IBM settles birth defects lawsuit
Terms of the settlement to the $100 million suit were not disclosed. The suit was brought by Candace Curtis, whose mother, Heather Curtis, was pregnant when she was hired by IBM in 1980. Candace was born months later severely deformed.
But, in an apparent blow to similar lawsuits pending in California, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Robert Baines has suspended proceedings in future trials and ordered both sides in the legal disputes to try to settle the cases, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Last week, a Santa Clara jury ruled unanimously that IBM was not responsible for the cancers suffered by two ex-workers at IBM's former disk-drive plant in San Jose, who claimed that their illnesses were caused by working at the plant.
IBM faces similar lawsuits filed by more than 200 former workers and their families, including about 40 in the San Francisco Bay Area, who claim that the company exposed them to chemicals that caused serious health problems.
In the New York case, Candace Curtis, the daughter of a former IBM worker, claimed that her mother was exposed to toxic chemicals while working at the firm's Fishkill, N.Y., plant, and that this caused her to be born with serious health problems.
The settlement brought a sudden close to a case that plaintiffs' attorneys had predicted would be far easier to prove than the Santa Clara case. Three years ago, IBM had settled another birth-defects lawsuit involving a teenager who was born blind and whose parents worked at IBM's Fishkill plant.