Our Team

Ryan A. Zeli


Mr. Zeli is a Member with Zimmer Kunz. His practice is focused on all areas of civil litigation, with a concentration on general liability, transportation, toxic tort defense, as well as contract disputes. Mr. Zeli has successfully represented hundreds of corporations, including manufactures, suppliers, premises owners and contractors in matters throughout the tri-state area, as well as, various courts throughout the United States.

In addition to his liability defense work, Mr. Zeli has been successful in securing millions of dollars for his clients through resolution of contract disputes, subrogation matters, employment disputes, and liability matters.

Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest:
Recognized by Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Whirl Magazine in 2009, as one of “Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest” for outstanding community involvement and professional achievement

Participated in fundraising with co honorees raising more than $200,000 for cystic fibrosis research


  • Undergraduate:
    University Of Pittsburgh, Bachelor of Science in Sociology 2002
    • Recipient of Balfour Academic/Leadership Excellence Award
    • Recipient Donald E. Walker Scholarship
    • Make-A-Wish Foundation “Inner Circle Award” winner
    • President of Sigma Chi Fraternity
    • University of Pittsburgh Homecoming Court
  • Law School:
    Duquesne University School Of Law, Juris Doctor June 2005
    • Graduated with honors
    • Finalist in the Carol Los Mansmann Appellate Advocacy Competition
    • Duquesne Forensic Science and Law Journal


  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia
  • Ohio
  • New York
  • United States District Courts for the Western and Eastern Districts of Pennsylvania
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
  • United States Supreme Court


  • Defense Research Institute, Committee Member Young Lawyers Division
  • The Harmonie Group  Next Generation Liaison
  • American Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Allegheny County Bar Association Member PUMP

Venue Experience

  • State trial courts and administrative bodies in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, and various other state and federal courts throughout the United States

Previous Positions/Experience

Pennsylvania Office Of Attorney General:
Legal Intern – Torts Litigation Section, Environmental Crimes Section
Governor’s Office Of General Counsel:
Legal Intern – State Department

Significant Matters

Mr. Zeli received a non-jury verdict from the Court of Common Pleas of Blair County, Pennsylvania in favor of a contractor he represented who struck a transformer while clearing brush on state game lands. The impact with the transformer caused an oil spill and required specialized environmental cleanup. The Plaintiff, owner of the transformer, alleged that the defendant contractor was negligent for failing to inspect the land for obstructions prior to clearing the brush, and for failing to keep a proper look out prior to striking the transformer. Mr. Zeli argued on behalf of the contractor that it was reasonable for the contractor to rely on the land owner to identify and mark any obstructions prior to the carrying out the job detail and that given the large machinery that was necessary for clearing the brush, it would be impossible for the defendant to see the transformer prior to making contact with it. At the conclusion of the trial, The Honorable Timothy Sullivan authored an Opinion and entered an Order indicating that the Plaintiff did not meet the necessary requirements to establish a negligence case against the defendant and ruled in favor of the defendant on all counts.

Mr. Zeli successfully obtained dismissal of all claims against Defendant employer at summary judgment stage after plaintiff levied allegations his employer exposed him to elevated levels of manganese during his career as a welder. After years of litigation, Plaintiff agreed to dismiss Defendant employer on the eve of summary judgment arguments.

Mr. Zeli successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of Defendant general contractor after years of litigation from claims of negligence related to the death of an employee of a subcontractor who fell to his death from scaffolding while working on a jobsite. Plaintiffs’ alleged Defendant general contractor was negligent for failing to properly supervise subcontractors.

Mr. Zeli secured a favorable settlement on behalf of Pennsylvania Corporation against Tennessee Corporation for breach of contract based on Tennessee Corporation’s failure to pay lease fees for use of specialized machinery used for natural gas drilling. Tennessee Corporation alleged machines at issue were defective, however, after months of negotiations agreed to pay lease fees.

Mr. Zeli successfully obtained dismissal of all charges for employee of Defendant trucking company after criminal charges were filed related to a motor vehicle accident that resulted in serious injuries. After being found guilty, on appeal, Mr. Zeli successfully argued that Defendant was improperly charged based on a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision resulting in all charges being dropped.

Mr. Zeli successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of Defendant manufacturer from claims of negligence and strict liability related to the death of a steel worker who suffered from mesothelioma. Mr. Zeli successfully argued that Defendant could not be held liable based on Ohio law despite his client’s acknowledgement that they supplied asbestos products to Plaintiff’s worksite because of a lack of causation. After oral arguments, the judge granted Defendant manufacturer’s summary judgment.

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