Western MacArthur Asbestos Company v. USF&G Insurance
Western MacArthur was a major supplier of asbestos products on the West Coast. It was sued by individuals who alleged they were injured by these products. When claims were made to the insurers, the insurers maintained there were no policies and refused to provide coverage.
The Focal Point’s Role
For almost a year, The Focal Point worked closely with Plaintiff’s counsel and experts. Our first project included working to successfully convince the Court to find that the primary Defendant had improperly withheld key documents during discovery. The case required the Plaintiffs to painstakingly re-construct insurance policies issued as early as the 1930s that covered Western MacArthur for asbestos, illness, and related claims–policies for which Defendants claimed they had no records. The Focal Point was an integral part of the brainstorming process and helped to coalesce the details into a coherent presentation that would engage and retain the attention of the jurors throughout the long and complex trial. The Focal Point created approximately 500 graphics and numerous display boards that helped jurors maintain their focus in the face of an overwhelming amount of documents and testimony. After the trial, the judge praised the Plaintiff’s presentation as the most effective she had ever seen. Post-trial interviews with the jurors indicated that they had no problem understanding the Plaintiff’s case and were prepared to rule in the Plaintiff’s favor.
In week 10 of the trial, the Defendants agreed to a settlement. Western MacArthur eventually received settlements in excess of $2.2 billion and discovery sanctions in excess of $160,000.
Superior Court of California, Alameda County
The Focal Point’s Clients
Faricy & Roen