Overview

Craig Woods is an experienced litigator whose practice focuses especially on complex product liability and commercial litigation and arbitration matters.  He represents national and multi-national corporations in technically oriented litigation and arbitrations, including toxic tort, chemical and biotechnology product liability litigation; information technology disputes; patent litigation; and other engineering and technology-related disputes.

Craig has extensive experience organizing multi-disciplinary expert teams and mounting expert testimony admissibility challenges under Daubert/Frye, and he is highly skilled in the use of court-appointed experts and expert analysis, testing and simulations to support litigation. Craig’s practice also encompasses matters such as fraud, defamation, negligence, contract disputes, malicious prosecution, insurance disputes, trademark controversies, unfair competition and other critical areas of business litigation.

Prior to joining Mayer Brown in 1995, Craig served as Law Clerk to The Honorable William C. Conner, US District Court for the Southern District of New York (1994–1995).

Spoken Languages

  • English

Experience

  • Asbestos Litigation — Currently serving as national counsel to Fortune 100 company in connection with toxic tort product liability litigation arising out of former sales of asbestos-containing products.  Responsible for developing, implementing, and coordinating science defense and multi-disciplinary expert teams — including areas of pulmonology, occupational medicine, pathology, industrial hygiene, material science, microscopy, toxicology, and epidemiology — simultaneously in multiple jurisdictions around the United States.   Recently succeeding in Daubert challenge to exclude testimony of plaintiff expert witness that every exposure to asbestos, no matter how small, contributes to causing asbestos-related disease.
  • Isocyanate Litigation — Currently serving as counsel to Fortune 100 company in connection with 1300 plaintiff consolidated product liability case pending in Alabama state court arising out of sales of isocyanates for use in coal mine roof and ventilation control polyurethane products.  Responsible for developing, implementing, and coordinating science defense including mounting Frye challenge to admissibility of testimony from pulmonology and toxicology expert witnesses.  
  • Diacetyl Litigation – Serving as national counsel to manufacturer of diacetyl involved in numerous personal injury lawsuits around the country relating to exposures to butter flavoring products.  Responsible for developing, implementing, and coordinating science defense, including mounting challenges to admissibility of expert testimony.  
  • ICD Lead Litigation – Serving as national counsel to manufacturer of electrical leads for use with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) involved in product liability litigation in various jurisdictions around the country.  Responsible for developing, implementing, and coordinating science defense.
  • Welding Fume Litigation — Responsible for developing the toxicology/material science defense for a consortium of defendants involved in state and federal MDL mass personal injury litigation arising from claimed neurological injuries allegedly associated with exposure to welding fume. Representation involves participation on a “science team,” which is comprised of attorneys from a number of different law firms with particular science-related expertise, coordination of the defense expert case in the on-going federal and state court litigation, and development of Daubert attacks on plaintiffs’ material science and toxicologist experts in the federal MDL.
  • Biotechnology Product Liability Litigation — Responsible for developing science defense to claims brought by dozens of plaintiffs in various jurisdictions around the country against major US pharmaceutical company asserting defects in an automated immunoassay blood screening test. Science case involved expertise in immunology, immunochemistry, biostatistics, and biology. Successfully defended only case brought to trial.
  • Silica Litigation — Currently serving as national counsel to Fortune 100 company in connection with toxic tort product liability litigation arising out of exposure to silica from company products and at company facilities. Responsible for developing, implementing, and coordinating science defense and multidisciplinary expert teams — including areas of pulmonology, occupational medicine, pathology, industrial hygiene, material science, microscopy, toxicology, and epidemiology.
  • Ammonium Nitrate Plant Explosion — Responsible for developing science case and supervising multi-disciplinary team of experts in connection with $400 million product liability lawsuit arising from explosion of ammonium nitrate plant in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1994. Science case involved expertise in chemical process engineering, explosion effects, energetic chemistry, metallurgy, and mechanical and structural engineering. With the assistance of multi-disciplinary expert team, drafted science brief submitted to court-appointed expert regarding cause and origin of explosion and successfully challenged opposing expert under Daubert. Also assisted in insurance recovery.
  • Tractor Patent Litigation — Worked with structural and mechanical engineering experts to develop infringement science case against manufacturer of infringing belted agricultural tractor. Obtained favorable claim construction in Markman hearing based on expert analysis. Case ultimately settled on very favorable terms.
  • Information Technology Arbitration — Prosecuted/defended multi-million dollar breach of contract arbitration against software development company relating to functionality shortcomings of automated retirement benefits web site before the American Arbitration Association.

Education

Georgetown University Law Center, JD, cum laude

Associate Editor, Georgetown University Law Journal

University of Kansas, BSEE, with highest distinction

Admissions

  • Illinois

Court

  • US District Court for the District of Arizona
  • US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois