Theodore Tsekerides is a partner in Weil’s Litigation Department, where he concentrates his practice in product liability/mass torts, complex commercial litigation, and bankruptcy litigation matters, as well as risk avoidance counseling and strategy. He has been recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a national “Litigation Star” for Product Liability and as a “Local Litigation Star” in New York, and by Legal 500 as a “recommended” lawyer nationwide for Product Liability and Mass Torts, and General Commercial Disputes.
Some of Mr. Tsekerides’ notable recent experience includes:
- Representing major media and entertainment companies in complex contractual disputes, including those arising out of participation agreements, production company agreements, and carriage agreements.
- Defending consumer product and energy companies in large-scale environmental and mass tort litigation, including arising out of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the clean-up efforts following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.
- Counseling automobile parts manufacturers with respect to product liability issues, product recalls and pre-litigation counseling, and related investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- Serving as lead counsel to various parties, including trustees, debtors, and unsecured creditors and creditors’ committees, in major bankruptcy-related proceedings and follow-on litigation.
Mr. Tsekerides has over 20 years of litigation and trial experience representing companies in high-stakes matters that threaten their reputations and businesses. He has extensive experience in multi-district litigation, class actions, and individual actions, and has represented clients in federal and state courts throughout the country at all stages of the litigation process, including often acting as coordinating national litigation counsel. For example, he:
- Serves as go-to counsel for Discovery Communications, LLC in a variety of disputes with distributors, production companies, and talent, including: a multi-million dollar breach of contract case brought by a former satellite distributor regarding distribution of Discovery programming, which he tried to a favorable bench ruling in Maryland federal court and won on appeal before the Fourth Circuit; and the defense of a breach of contract, copyright, and trademark infringement suit in California federal court arising out of Discovery’s termination of its relationship with a television production company.
- Represents ExxonMobil in a number of litigations and trial proceedings in New Jersey and Vermont brought by State agencies relating to the use of MTBE as an additive in gasoline.
- Served as one of the lead attorneys representing The Walt Disney Company and ESPN in connection with litigation involving licensing agreements and Most-Favored Nations provisions, including obtaining a major jury trial victory on behalf various Disney-related entities in a contract case involving over $100 million in alleged damages.
- Served as one of the lead attorneys defending Seacor Holdings and its subsidiaries in the multi-district litigation coordinated in New Orleans federal court relating to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Served as one of the lead attorneys representing Lend Lease in all aspects of the World Trade Center debris removal litigation, which involved more than 10,000 claims brought by plaintiffs alleging respiratory and other injuries as a result of the Ground Zero site cleanup. He also was extensively involved in efforts that resulted in passage of the Zadroga Act by the United States Congress addressing the claims of these plaintiffs and other injured parties, and providing legal protections for contractors such as Lend Lease that assisted in the cleanup.
Mr. Tsekerides also has substantial experience serving as litigation counsel to trustees, debtors, and creditors in bankruptcy proceedings and related disputes involving a wide range of industries, including transportation, energy, arts and antiques, securities, and telecommunications. Currently, he serves as lead litigation counsel for subsidiaries of Takata Corporation in their chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, where he has primary oversight of mass tort and litigation claims arising out of numerous recalls of airbags containing allegedly defective parts supplied by Takata. In these cases, he led the Weil team that secured a critical victory for the Debtors by convincing the court to grant their motion for a preliminary injunction, and temporarily staying hundreds of cases throughout the country against car manufacturers that utilized Takata’s airbags, as well as claims against Takata brought by the governments of New Mexico, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Recently, he also served as lead litigation counsel for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of SunEdison in connection with SunEdison’s high-profile chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in April 2016 – one of the most significant bankruptcy proceedings in the past two years, with claims in excess of $4 billion. His other prior experience includes serving as a lead litigation counsel in the Enron, WorldCom, and Loral Satellite bankruptcies.
He also has experience litigating insurance coverage disputes, both for carriers and insureds, involving a variety of matters and policy types ranging from malicious product tampering to environmental cleanup obligations.
Mr. Tsekerides is the co-author of “Expert Evidence In The Second Circuit,” appearing in Scientific Evidence Review, and has written widely on other evidentiary matters concerning the admissibility of expert evidence in class actions. He also is co-editor of Weil’s Product Liability Monitor, a blog discussing key trends and developments in the product liability/mass tort field.