Expert says IBM cleanrooms lacked fresh air

DEC. 16–SAN JOSE, Calif– Attorneys for IBM Corp. are trying to block testimony about chemical exposure levels in cleanroom models simulating the company’s former disk drive manufacturing plant here.

Plaintiffs hope to demonstrate the levels of chemical exposure at the plant were high enough to have caused cancer in two former IBM workers.

Robert Morris, an expert in cleanroom ventilation began a second week of testimony on Dec. 15 on model cleanrooms he helped create to simulate working conditions at the plants in and around the 1970s. Morris is president and chief executive of Flow Safe Inc., a Denville, N.J.-based manufacturer of airflow control systems.

During cross-examinations, lawyers from both sides battled over details about the size, layout and ventilation schemes of the cleanroom models.

Morris says the design of the computer company’s cleanrooms did not guarantee a fresh air supply.

Plaintiffs Alida Hernandez and James Moore allege IBM withheld information about their medical conditions due to chemical exposure while working at the plant and that the exposure led to later cancers.


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