Michael J. Pietrykowski


  • Office Contact Info
  • Biography

    Mike Pietrykowski’s practice focuses on toxic tort and environmental matters.  He has been the Chair of GRSM’s Environmental and Toxic Tort practice group for more than fifteen years. He serves as both National and Regional Counsel for defendants, regularly appearing in courts throughout the U.S. Mike is a very active participant in a national industry focus group and, as such, participates in thought leadership discussions involving defense strategies for a sector of toxic tort litigation.  He has also handled a wide variety of toxic tort cases including those involving chemicals, asbestos and mold exposures.

    He has experience with all major environmental statutes including the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (Superfund), and California’s Proposition 65. He has also represented defendants in personal injury, products liability and professional liability cases. He has spoken at numerous regional and national seminars on topics such as the chemical, asbestos, and mold litigation and the use of experts in environmental cases.

    Prior to joining GRSM in 1984, Mike worked for several years as a sports attorney representing professional athletes. In that capacity, he acquired extensive contract negotiation experience.


    • California
    • Connecticut


    • Association of Defense Trial Attorneys
    • Defense Research Institute
      • Former California Liaison, DRI Environmental and Toxic Tort Subcommittee
    • Midwest Environmental Claims Association
      • Former co-chair, Midwest Environmental Claims Association, Public Relations Committee
    • American Bar Association
    • Connecticut Bar Association
    • California Bar Association
    • San Francisco Bar Association
  • Practice Areas
  • Representative Experience

    Representative Experience

    • Lead Counsel defending various semi-conductor manufacturers in chemical exposure cancer and birth defect cases.  

    • National Counsel for chemical related and asbestos claims for the largest domestic flooring manufacturer.

    • National Counsel for Siemens for asbestos cases, claims and issues.

    • Defended environmental professionals in a multiple plaintiff case involving alleged mold and asbestos personal injury claims.

    • Defended a lumber mill owner and operator against claims by the State Water Board for site and water contamination. Eventually, the site was redeveloped for industrial use.

    • Has counseled property owners on contamination issues and environmental investigations and response actions.

    • Has represented clients before the regional and state water quality control boards in cleanup and abatement order proceedings.

    • Defended dry cleaner defendants and carriers in environmental clean-up cases.

    • Has represented clients in communications and negotiations with the Department of Toxic Substances Control and the Environmental Protection Agency.

    • Trial Counsel in an environmental site contamination case involving CERCLA claims and alleged PCB contamination from the manufacture of transformers, railroad practices and other PRPs.

    • Trial counsel in many asbestos trials.

    • Trial counsel in several personal injury trials defending such entities as premise owners, elevator manufacturers and product manufacturers.

    • Sample Appellate Cases: In Taylor v. Elliott Turbomachinery Co. (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 564, the court held that a defendant is liable for that defendant’s products only, not the products of others that the defendant did not manufacture or supply. 

    • In Merrill v. Leslie Controls, Inc. (2009) 177 Cal.App.4th 1348 expressly followed grsm’s victory earlier this year in Taylor v. Elliott Turbomachinery Co., Inc. (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 564, which recognized a “bright-line legal distinction tied to the injury-producing product in the stream of commerce” . 

    • In Fiorini v. City Brewing Company, argued that the lower courts granting of a motion for summary judgment on the grounds that the defendant was protected by the dram shop statues because its beverage was an alcoholic beverage under the statute.

  • Publications & Presentations


    • COVID-19: Safety and Legal Challenges for Open Businesses, Forensic Analytical (June 2020) 
    • COVID-19 Legal Issues for Property Owners, CBRE (May 2020) 
    • COVID-19: Re-Opening Businesses - How to Protect People, Property and Your Business, BOMA (May 2020) 
    • COVID-19 and the Asbestos Litigation, Travelers Insurance (April and June 2020)
    • How to Settle a Case When You Don't Have all the Answers, GRSM Legal Education Conference, New York and Hartford (May 2019)
    • Faculty Member, Managing Mass Tort; Pre-Trial. Part 1 and 2, National Judicial Conference (December 2015 and February 2016)
    • Asbestos Report, Travelers Asbestos and Lung Cancer Seminar, Hartford, CT (November 2014)
    • Litigating Claims Involving Component Part Manufacturers: Evolving Theories of Liability for Other Manufacturers’ Products and What to Expect in 2014, ACI 16th National Conference, San Francisco, CA (January 2014)
    • Litigating Claims Involving Component Part Manufacturers: Evolving Theories of Liability for Other Manufacturers’ Products and What to Expect in 2014, American Conference Institute (ACI), San Francisco, CA (January 31, 2014)
  • Education


    J.D.,University of Notre Dame , 1983

    M.A., University of Notre Dame, 1980

    B.A., University of Notre Dame, 1979


    Best Lawyers in America® "Lawyer of the Year", Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants (2023)

    Top Rated Lawyer-AV® Preeminent™, Martindale-Hubbell

    Best Lawyers in America® distinction in Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants (2017-2024)

    “Best Lawyers” in the San Francisco Bay Area in Environmental and Toxic Tort Law, The Bay Area Magazine

    Super Lawyers® distinction in the fields of Environmental Litigation, Class Action/Mass Torts (2009-2018, 2020-2023, Law & Politics)

    Co-Chair, HB National Asbestos Conference (San Francisco, 2009; New York, 2010)