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)
- 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 drafting warranties and warnings, with handling product recalls, with drafting distributorship agreements and terms and conditions for the sale of products, and with product testing issues.
- 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 in 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.
- Conducted internal investigation of claims of financial improprieties by company’s employees and issued report to company’s board of directors.
- Represented car dealership in class action case involving allegations of improper sales practices relating to rust proofing services.
- 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.
- Obtained dismissal of libel claims brought in Maine against op-ed author from California, based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
- Obtained a motion to dismiss of a libel complaint arising from a news report that allegedly implied plaintiff, a local radio DJ who posted his video of an Alt Right rally on social media, was racist. Judge Grine issued an Opinion and Order that granted all of the defendants' preliminary objections - with prejudice and without leave to amend the complaint and dismissed the case. Reilly v. WBRE-TV, et al., (In the Court of Common Pleas of Columbia County, PA, Case No. 330-CV-2018).
- Represented TV studio in successfully 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.
- Obtained summary judgment for TV station on libel claim brought by veteran who alleged that a report challenging his war record defamed him. Summary judgement upheld on appeal.
- Represented 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.
- Filed application to unseal search warrant materials relating to Justice Department criminal investigation that did not result in an indictment. Negotiated stipulation that resulted in unsealing of the materials subject to the redaction of the identification of confidential witnesses.
- 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.
- Performed pre-publication review of news stories for television stations.
- 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.
- Obtained the dismissal of a Singapore company from an adversary proceeding based on lack of personal jurisdiction over the company.
- Obtained summary judgment for coal company on trespass and conversion claims by landowner alleging that coal was improperly mined and removed from landowner’s property. Court held that landowner did not own the property where coal was mined.
- Obtained favorable settlement for oil and gas company who claimed that defendants improperly retained escrow funds relating to oil and gas lease that was never consummated.
- 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 settlement that client found favorable on breach of contract claims regarding licensing agreement relating to the design and manufacture of equipment used in coal pulverizer machines.
- 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 issues 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.
- 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).
Product Liability and Toxic Tort Litigation Experience
Securities, RICO, Class Action and Shareholder Litigation Experience
Environmental Litigation and Counseling Experience
Defamation/Libel Litigation and Media Law Experience
Commercial Litigation Experience
Representative Appellate Experience
- Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
- Supreme Court of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the Middle 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 First Circuit
- 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
- Harvard Law School, J.D., 1981
- Harvard College, A.B., cum laude, 1977
- Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2007-present
- Managing Partner of Pittsburgh Office, 2013-present
- Partners Board, 2014-2020
- 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
- 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
Named a "Lawyer of the Year" in Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions—Defendant: Pittsburgh by The Best Lawyers in America, 2020
Allegheny County Bar Foundation
- Presidential Merit Award, 2019
- Allegheny County Bar Association
- Special Project Award–Inside Your Courts, 1995
- Allegheny County Bar Association
- Pro Bono Special Achievement Award, 1998
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2015-2020
Listed in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, 2004-2011, 2013-2020
- 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, 2007-2017
- President, 2013-2015
- Vice-President, 2011-2013
- Secretary, 2009-2011
- Treasurer, 2000-2004
- Sheldon Calvary Camp
- Chancellor, 2002-present
- Alan I W Frank House Foundation
- Secretary/Treasurer, 2008 - present
- Duquesne University School of Law
- Adjunct Professor, 1998-1999
- Leadership Pittsburgh XVI
- Co-Author, “MLRC Model Brief on Newsgathering Claims”, Media Law Resource Center, November 2019
Co-author, "Second Circuit Addresses Requirements and Considerations for Sealing (and Unsealing) Allegedly Sensitive Documents Filed in Lawsuits," Duane Morris Alert, July 15, 2019
Quoted, "It Just Got a Lot Easier to Sue Out-Of-State Companies in Pa." The Legal Intelligencer, October 4, 2018
Co-author, "Georgia Court of Appeals Affirms Summary Judgment Dismissing Libel Claims Against Reporter Who Questioned Plaintiff's Military Service Record," Duane Morris Alert, December 14, 2017
- Co-Author, "Palin's Suit Against The New York Times Dismissed by Federal Court Weighing in on Defamation and Political Editorials," Duane Morris Alerts, September 6, 2017
- Co-author, "Third Circuit: First Amendment Protects Those Recording Police in Public," Duane Morris Alert, July 18, 2017
- Co-author, " United States Supreme Court Addresses Due Process Limits on the Exercise of Personal Jurisdiction Over Corporate Defendants," Duane Morris Alert, June 21, 2017
- Co-author, "Federal Arbitration Act Preempts State Laws Discriminating Against Arbitration Clauses," Duane Morris Alert, May 24, 2017
- Co-author, "Supreme Court of Georgia Clarifies Constitutional Protections for Commenting on Public Controversies," Duane Morris Alert, September 15, 2016
- Author, "After Prevailing in the Pa. Superior Court, Why Should I File a Cross-Appeal in the State Supreme Court?" Duane Morris Alert, June 17, 2016
- Co-author, "Demystifying the Law on Opinion and Embracing Milkovich," Communications Lawyer, Winter 2016
- Co-author, "Can Foreign Banks Be Forced To Freeze Accounts?," Law360, February 5, 2016
- Co-author, "The State of General Personal Jurisdiction After 'Daimler'," The Legal Intelligencer, January 26, 2016
- Co-author, "Eastern District Predicts "Bare Metal Defense" Available Under Pennsylvania Law," Duane Morris Alert, June 9, 2015
- Co-author, "Pa. Justices Adopt New Standards for Strict Liability Claims," The Legal Intelligencer, February 10, 2015
- Author, "Pennsylvania Supreme Court Adopts New Standards for Strict Liability Claims," Duane Morris Alert, December 22, 2014
- "New Pittsburgh Leader at Duane Morris," Pittsburgh Business Times, June 26, 2013
Co-author, "Preparing Your Witness for Trial," Chapter 6, Section 2 of Trying a Case in State Court, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 2012
- Co-author, "Products Liability Defendants Must Plead Highly Reckless Conduct as an Affirmative Defense," Duane Morris Alert, December 5, 2012
Co-author, "Post Trial Issues," Chapter 7 of Trying a Case in State Court, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 2012
Co-author, "Another Waive of Silicosis Claims May be on the Horizon," Law360, October 3, 2012
Co-author, "Are You Controlling Your Workers' Exposure to Silica?," energypulse.net, October 30, 2012
- Co-author, "Pa. Courts to Consider All Potential Uses of Product in Design-Defect Cases," Duane Morris Alert, May 31, 2012; republished in Law360, June 21, 2012
- Co-author, "Judge Corporate-Funded Studies on Their Merits," National Law Journal, August 16, 2011
- Co-author, "Pa. Supreme Court to Address Exclusivity of Pa. Workers' Compensation Act in Asbestos Cases," Duane Morris Alert, June 9, 2011
- Co-author, "In Stricker Case, District Court to Dismiss Medicare's Suit Seeking Reimbursement from Defendants, Insurers and Attorneys," Duane Morris Alert, September 22, 2010
- Co-author, "The Importance of U.S. v. Stricker," Law 360, September 21, 2010
- Co-author, "Class Action Lawsuit Challenges Medicare's Recovery Practices Under the Medicare Secondary Payer Statute," Duane Morris Alert, September 21, 2010
- Co-author, "Medicare Secondary Payer Reporting and Repayment Obligations: Is Relief on the Way?" Duane Morris Alert, April 22, 2010
- Co-author, "Medicare Secondary Payer Statute: Reporting Obligations Delayed, but Uncertainty Remains," Duane Morris Alert, March 12, 2010
Co-author, "Contacting Corporate Employees," Chapter 37 of Product Liability Litigation: Current Law, Strategies and Best Practices, Practising Law Institute, 2009 (updated 2012)
- Co-author, "Have You Registered Under MMSEA? New Reporting Obligations and Penalties for Medicare Secondary Payers," Duane Morris Alert, October 15, 2009
- Co-author, "Equity, Injunctions and Emergency or Provisional Remedies," Chapter 8 of Fundamentals of Pennsylvania Civil Practice and Procedure, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 2003
- Co-author, "U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Constitutional Limits on Punitive Damage Awards," Product Liability Alert, April 2003
- Co-author, "The RICO Amendment of Private Securities Litigation Reform Act: Why it Applies Retroactively," Civil RICO Report, December 25, 1996
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Speaker, "Strategic Use of Lone Pine Motions in Fracking Litigation," Webinar, September 17, 2013