Attorney Austin J. McGuigan and Attorney Glenn E. Coe were hired in the spring of 2001 to represent Applied Materials Inc. in a product liability claim. The claim was filed by AIU Insurance Company as a result of several fires in October of 1997 at the United Integrated Circuits Corp. (UICC) wafer fabrication production plant in Hsinchu, Taiwan. The claim alleged that the Tungsten Chemical Vapor Deposition tools, manufactured by Applied Materials Inc., were the cause of the fires.
The claim could have resulted in a judgment in excess of $200 million against Applied Materials. However, on December 31, 2007 the trial court found that Applied had followed all safety guidelines and supplied and provided advice to UICC that fulfilled any reasonable duty that a seller might have owed. The court also found that the fires were not caused by the exhaust byproducts of the Tungsten Chemical Vapor Deposition tools. The verdict was affirmed by the appellate court after a trial de novo in February of 2010. The case is now before the Supreme Court in Taiwan.