for use in telephones.
  • Served as appellate counsel in assisting trial counsel on legal issue in several misappropriation of trade secret cases.
  • Obtained temporary restraining order for purchaser of product against supplier who stopped shipping product and refused to arbitrate price dispute unless purchaser paid supplier's new price.
  • Obtained dismissal of breach of contract, breach of warranty and Texas DTPA claims for a manufacturer of plasma-cutting machines.
  • Obtained orders compelling arbitration in cases alleging breach of contract claims and violations of unfair trade practices and consumer protection laws.
  • Represented corporation in suit by minority shareholders alleging corporate waste and improper treatment of shareholders; obtained settlement that the client found favorable.
  • Represented Argentina company and German parent in claim by U.S. company that leather purchased by U.S. company did not meet specifications due to chemical formulations developed by Argentina company.
  • Represented newspaper company in contract dispute with seller of newspaper equipment; obtained summary judgment on claim for consequential damages, and case settled on terms the client found favorable thereafter.
  • Represented trust company in dispute with administrator of a trust; filed interpleader action to resolve dispute and obtained attorneys' fees for trust company.
  • Represented bank in a variety of cases involving proper payment and collection of funds under Article 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code.
  • Commenced preliminary injunction action on behalf of law firm against former attorney for the return of client files that were taken when the attorney left the firm; case settled with outcome that the client found favorable immediately preceding the preliminary injunction hearing.
  • Represented purchaser of beef products in a breach of contract action brought against a supplier of beef products. Resolved action in manner that the client found favorable.
  • Representative Appellate Experience

  • Weidner v. McCann, 529 MDA 2014 (Pa Super., May 6, 2015) (reversing trial court order that denied petition to compel arbitration; court found that parties agreed to arbitrate disputes).
  • Safari Club International v. Rudolph, 588 Fed. Appx. 740 (9th Cir. 2014) (affirming trial court's denial of a preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin the disclosure of a taped conversation between Dr. Rudolph and the former president of SCI).
  • Transportation Investment Group v. Erie County Bd. of Assessment Appeals, Nos 1809 and 1980 C.D. 2010 (Pa. Cmwlth. Aug. 4, 2011) (vacating trial court order in tax appeal case that valued property halfway between taxpayer expert's value and school district expert's value; on remand, trial court significantly lowered valuation of property in favor of taxpayer).
  • Sanford L. Pollock v. Pittsburgh Opera, et al., Nos. 431-433 WDA 2009 (Pa. Super. June 10, 2010) (affirming summary judgment for the Pittsburgh Opera against real estate broker who claimed breach of an oral brokerage agreement, but who failed to memorialize the agreement in accordance with the Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act).
  • Bobak v. Feleky, 996 A.2d 1 (Pa. Super. 2010) (affirming grant of compulsory nonsuit for owner of a truck where the testimony of plaintiff's expert regarding a brake test was stricken because the expert could not confirm that the test was conducted using proper procedures).
  • Richard Vince, Jr. v. Crane Co., No. 87955 (Ohio Ct. App., 2007) (affirming summary judgment in asbestos case where plaintiff did not establish that defendant's product could have been a substantial factor in causing the asbestos disease).
  • National Fuel Gas Co. v. Equimeter, Inc., No. 05-1901 (3d Cir. 2006) (affirming summary judgment for manufacturer of gas valves on claims of breach of warranty, indemnity and product liability).
  • Clendenin Brothers, Inc. v. U.S. Fire Ins. Co., Misc. No. 2 (MD App. 2005) (filed amicus brief supporting insured; court ruled that "absolute pollution exclusion" does not preclude coverage for personal injury claims arising from exposure to welding fumes).
  • Matthews v. Kidder, Peabodv & Co. Incorporated, 260 F.3d 239 (3d Cir. 2001) and 161 F.3d 156 (3d Cir. 1998) (RICO, securities fraud, affirming dismissal of case on basis of the statute of limitations).
  • Johnston v. HBO Film Management, Inc., 265 F.3d 178 (3d Cir. 2001) (RICO, denial of class certification affirmed).
  • Hallager v. Allegheny Ludlum Corp., No. 181 EDA 2000 (Pa. Super., Jan. 10, 2001) (change of venue affirmed); No 3195 EDA 2003 (Pa. Super., Dec. 27, 2004) (affirming summary judgment for employer on claim that employer fraudulently misrepresented health test results to employee).
  • Werbowskv v. American Waste Services, Inc., 1998 U.S. App. LEXlS 31984 (6th Cir. 1998) (securities fraud, summary judgment affirmed).
  • Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corporation v. U.S.E.P.A., 1997 U.S. App. LEXlS 31462 (4th Cir. 1997) (interpretation of prior consent decree in context of a subsequent RCRA administrative order).
  • Stevens v. A-Best Products Company, No. 519 Pgh. 1993 (Pa. Super. Jan. 21, 1994) (affirming defense trial verdict in asbestos cases).
  • National Controls Corp. v. National Semiconductor Corp., 833 F.2d 491 (3d Cir. 1987) (reversal of jury verdict for plaintiff, no causation of damages).
  • Citizens for an Orderly Energy Policy, Inc. v. County of Suffolk, 813 F.2d 570 (2nd Cir. 1987) (affirming dismissal of plaintiffs' claims that County's resolutions relating to a nuclear power plant were preempted by the Atomic Energy Act).
  • Texaco, Inc. v. Dept. of Energy, 795 F.2d 1021 (Temporary Energy Court of Appeals, 1986) (reversing trial court order requiring Department of Energy to determine entitlements under Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act of 1973 — represented intervenor-appellant).
  • Botti v. Southwest Butler County School Dist., 529 A.2d 1206 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1987) (mandamus, right to a hearing where there is an alleged demotion).
  • Guardianship of B.V.G., No. 11925 (Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, 2016) (reversing trial court order denying grandfather's right to intervene in the limited guardianship proceeding relating to his incapacitated adult granddaughter — pro bono advice).
  • Weinzierl v. Weinzierl, No. 1615 WDA 2001 (Pa. Super. May 30,2002) (Protection from Abuse Act, reversal of trial court's order dismissing petition - pro bono representation).
  • Commonwealth v. Stenhach, 356 Pa. Super. 5 (Pa. Super. 1986) (vacating sentences of two public defenders convicted of hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence by not disclosing their possession of possible evidence relevant to murder investigation — pro bono representation).

Admissions

  • Pennsylvania
  • Ohio
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
  • Supreme Court of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States

Education

  • Harvard Law School, J.D., 1981
  • Harvard College, A.B., cum laude, 1977

Experience

  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Partner, 2007-present
  • Past Co-Chair, Products Liability and Toxic Tort Division of Trial Practice Group, 2011-2016
  • K&L Gates
    - Partner, 1990-2007
    - Associate, 1984-1990
  • Garvey Schubert Adams & Barer
    - Associate, 1982-1984
  • Clerk, Honorable Frank J. Battisti, Chief Judge
    - U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, 1981-1982

Professional Activities

  • Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County
  • Allegheny County Bar Association
    - Board of Governors, 2006-2009
    - Finance Committee, 2004-present; Chair, 2010-2012
  • American Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
    - House of Delegates, 2000-2003
  • Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board
    - PA Supreme Court Appointment, 2009-2015
    - Chair, 2012-2015
    - Vice-Chair, 2011
  • Product Liability Advisory Council

Honors and Awards

  • Allegheny County Bar Association
    - Special Project Award–Inside Your Courts, 1995
  • Allegheny County Bar Association
    - Pro Bono Special Achievement Award, 1998
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America, 2015-2017
  • Philadelphia Magazine - Pennsylvania Super Lawyer
    - 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

Civic and Charitable Activities

  • Neighborhood Legal Services Association
    - Board of Directors, 1998-2006
    - President, 2002-2004
    - Co-chair, Equal Justice Campaign, 2009-2012
  • Allegheny County Bar Foundation
    - Board of Trustees, 1997-2004, 2007-present
    - President, 2013-2015
    - Vice-President, 2011-2013
    - Secretary, 2009-2011
    - Treasurer, 2000-2004
  • Sheldon Calvary Camp
    - Chancellor, 2002-present
  • Duquesne University School of Law
    - Adjunct Professor, 1998-1999
  • Leadership Pittsburgh XVI

Selected Publications

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "Strategic Use of Lone Pine Motions in Fracking Litigation," Webinar, September 17, 2013