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Suit alleges that AMD recklessly exposed its employees to toxic substances

Ryan Ruiz, 16, of Austin Texas, shares the same last name with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) CEO Hector Ruiz.  Ryan, sadly, is the victim of a birth defect.  He is missing the lower right part of his arm and had significant cognitive impairment.  The unfortunate irony of his last name comes in that his conditions are allegedly caused by Hector Ruiz's company, AMD.

Ryan's mom, Maria Ruiz, worked in AMD's Fab 14 clean room from 1988 to 2002.  She was exposed to a wide array of toxic chemicals during her employment with AMD, including ethylene glycol monoethyl ether acetate and 2-ethoxyethyl acetate, known to cause birth defects.  During her employment she had to seek medical attention at least twice due to fume inhalation.

Her exposure concerned her when she discovered she was pregnant.  She inquired about health risks with a local doctor at the Austin Regional Clinic, but was told not to worry about it, and to feel free to return to work.  AMD was perfectly happy to take her back, and she worked most of the remaining course of her pregnancy, continuously exposed to chemicals that are known in the medical community to cause birth defects.

The ending of story is the tragic one previously stated -- her son was born missing part of a limb and with brain damage.

Now Maria is taking the fight to the corporation she feels damaged her and her son.  The lawsuit, filed in Travis County District Court, both targets AMD and includes medical malpractice allegations against the doctors at the clinic she went to for medical consultation.  It names a family/occupational health practitioner and an obstetrics and gynecology specialist, George Marking MD and Alinda Cox MD.  These doctors, according the suit, failed to warn Maria about any possible risks of working with the toxic chemicals at her place of employment, during her pregnancy.

The Ruiz vs. AMD Lawsuit has some high power representation in the form of filing attorney Adam S. Ward, a partner in Allison & Ward, LLP and Steven Phillips of Levy Phillips & Konigsberg LLP (New York).  The enlistment of Levy Phillips & Konigsberg LLP draws attention, in particular, because the firm successfully won an undisclosed settlement for IBM clean-room exposure victims in a similar case.

"Like millions of Americans, Maria Ruiz did not realize that 'clean rooms' are designed to keep damaging dust particles from semiconductor wafers during manufacturing, not to protect men and women exposed to a spectrum of hazardous chemicals and fumes," said Steven Phillips of Levy Phillips & Konigsberg LLP, co-counsel in the case.

The representing firm Allison & Ward, LLP has been airing commercial on local TV in Texas seeking people with knowledge of the clean room, for possible testimony.

The suit seeks exemplary damages and includes a five-count petition charging negligence, breach of warranty, fraudulent concealment and misrepresentation.

AMD doesn't really need much more bad news.  With another weak graphics card launch, another losing quarter, debts piling up, and rivals NVIDIA and Intel piling up record profits, AMD has scant room for more negative press or losses.  Thus this suit marks the kind of sad sort of story in which there are no winners.

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16 years?
By MrPickins on 11/9/2007 12:32:45 PM , Rating: 2
It took her 16 years to get around to filing a lawsuit?

I'm not going to go into who I feel right and wrong here, but why didn't she file the suit long ago?

RE: 16 years?
By MrPickins on 11/9/2007 12:35:38 PM , Rating: 2
Doh! Beat to the punch by mikefarinha...

RE: 16 years?
By just4U on 11/9/2007 12:56:07 PM , Rating: 2
Some people just dont know any better. You could go years wondering but not really doing anything about it until someone prompts you.

As to who's to blame. I feel all the parties are at fault from what little i've read here.

Amd for not having the forsight to see the implications of having a pregnent worker in that environment.

The clinic for giving faulty advice

The mother for not using basic common sense and realizing that while she is carrying she shouldnt be breathing toxic chemicals.

RE: 16 years?
By mitchafi on 11/9/2007 1:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
maybe its a good time to buy AMD stock...can they possible be in worse straits right now?

RE: 16 years?
By masher2 on 11/9/2007 2:17:30 PM , Rating: 3
> "I feel all the parties are at fault from what little i've read here."

What we've read is the plaintiff's version of events only. If we judged all lawsuits by that, we'd have no need for judges or juries.

RE: 16 years?
By codeThug on 11/9/2007 10:01:53 PM , Rating: 2
Hear hear!!!

RE: 16 years?
By just4U on 11/10/2007 2:02:02 AM , Rating: 2
What we've read is the plaintiff's version of events only. If we judged all lawsuits by that, we'd have no need for judges or juries.

Yeah that's why I said what Little ive read .. Can't make a informed decision on so little information but it just seems like common sense should have kicked in with all the parties involved including the mother to be.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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