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Anyone who has worked in semi-conductor manufacturing or electronics assembly industries and who has been diagnosed with cancer, or who has children with birth defects, may have undiscovered defective products claims.

We presently represent nearly 100 former employees of IBM employed at the Fishkill, New York IBM manufacturing plant who have cancer and whose families include children with birth defects which we attribute to toxic solvent exposure to either parent in the workplace.

The cancers include: testicular, cervical and uterine; leukemia, and Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma; brain; and colon, rectal and bladder cancer. The birth defects include microcephaly, blindness, and shortened limbs, among others.

It appears that many of the cancer victims or their parents worked in clean room areas such as “photo apply,” “develop,” “etch,” and “strip” using photoresists, glycol ethers, TCE, PERC, MEK, dichlorobenzene, phenol, freons and other solvents.

In many cases they started work many years ago. The latency period between exposure and cancer can be as long as twenty years.

After a recent news story on our Fishkill cases on Dateline, we received a letter from a former IBM employee[1966 to 1979] at the San Jose plant where disk drives were manufactured. Of the fourteen people who worked with him in the Materials Analysis Department, six have died from brain tumors, intestinal cancer, and leukemia. Two others have bone tumors.

Fortunately manufacturers today are exercising a much higher degree of care to avoid exposures to their employees in the chip manufacturing process, than they did in the past.

In many states, such as California, delayed discovery of the basis upon which to bring a lawsuit applies to both wrongful death and personal injury claims against the manufacturers of dangerous solvents and allows a suit to be filed many years after the normal one or two year statutue of limitations has passed. Children injured in utero have until their 19th birthday to file suit under California law, but should not delay in taking action.