Christopher D. Dusseault is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He practices in the Firm’s Litigation Department, and the Antitrust and Competition, Class Actions, and Life Sciences Practice Groups.
Chris served as partner in charge of Gibson Dunn’s Los Angeles and Century City offices from 2009-2013. He was named one of California’s “Top 20 Under 40” by the legal publication Daily Journal in 2010, and received Duke Law School’s “Young Alumni Award” for distinguished service to the legal profession and the school in 2009.
Chris is actively involved in the community. Chris is a member of the Board of Visitors of Duke Law School. Chris also serves on the Governing Board of the nationally recognized after-school program LA’s BEST, and he held the position of Board Chair from 2014-2021. In 2022, Chris received LA’s BEST’s Children’s Champion Award for his years of service to the Children of Los Angeles
Chris is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer whose practice focuses primarily on antitrust, class action, and complex commercial litigation matters. In his antitrust practice, he has defended clients against claims of conspiracy, monopolization, and exclusive dealing. He has particular experience in the medical device, pharmaceutical, and transportation industries, and in higher education. Chris also is regularly called upon to assist clients in disputes outside of antitrust law, and he has handled matters involving allegations of breach of contract, fraud, wrongful death, worker misclassification, patent and trademark infringement, and civil rights. Representative matters include the following:
- Lead counsel for Duke University in an antitrust class action lawsuit in which plaintiffs allege that 17 private universities conspired to limit the amount of financial aid available to students in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act.
- Co-lead counsel for Energizer Holdings, Inc. in a series of antitrust class action lawsuits alleging a price-fixing conspiracy with respect to the wholesale and retail sale of disposable batteries in the United States.
- Representation of Merck & Co., Inc. in an antitrust MDL proceeding and class action in which plaintiffs allege an unlawful agreement and conspiracy to delay generic competition in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act and various state laws. Chris was one of the leaders of the trial team, and he led the team that defeated certification of a direct purchaser class. The case settled shortly before openings.
- Lead counsel for Covidien in a consolidated antitrust class action in which purchasers of pulse oximetry products challenged Covidien’s use of loyalty discounts, sole-source contracts and product design changes under Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act. Chris led a team that first defeated class certification and then won summary judgment on all claims. The victory was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
- Representation of CFM International, Inc. in an antitrust case under Section 1 of the Sherman Act in which plaintiff challenged defendants’ decision not to sell aircraft engines to plaintiff for use in the re-engining of 727 aircraft. After securing dismissal of plaintiff’s claims on a motion for summary judgment, Chris successfully argued the appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Complex Civil Litigation Matters
- Lead counsel for NFI in a lawsuit brought by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office alleging misclassification of truck drivers as independent contractors and involving complex issues regarding the preemption of worker classification law AB5.
- Lead counsel for a market leading independent power producer and service provider in multiple international arbitrations involving allegations of design defects and breach of contract with respect to the purchase of hundreds of wind turbines. Chris led a trial team that prevailed in a three week arbitration of these claims in Los Angeles, California and secured injunctive relief and attorneys’ fees for its client. This victory led to the subsequent settlement of all remaining arbitrations.
- Lead counsel for ev3, a subsidiary of Medtronic, in successful appeal of a $250 million jury verdict arising from ev3’s acquisition of medical device company Appriva and its PLAATO stroke prevention device. After Gibson Dunn won unanimous reversal of the jury’s verdict before the Delaware Supreme Court, Chris was retained to serve as lead trial counsel in the retrial of plaintiffs’ breach of contract claims in Delaware Superior Court. The case settled shortly before retrial.
- Lead counsel for Medtronic subsidiaries TSL and Sofradim in litigation of claims for indemnification and declaratory relief against C.R. Bard arising out of more than 11,000 pelvic mesh product liability cases. The dispute was part of a 70,000 case pelvic mesh MDL in the Southern District of West Virginia. Chris also served as lead counsel in related actions between the same parties in London, Atlanta and New Jersey.
Civil Rights Matters
- Representation of plaintiffs Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the lawsuit that successfully challenged Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriages. Chris was one of the principal trial lawyers during the three-week bench trial that resulted in a finding that Proposition 8 violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment and an injunction barring enforcement of Proposition 8. In June 2013, the United States Supreme Court upheld the district court’s decision and permanently restored marriage equality in California.
Chris received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Yale University in 1991. He received his J.D., with high honors, from Duke University School of Law in 1994, where he was Special Projects and Notes Editor of Law and Contemporary Problems and Vice-Chairman of the Moot Court Board. Prior to joining the firm, Chris served as law clerk to The Honorable Robert E. Payne in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.