Michael McGaughey Partner

Los Angeles
T 213.426.2170 | F 973.597.6233

A formidable litigator with an extensive background in insurance and a reputation for strategic thinking, Michael represents companies in recovery efforts and litigation against their insurers. Over the years, Michael has litigated cases in the food and beverage, refining, manufacturing, aerospace, paper and forest products, banking, and recycling industries.

Michael’s experience centers on handling long-tail general liability, product liability, and environmental liability cases. He also has an established reputation for handling numerous insurance claims related to product recalls for a range of companies in the food and beverage industry. Product recalls pose unique and especially intricate insurance issues that require his particular expertise.

Clients appreciate Michael’s keen understanding of their business objectives and his ability to clearly assess the cost/benefit dynamics–and likely outcomes–in developing the most successful strategies for dealing with insurance companies. He is known for his ingenuity in developing persuasive arguments that convince both insurers and courts that claims are in fact covered and should be paid. His deep knowledge of the relevant case law illuminating the key issues gives his clients the advantage in disputes.

In addition to advising business clients, Michael has represented financially disadvantaged clients in a number of pro bono matters. In one such case, Rosales, et al. v. Grandview Arms Apartments, et al., he was part of the legal team that obtained the largest settlement at that time in a slum housing suit in California. The team’s work on the case was recognized by both the Inner City Law Center and the California State Bar.

Outside the firm, Michael volunteers his time with the Point Foundation.

Representative Engagements

Represented a leading global manufacturer of construction and mining equipment in an action seeking insurance coverage for thousands of bodily injury claims. Responsible for representing the client at the trial court and appellate levels; successfully obtained more than $100 million to date, recovering all of the client’s fees and costs to defend and settle the underlying claims, plus interest.
Handled all aspects of numerous product recall claims on behalf of companies in the food and beverage industry, including a major dairy manufacturer and a number of leading natural food brands, securing millions in insurance coverage for costs and expenses associated with the recalls themselves and the consumer claims spawned by the recalls.
Served as part of a trial team that represented International Paper in an action seeking insurance coverage for liabilities arising out of the settlement of a nationwide class action concerning the manufacture and sale of hardboard siding products. The team won one of the nation’s largest jury verdicts in 2003 – more than $383 million – against more than 20 insurance carriers.
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Now More Than Ever, Companies Must be Careful to Avoid Rescission of Their Product Contamination Insurance Policies
Food Manufacturing, April 18, 2017
Michael McGaughey
Beware the Rescission Defense: The Importance of the Policy Application in Product Contamination Insurance Policies
Food Quality News, February 13, 2017
Michael McGaughey
California Supreme Court Overturns Its Prior Decision Limiting the Transfer of Insurance Rights
Insurance Recovery Alert, August 25, 2015
Michael McGaughey
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Press Mentions

In Claims Journal’s article entitled, “Here’s the Scoop on Listeria-Linked Ice Cream Recall Insurance, Business Issues”, Michael McGaughey discusses how companies can maximize their insurance coverage through product recall and commercial general liability policies in instances of food recalls. , Claims Journal , May 12, 2015

Related Areas

Insurance Recovery Group


Loyola Law School, Los Angeles ( J.D. , 1998 ) , magna cum laude, Order of the Coif
Boston College ( B.A. , 1994 )

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia

Court Admissions

U.S. District Court, Central District of California
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
U.S. District Court, Southern District of California


  • American Bar Association
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers 
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association