JURY: IBM not liable

FEB. 27–SANTA CLARA, Calif.–In a major victory for the semiconductor industry, a jury has decided that IBM Corp. was not responsible for the cancers that developed in two former employees at a disk drive plant.

The jury deliberated for less than two days before cleanring Big Blue of claims that toxic chemicals used in fabs cause the retirees’ illnesses.

James Moore, 62, and Alida Hernandez, 73, who were diagnosed with cancer in the 1990s, were seeking damages that could have totaled millions of dollars.

“It’s an acknowledgement that employee safety and health is part of our culture,” said IBM spokesman Chris Andrews.

According to the Associated Press, Moore, who began working at IBM in the 1960s, looked unemotional as the verdict was read Thursday in Santa Clara County Superior Court. His attorneys had asked the jury to award him $11,000 per year for the rest of his life in lost wages as well as $26,000 in medical expenses and possibly millions in pain in suffering.

Moore was disappointed and felt betrayed. “If I knew then what I know now, I would have walked off the job,” he said.

Hernandez, a 14-year veteran of the San Jose plant, said that during the three months of courtroom testimony, IBM misled workers about chemicals that soaked her chest and arms.

But IBM is not out of the woods yet. The trial was the first of more than 200 similar lawsuits against them.


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