Henry Chajet is a Shareholder in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C.
Mr. Chajet counsels and represents clients in environmental, health and safety (EH&S) matters and antitrust matters, focusing on crisis management, dispute resolution, trial and appellate litigation, standard setting, liability prevention, regulatory and congressional proceedings and “direct purchaser” overcharge recoveries for corporate clients in antitrust price manipulation cases. He defends investigations and enforcement actions by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Transportation (DOT), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and other federal and state agencies, as well as in related tort claims and criminal cases, and in EH&S whistleblower or discrimination claims.
To achieve an integrated defense strategy at the initiation of a government investigation or enforcement action, Mr. Chajet coordinates forensic accounting and technical experts, insurance issues, government interviews, document production and public relations experts. He has extensive experience representing clients in cases involving fatal or serious injuries, explosions, chemical releases, fires, manufacturing, transportation and construction accidents, mine disasters and allegations of product toxicity or community harm. Mr. Chajet has served as co-lead counsel in successful, multimillion dollar recovery cases for corporate clients that were “direct purchasers” of commodities and products for which prices were artificially increased through monopoly price manipulation, violating antitrust law.
Mr. Chajet provides regulatory and congressional counseling, loss prevention audits, management training services and public policy counseling and lobbying for companies and trade associations. He has represented companies and numerous coalitions in environmental and occupational health and safety matters, in the regulatory process and in managing related scientific research and litigation, when necessary. For example, Mr. Chajet serves as counsel to a coalition of diesel engine users, as a member of the American Chemistry Council silica panel, and has provided counsel to the coal, cement, metals and mining industries in dust regulation and enforcement matters.
In appropriate circumstances, Mr. Chajet combines litigation with public policy initiatives to achieve client goals. He has won numerous precedent-setting cases (e.g., a corporation engaged in good faith loss prevention efforts is not a “guarantor” of workplace safety; defective analytical procedures used by the government for lead, silica, coal dust and metals rejected; defective new dust regulation rejected by a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals). Mr. Chajet's most important victories, however, often go unreported, because they prevent inappropriate “white collar criminal” indictments, avoid monetary losses, obtain favorable settlements from responsible parties and insurance carriers and minimize fines and enforcement through privileged and confidential fact finding, management of experts, negotiations and alternative dispute resolution initiatives. He frequently speaks and writes on a range of environmental, safety and health defense strategy, liability prevention, crisis management, and regulatory matters.
Mr. Chajet received a Bachelor of Arts from Case Western Reserve University in 1972 and earned his Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from Duquesne University Law School in 1976.
Mr. Chajet is a member of the bars of District of Columbia, Florida (inactive) and Pennsylvania (inactive), Courts of Appeal for the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Tenth and DC Circuits, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is also a member of the American Bar Association and Hispanic National Bar Association. From 1984 to 1999, Mr. Chajet was an adjunct professor, in health and safety law at the Johns Hopkins University Graduate School of Public Health.
- Coordinated liability prevention and crisis management in multiple rail car explosions and chemical reactions in the United States and Canada, preventing enforcement and successfully recovering insurance proceeds and damages from third parties.
- Obtained an injunction against the adoption of an unsupported (ACGIH) chemical exposure standard, initiated discovery on related product defamation claims, and testified before Congress on improper health effects rulemaking; result was withdrawal of the standard and a public apology to clients.
- Led a crisis management and defense team in a $350 million loss explosion that leveled an industrial facility; defended a six-month investigation by dozens of state and federal investigators; defended a criminal investigation with local counsel; and assisted in the defense of thirteen class actions on behalf of 35,000 plaintiffs. The team successfully resolved all investigations and enforcement actions, helped recover almost the entire financial loss, favorably resolved the tort actions and recovered denied insurance proceeds to rebuild the plant.
- Significant appellate court victories, including a case mandating feasibility for a new occupational health standard and a decision upholding an injunctive relief against a federal agency for violations of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
- Precedent setting litigation wins challenging government policies and obtaining favorable court definitions of statutory safety and health enforcement terms: “significant and substantial” violations and “unwarrantable failures” to comply.
- Co-lead counsel in two major antitrust cases that collected millions of dollars in damages for corporate clients that were direct purchasers of commodities and products impacted by monopoly price manipulations.