MARCH 3–WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — A $100 million lawsuit blaming a woman’s birth defects on her mother’s working conditions at an IBM factory was settled Tuesday as jury selection was about to begin. The terms were not disclosed.
IBM spokesman Christopher Andrews told The Associated Press that the company continues to deny any responsibility for Candace Curtis’ injuries.
Curtis, 22, alleged that she suffered retardation because her mother inhaled noxious fumes while dipping silicon wafers into harsh chemicals at an IBM plant in Fishkill. Curtis was born without kneecaps and with a deformed skull.
More than 200 cancer or birth-defect cases around the country against IBM await trial. Curtis’ attorney, Steve Phillips, said the settlement does not cover any of those.
IBM prevailed last week in a related trial in Santa Clara, Calif., when jurors ruled that two retired workers did not develop systemic chemical poisoning at IBM’s San Jose disk-drive factory.
Of the settlement, Andrews said that “certainly anyone with empathy can see that Miss Curtis does have significant injuries. But that does not mean that her mother’s work experience at IBM was the cause of those injuries.”