Darren A. Crook

Associate

Cleveland
T +1.216.861.6823
F +1.216.696.0740

Overview

Darren Crook focuses his practice primarily on commercial litigation and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) matters. Exercising a diligent approach to his work, Darren is committed to his clients and their goals. Darren balances his practice with extensive experience handling a wide array of complex commercial litigation matters in state and federal courts throughout the country.

Darren is a regular publisher, speaker, moderator and presenter on emerging OSHA issues.

Select Experience

OSHA
  • Particular substantive experience with all facets of state and federal OSHA matters, including serving as outside safety and health counsel providing day-to-day compliance counseling, preparing clients for OSHA inspections, and participating in conferences with OSHA.
  • Extensive experience in successfully litigating dozens of cases before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission and state administrative law judges all the way up through trial.
Commercial Litigation 
  • Helped lead Ohio state court defense of contract dispute against Fortune 50 company. Efficiently coordinated discovery, attended mediation, and took and defended depositions of multiple witnesses. Case culminated in favorable settlement for roughly 5% of plaintiff’s original mediation demand.
Bankruptcy
  • Involved in representing Irving H. Picard, Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, in connection with BakerHostetler's role as court-appointed counsel.
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Experience

OSHA
  • Particular substantive experience with all facets of state and federal OSHA matters, including serving as outside safety and health counsel providing day-to-day compliance counseling, preparing clients for OSHA inspections, and participating in conferences with OSHA.
  • Extensive experience in successfully litigating dozens of cases before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission and state administrative law judges all the way up through trial.
  • Member of trial team that litigated OSHA citations issued in response to a sudden well blowout in rural Oklahoma that unfortunately resulted in five fatalities, the most significant disaster in the oil and gas industry in a decade. Led discovery, deposed multiple witnesses, including OSHA area director, and served as primary drafter of all pre- and post-trial motions and briefs. Decision is pending.
  • Serves as primary outside safety and health counsel in the United States for international food manufacturer and various of its food industry subsidiaries. Provides day-to-day OSHA compliance guidance, counseling individual factories through OSHA investigations, and assisting with contesting citations at dozens of manufacturing facilities across the U.S.
  • Led appeal resulting from multiple Virginia OSHA citations issued to food manufacturer’s plant for machine guarding and lockout/tagout violations. Case was resolved in settlement with all repeat citations being reduced, other citations being vacated, the total penalty paid less than 25% of the original fine, and an agreement from Virginia OSHA’s area management that the particular investigator would never return to the factory due to improper conduct documented during the investigation.
  • Served as outside safety counsel managing two OSHA investigations at client’s oil refinery. Participated in merits hearing with the agency, and provided advice and counsel on responding to two sets of citations issued to the client involving Process Safety Management and Benzene regulations. After contesting the citations, all serious citations from each of the investigations were fully vacated or reduced to OSHA’s lowest classification prior to litigation.
  • Served as outside safety counsel managing OSHA investigations and contesting citations that were assessed to Big 3 automotive manufacturer at various of its Ohio plants for machine guarding and lockout/tagout violations. Serious citations were issued after three separate investigations into manufacturer’s Ohio factories in late 2017. After contesting the citations, all serious citations at each of the plants were vacated prior to trial or significant discovery.
  • Successfully defended against dozens of whistleblower complaints filed under Section 11(c) of the OSH Act.
  • Orchestrated the creation of first-in-kind COVID-19 Response and Preparedness Policy for client in response to evolving state laws implemented in response to the pandemic.
  • Second-chair experience in successfully litigating dozens of cases before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission and state administrative law judges.
  • Represented an auto manufacturer in federal litigation involving lockout-tagout standard and other electrical safety issues.
  • Represented an auto parts manufacturer in federal litigation involving machine guarding and the mechanical power press standard.
  • Represented a commercial hot water heater manufacturer in federal litigation involving permit-required confined spaces.
  • Represented a construction company in federal litigation involving the general duty standard and use of concrete saws.
  • Represented a construction company in federal litigation involving the use of certain clamps to pick up tank piping.
  • Represented a real estate management company in federal litigation involving the installation of an electrical switch gear.
  • Represented a grain company in federal litigation involving the grain handling facilities standard.
  • Represented a healthcare company in federal litigation involving the management of a truck yard for a loading dock.
Commercial Litigation 
  • Helped lead Ohio state court defense of contract dispute against Fortune 50 company. Efficiently coordinated discovery, attended mediation, and took and defended depositions of multiple witnesses. Case culminated in favorable settlement for roughly 5% of plaintiff’s original mediation demand.
  • Defended a national construction management company against whistleblower claims brought by a subcontractor's former employee. Drafted dispositive and discovery motions, oversaw discovery, and negotiated final settlement in favor of the client.
  • Defended a large automotive parts manufacturing company in an intentional tort dispute with a former employee. Drafted dispositive and discovery motions, oversaw discovery, and negotiated final settlement in favor of the client.
  • Defended putative class actions alleging violations of state telephone privacy law and federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
  • Represented a public corporation in a contract dispute with a former parent company regarding employee benefit liabilities.
  • Participated in the defense of an international flat-panel display manufacturer against allegations of price fixing and antitrust violations. The matter was settled in favor of the client.
  • Member of the team representing a national aerospace components manufacturer in the defense of claims arising from the acquisition of a regional aerospace components manufacturer brought by the regional manufacturer's former CEO. 
  • Assisted in the defense of an American supply chain services company against Foreign Corrupt Practices Act claims for practices allegedly employed to obtain South American business.
  • Quickly and efficiently obtained dismissals of multiple breach of contract claims brought against a Big Three automobile manufacturer.
Bankruptcy
  • Involved in representing Irving H. Picard, Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, in connection with BakerHostetler's role as court-appointed counsel.
  • Member of the legal team representing Brian Bash, Trustee for liquidation of Fair Finance Company. 

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Ohio Super Lawyers "Rising Star" (2017 to 2020)

Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association: Young Lawyers Section
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar

Community

  • Minds Matter Cleveland

Pro Bono

  • Representing a former police officer who had been convicted of a felony in pursuit of the restoration of firearms rights for sporting purposes. Shepherding the client through the application process. 

Prior Positions

  • Judicial Extern for the Honorable R. Guy Cole Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Admissions

  • Ohio

Education

  • J.D., The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law, 2011; magna cum laude; Order of the Coif; Articles Editor, Ohio State Law Journal
  • B.A., Economics, West Virginia University, 2008; summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa