Konrad Cailteux is a partner in Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s New York office, where he specializes in defending US and foreign corporations in product liability actions, mass tort matters, class actions and other complex litigation, in both trial courts and appellate courts.
Mr. Cailteux has served as lead trial counsel and national coordinating counsel in cases that encompass a wide range of allegations, including wrongful death, defective products, False Claims Act violations, sovereign immunity, and Alien Tort Statute violations. These cases have concerned diverse subjects, including high-tech fibers, pharmaceuticals, silicone gel breast implants, clinical trials, electrical and construction equipment, HVAC systems, PCBs, nuclear power plant construction, and alleged human rights violations. He has also handled numerous matters before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, as well as civil and criminal investigations by federal agencies and state attorneys general.
Among Mr. Cailteux’s more notable recent cases is Zeppetella v. Second Chance Body Armor & Toyobo Co., Ltd., a highly-publicized wrongful death case involving a police officer who was killed in the line of duty when his bullet-resistant vest was allegedly penetrated by an assailant’s bullet. Defending Toyobo Co., Ltd., the manufacturer of the fiber used to manufacture the ballistic fabric in the bullet-resistant vest, against defective product claims and other allegations, Mr. Cailteux and the Weil trial team convinced the jury to return an extremely favorable verdict for Toyobo, including no finding of a product defect. In the high profile silicone gel breast implant litigation, Mr. Cailteux defended 3M Corporation against claims that 3M should be liable for injuries caused by breast implants manufactured by the successor company to 3M’s breast implant business. Mr. Cailteux and the Weil team’s strategy of limited and focused discovery, followed by early summary judgment motions, resulted in seven consecutive summary judgment wins for 3M in cases across the country, which effectively ended those types of cases against 3M.
Mr. Cailteux also was lead trial counsel representing the Republic of Austria and several Austrian companies in numerous class actions seeking restitution for alleged human rights violations and property crimes that took place on Austrian territory during World War II. Mr. Cailteux helped negotiate the establishment of a foundation to compensate victims, in exchange for which plaintiffs agreed to voluntarily dismiss their lawsuits. For those plaintiffs who did not voluntarily dismiss their cases, he won motions to dismiss the claims, with prejudice. Mr. Cailteux was awarded the Grand Decoration of Honour by the Republic of Austria for his services in connection with his work resolving these actions.
Given the nature of his practice, Mr. Cailteux has had considerable experience in managing high visibility corporate crisis situations over the years, including media allegations of consumer product defects and consumer fraud; product recalls; allegations of defectively-designed medical devices; lawsuits alleging wrongful deaths due to inadequate clinical trial procedures; lawsuits alleging the use of forced labor and other human rights violations; and lawsuits alleging the submission of false claims to the United States government.
Mr. Cailteux is co-editor of Weil’s Product Liability Monitor, a blog discussing key trends and developments in the product liability/mass tort field (http://product-liability.weil.com/). He is also an active member of several committees of the American Bar Association. He has lectured and written on a number of issues involved in the defense of product liability and mass tort suits, including class actions, the admissibility of expert evidence, medical monitoring, the False Claims Act, the Alien Tort Statute, and managing complex litigation. Mr. Cailteux has also prepared amicus briefs for the United States Supreme Court in numerous high profile cases involving issues of critical importance in the product liability and mass tort area, including the landmark Supreme Court cases, State Farm Mutual Auto Ins. v. Campbell (vacating excessive punitive damages award) and Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael (excluding expert testimony under Daubert).
Mr. Cailteux is a member of the New York State Bar. He is also admitted to practice in numerous federal district and appellate courts, as well as the United States Supreme Court. He received his law degree from Hofstra University School of Law, where he was managing editor of the law review, and is a graduate of the United States Military Academy. Prior to attending law school Mr. Cailteux served in the United States Army for five years, reaching the rank of Captain.