IBM defense cross-examines former nurse, manager

JAN. 22–SANTA CLARA, Calif.–The plaintiffs in the cleanroom cancer suit against IBM Corp. have rested their case, and at press time, Big Blue was ready to present a defense that will challenge testimony from former company nurse, Audrey Misako Crouch, who said it was an unwritten policy among the computer giant’s medical staff to never utter chemicals as the cause for worker ailments.

IBM’s defense presentation was scheduled today and last two weeks. Lawyers will also cross examine an ex-IBM manager who testified that to prevent “mass hysteria” there is an unwritten company policy discouraging them from talking to workers about possible chemical poisoning.

The plaintiffs, who will have an opportunity to call rebuttal witnesses, surprisingly declined to present additional testimony on the results of a computational fluid dynamics simulations of IBM cleanrooms where two plaintiffs, Alida Hernandez and James Moore, worked. Both worked at IBM’s disk drive and printed circuit board manufacturing facility in San Jose starting in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Hernandez and Moore allege that exposure to chemicals at IBM later caused their cancers.

“We are going to bring the focus of the case back to where it belongs: on these two specific plaintiffs,” IBM attorney Robert Weber told the Mercury News of San Jose. “We will demonstrate the total lack of merit to any claim that the doctors and nurses of IBM committed fraud on their fellow employees.”


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