Brian P. Downey is a partner in and co-chairman of the Commercial Litigation Practice Group with Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the Harrisburg office. He also is a member of the firm's Executive Committee. Mr. Downey's litigation practice covers a broad range of matters including commercial disputes and employment discrimination claims. Additionally, Mr. Downey has been involved in a variety of administrative proceedings and lobbying efforts involving Pennsylvania state government.
Mr. Downey has represented businesses, business owners, educational institutions and various government entities in a variety of disputes, including allegations of contract breaches, challenges to the actions of charitable organizations under Pennsylvania’s Institutions of Purely Public Charity Act, challenges to the taxing authority of Pennsylvania counties, claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), claims under the False Claims Act, business torts, violations of federal and state securities laws, and violations of state consumer protection laws.
Employment Discrimination Litigation
Mr. Downey has successfully represented employers in a variety of employment discrimination and sexual harassment claims. He has represented employers in administrative proceedings before the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Additionally, he has counseled employers with respect to their obligations under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and various Pennsylvania employment statutes. Mr. Downey has successfully defended employers and landlords in federal and Pennsylvania state courts in suits alleging violations of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the ADA, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and various common law claims arising out of employment.
Mr. Downey has successfully represented current and former landowners in private cost recovery actions arising under CERCLA and the Pennsylvania Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act (HSCA) in both federal and Pennsylvania state courts. He has obtained a substantial judgment in favor of a current landowner plaintiff and has obtained dismissal of claims or otherwise obtained favorable settlements of claims against former landowner defendants.
Mr. Downey also has represented permit holders in proceedings before the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board. He has represented companies in cases before the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania challenging actions by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), including one recent case in which he and his colleagues were able to obtain a settlement valued in excess of several million dollars of a claim against DEP.
Mr. Downey has tried cases in federal and state courts, and has experience in the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve cases. He also has been involved in numerous administrative proceedings in various state and federal governmental agencies including the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC), the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).