Semiconductor Worker Birth Defect Cases
The manufacture of computer chips and microelectronic equipment is a process that involves intense and continuous exposure to a host of dangerous chemicals and heavy metals. These chemicals and heavy metals have long been associated with birth defects, miscarriages, childhood cancers, stillbirths, and infertility. Unfortunately, a substantial proportion of the workers employed in these facilities are young women of childbearing age. Dangers are also applicable to the offspring of male workers, many of whom were born with the same severe birth defects due to chemical damage to their sperm. Further, these workplace exposures have also caused workers themselves to develop cancer.
Predictably, and tragically, over the years a horrifying number of children born to semiconductor and microelectronic workers have been born with severe birth defects, childhood cancers, or both.
These birth defects and cancers include the following:
- Spina bifida (paralysis of lower and sometimes upper limbs as well as brain damage)
- Cerebral palsy
- Severe heart defects
- Missing limbs and organs
- Brain damage
- Cancer of the eye (retinoblastoma), kidneys (Wilms’ Tumor), and brain (neuroblastoma)
The semiconductor and microelectronics industry has known about these dangers and resulting birth defects for decades. Instead of protecting their workers, however, the industry has consistently lied to workers, Federal and State governments, the European Union, and the obstetricians and gynecologists who cared for pregnant workers.
It is well known and documented that in the semiconductor and microelectronic industry that:
- Government and industry standards, when they existed, were commonly ignored or violated
- Chemicals that were known to be unsafe were used for decades, even after safer alternatives were developed
- The industry and its lawyers and upper management were aware of lawsuits decades earlier and prepared a defense while taking no steps to eliminate the harms
- Air monitoring and ventilation controls were lacking or grossly inadequate for decades
- Industry doctors and consultants repeatedly warned management of grave dangers and advised of necessary steps, but their warnings were ignored
- Workers were falsely assured that there were no dangers to their health
- Critical information was withheld from workers’ doctors
Lawsuits on behalf of these children, workers, and their families have been successful for injuries sustained in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Delaware, and foreign factories. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been recovered, and suffering families facing expensive lifelong medical and nursing care have achieved financial security and peace of mind.
These lawsuits are now also forcing this industry to clean up its act and prevent future children from suffering, but the industry’s greed and callous disregard for its workers and their children should be brought to justice. Call the experienced birth defect attorneys at Cooney & Conway, LLP. toll-free at 800-322-5573, or fill out the form below and our dedicated team will be in touch with you promptly.