Judge dismisses 50 IBM toxics lawsuits

A judge in California has dismissed approximately 50 toxic chemical lawsuits filed by former IBM employees against the computer giant, following a round of court-ordered mediation.

The employees had charged that IBM was responsible in part for a series of cancers and other illnesses, which they said were attributable to working with toxic chemicals used in the semiconductor manufacturing process. An IBM spokesman said only that the cases, which represent all the outstanding toxics lawsuits facing the company in California courts, had been "concluded and dismissed." He declined to discuss whether the two sides had jointly agreed on a settlement.

The attorney for the former employees, San Jose, Calif.-based plaintiffs lawyer Richard Alexander, could not immediately be reached for comment. The first two cases from the pool of California plaintiffs reached courts late last year. After a trial that stretched several months, a jury dismissed the claims against IBM. The judge in that case ordered the two sides into a mediation process in an attempt to settle the remaining outstanding lawsuits in the state.

News source: C|Net News.com

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