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Charles F. Rysavy

Fax +1.973.848.4001
Mr. Rysavy, a partner in K&L Gates’ Newark office, is a seasoned trial lawyer with nearly three decades of experience in all aspects of dispute resolution, focusing on complex commercial litigation, class actions, product liability, and mass toxic tort. His commercial litigation experience includes antitrust (Sherman Act), software licensing and other contract disputes, trade secret misappropriation, trade libel and disparagement, lost profits, fraudulent conveyance, and corporate veil piercing. His experience in class action, and multi-party product liability and toxic tort litigation includes numerous matters involving pharmaceuticals, radiation, chemicals, asbestos, various medical devices, and industrial machinery.

Professional Background

Mr. Rysavy has been first chair in numerous jury trials in state and federal courts in New Jersey and New York, and has actively litigated cases in state and federal courts in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Texas, Arizona, Oregon, California, Georgia and Missouri.

In addition, Mr. Rysavy has filed appeals and amicus briefs in the United States Supreme Court, the Third, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals and the New Jersey Supreme Court on a variety of issues, including fraudulent conveyances, the constitutionality of punitive damages, federal preemption, legal proximate causation, medical monitoring, and fear of cancer.

Mr. Rysavy is also involved in the Community Health Law Project, a nonprofit legal services and advocacy organization for the frail elderly and physically or mentally disabled persons. He is a member of the Board of Trustees (1997 to present), and has served as Vice Chair (2002 to 2004) and Chair (2004 to 2007).

Through the non-profit Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Mr. Rysavy also provides pro bono representation of unaccompanied minors who enter the United States without documentation in immigration proceedings in family courts and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Community Health Law Project, Board of Trustees (Vice Chair (2002-2004), Chair (2004-2007), Member (1997-present))
  • Defense Research Institute

Speaking Engagements

  • “An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: How Manufacturers Can Avoid Pitfalls in Contracts with Third Party Service Providers and Business Partners,” K&L Gates Webinar, June 17, 2015.
  • “Litigation and Trial Lessons Learned from Avaya v. Telecom Labs,” Association of Corporate Counsel - New Jersey Chapter CLE seminar, January 13, 2015.
  • “Are You Protecting Your Intellectual Property or Illegally Restraining Competition? Lessons from Avaya v. Telecom Labs”, Association of Corporate Counsel - New Jersey Chapter CLE seminar, June 2014.
  • “Tips for Being the Worst Litigation Expert You Can Be - Part 2, The Deposition,” 27th Annual International Radiation Dosimetry Symposium and National Dosimetry Records Conference, June 2008.
  • “Tips for Being the Worst Litigation Expert You Can Be - Part 1, The Report,” 26th Annual International Dosimetry Symposium and National Dosimetry Records Conference, June 2007. 
  • “Class Actions Without Borders: Foreign Plaintiffs in U.S. Courts and U.S. Defendants in Foreign Courts,” The Future of Class Action Litigation in America, American Bar Association, November 2005.
  • “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Dosimetry Recordkeeping, But Were Afraid to Have a Lawyer Ask You on Cross Examination,” 23rd Annual International Dosimetry Symposium and National Dosimetry Records Conference, June 2004.
  • “Radiation Injury Litigation,” 22nd Annual International Dosimetry Symposium and National Dosimetry Records Conference, June 2003.
  • “Overview of Radiation Injury Litigation,” The Fundamentals of Radiation Communications, Nuclear Energy Institute, December 1999.
  • “Products Liability Update, 1996 - The Rebuttable Heeding Presumption: How Does it Play Out at Trial?” New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, April 1996.
  • “Toxic and Mass Torts: Old and New,” New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, September 1992.
  • Served as co-lead trial attorney in groundbreaking antitrust jury trial on behalf of independent provider of maintenance services for telephone equipment. Following six-and-a-half month trial, jury found defendant liable for Sherman Act violations and awarded client $20 million (automatically trebled to $60 million). Case was first single product aftermarket antitrust claim to be tried to successful verdict since plaintiffs in Eastman Kodak v. Image Technical Services tried their case to verdict after U.S. Supreme Court first recognized this type of claim in 1992. In a subsequent landmark ruling, the New Jersey federal court awarded client $2.6 million in prejudgment interest. This is the first time in history prejudgment interest has been awarded in an antitrust lawsuit brought under the federal statute.
  • Serves as national trial co-counsel for pharmaceutical manufacturer in defense of product liability claims involving drug for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Plaintiffs allege “atypical” fractures of the femur bone or osteonecrosis of the jaw. Litigation includes two Multidistrict Litigation proceedings, two statewide consolidated litigations, and individual actions in other states.
  • Serves as national counsel for Canadian generic pharmaceutical manufacturing/packaging company in defense of claims involving alleged packaging defects in oral contraceptives. Plaintiffs assert claims for “wrongful birth” and various physical, emotional and economic injuries.
  • Serves as national counsel to joint defense group representing more than 80% of the U.S. commercial nuclear power industry on claims avoidance and defense of radiation injury claims.
  • Served as national counsel to Cold War era radar systems manufacturer in defense of claims by U.S. and NATO military personnel for exposure to radiation emitted from military radar equipment. Plaintiffs asserted claims for cancer and wrongful death. Successfully defeated plaintiffs’ motion to certify two classes. Thereafter defended suits brought by approximately 100 individual plaintiffs, ultimately negotiating global settlement of all pending and known unfiled claims.
  • Served as lead attorney for electric utility defending over 6,000 personal injury claims brought by cleanup workers at World Trade Center site following 9/11. Successfully moved for summary judgment resulting in dismissal of all pending claims against client.
  • Serves as lead attorney for electric utility defending against CERCLA claim by property lessee adjacent to World Trade Center site. Plaintiff demanded reimbursement of cleanup costs for contamination by “World Trade Center Dust.” Successfully moved to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint.
  • Defended individual commercial nuclear utilities against claims for radiation-related injuries in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and New York. Plaintiffs alleged malignant and non-malignant brain tumors, leukemia, multiple myeloma and other forms of cancer.
  • Served as lead counsel to second largest U.S. lighting fixture manufacturer in defense of creditor claims of fraudulent conveyance and successor liability seeking to hold client and codefendants responsible for more than one billion dollars in asbestos personal injury and property damage claims against bankrupt asbestos defendant. Successfully moved for summary judgment.
  • Served on several regional and national counsel teams representing pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in Multidistrict and other mass tort litigations.
  • Served on several regional and national counsel teams defending against asbestos personal injury and property damage claims in consolidated and individual actions.

Published Opinions
  • In re September 11 Litigation, 931 F.Supp.2d 496 (S.D.N.Y. 2013) aff’d 751 F.3d 86 (2d Cir. 2014) (dismissal of claims for cleanup costs related to “World Trade Center Dust” brought under CERCLA and various state law theories)
  • Avaya Inc. v. Telecom Labs, Inc., 2014 WL 97335 (D.N.J. January 7, 2014) (dismissal of plaintiff’s claims on directed verdict)
  • Cook v. Rockwell Intern. Corp. 618 F.3d 1127 (10th Cir. 2010) (amicus on successful preemption challenge to district court ruling allowing Price-Anderson Act claims for property damage from contamination by radioactive materials to proceed under state law)
  • In re World Trade Center Disaster Site Litigation, 456 F.Supp.2d 520 (S.D.N.Y. 2006) (dismissal on summary judgment of over 6,000 personal injury claims of cleanup workers at World Trade Center site)
  • Norwood v. Raytheon Company, 237 F.R.D. 581 (W.D.Tex. 2006) (denial of plaintiffs’ motion to certify class of U.S. and NATO military personnel claiming radiation-related injuries from radar equipment during Cold War)
  • Norwood v. Raytheon Company, 455 F.Supp.2d 597 (W.D.Tex. 2006) (denial of motion to dismiss case on “act of state” and “political question” doctrines)
  • Norwood v. Raytheon Company, 414 F.Supp. 659 (W.D.Tex. 2006) (dismissal of claims for medical monitoring)
  • Lippe v. Bairnco Corp., 249 F. Supp.2d 357 (S.D.N.Y. 2003), aff’d (2d Cir. April 9, 2004) (dismissal on summary judgment of all fraudulent conveyance and related claims brought against alleged successor to liabilities of bankrupt asbestos defendant)
  • Lippe v. Bairnco Corp., 288 B.R. 678 (S.D.N.Y. 2003) aff'd (2d Cir. April 9, 2004) (striking plaintiffs’ business valuation and liability experts on Daubert grounds)
  • Kennedy v. Southern California Edison Co., 268 F.3d 763 (9th Cir. 2001) (amicus on successful challenge to ruling that Price-Anderson Act preempted radiation injury claims based on state law)
  • Lippe v. Bairnco Corp., 230 B.R. 906 (S.D.N.Y. 1999) (partial dismissal of fraudulent conveyance claims on substantive grounds)
  • Lippe v. Bairnco Corp., 229 B.R. 598 (S.D.N.Y. 1999) (partial dismissal of fraudulent conveyance claims on statute of limitations grounds)
  • Coffman v. Keene Corp., 133 N.J. 546 (1993) (adoption of "heeding presumption" in failure-to-warn cases; asbestos defendants permitted to introduce employer knowledge and other evidence not previously permitted)
  • Theer v. Philip Carey Co., 133 N.J. 610 (1993) (ruling that asbestos plaintiffs without injury cannot recover for medical monitoring expenses; expanded "heeding presumption" to allow asbestos defendants to introduce evidence that plaintiff disregarded other health-related warnings)
  • Juzwin v. Amtorg Trading Corp., 705 F. Supp. 1053 (D.N.J. 1989) vacated on other grounds 718 F. Supp. 1233 (D.N.J. 1989) (dismissal of punitive damages claims on basis that repetitive punitive damages verdicts in asbestos personal injury cases violate Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause)