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AMD hit by birth defects lawsuit

Ex-employee alleges chemical exposure damaged son

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Chip giant AMD was yesterday slapped with a lawsuit from a former worker who claims that exposure to hazardous chemicals during pregnancy had caused multiple birth defects in her son.

Maria Ruiz worked in AMD's "Fab 14" clean room from 1988 to 2002 where she claims in the lawsuit, which was filed at the Travis County District Court in Texas, she was exposed to a host of toxic chemicals including ethylene glycol monethyl ether acetate and 2-ethoxyethyl acetate.

Her son Ryan, who is now 16, was born with a missing lower right arm, brain injury and lifelong cognitive deficits, according to a statement from attorneys working on behalf of the Ruiz family.

On at least two occasions, Ruiz said she had needed medical treatment after inhaling chemical fumes at the US plant.

Ruiz charges that AMD breached its safety warranty and neglected to provide employees with adequate protection against exposure to dangerous chemicals.

In addition, the lawsuit includes medical malpractice allegations against a health practitioner and an obstetrics and gynaecology specialist at Austin Regional Clinic, an AMD contractor.

It claims that MDs, George Marking and Alinda Cox allegedly failed to warn Ruiz about the risks posed by her exposure to the chemicals during pregnancy.

AMD told the The Register it had received a copy of the lawsuit and was looking into the claims.

It said in a statement: "We take the health and safety of our employees very seriously. We have a long history of supporting independent research on health and safety in semiconductor manufacturing and are confident in our systems and procedures.

"Our thoughts go out to Ms. Ruiz and her family, but we do not believe there is any connection between Ms. Ruiz's employment with AMD and her son's medical conditions as alleged in this case." ®

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