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Chemical Exposures

Motorola Birth Defect & Birth Injury Lawyers in Phoenix

Helping Arizona families seek justice when toxic exposure leads to genetic abnormalities

In many occupations, working with chemicals is an everyday part of the job. While some of those chemicals are relatively harmless, others can cause serious health problems. Sometimes these complications develop right away, and sometimes they take years to unfold. When toxic exposure goes undetected, it can lead to catastrophic injuries not only for the worker, but for his or her future children.

This is what happened to workers at Motorola, whose children developed birth defects as a result of their parents’ constant toxic exposure. At Plattner Verderame, P.C., we hold companies accountable for choices that put workers’ health and safety below profits. Our knowledgeable Phoenix chemical exposure attorneys know how to establish the connection to show that your exposure harmed your unborn children. We can help. Call us in Phoenix or Tempe today to learn more.

“Clean rooms” are linked to birth defects

“Clean rooms” are used in manufacturing plants and research facilities to limit pollutants and ensure that outside contaminants do not affect whatever is being manufactured, cultured, or produced in those rooms. Computer chips are delicate, so during the manufacturing process employees work in clean rooms to protect them. They also require several toxic chemicals to produce, and workers are supposed to be given protective equipment – like masks, gowns, and gloves – to help limit their exposure.

Some of the potentially dangerous industries include:

  • Electronic manufacturing
  • Biotechnology
  • Food manufacturing
  • Automotive manufacturing
  • Medical device manufacturing
  • Drug compounding and manufacturing

While chemical exposure can occur within any of these industries, folks who work in the electronics industry, especially making semiconductors, are particularly at risk. These are often called “clean room cases” because many labs have defective air circulation systems. Utilized chemicals can cause reproductive harm to anyone in the building – not just the workers in closest contact with the chemicals. Clean room workers, contractors working on the tools or the vents and engineers all share the risk of harm, including harm to children not born for several years after the exposure.

Many of the chemical-related birth defect cases we handle involve these clean room exposures. In the Phoenix area alone, clean room operations are run by national and global high-tech companies such as Motorola, Intel and ASML. Sadly, a famous brand name does not always translate into greater concern for worker safety, even if their commercials would make you think otherwise. It turns out that many manufacturers invest substantial amounts of money in keeping the product clean, while cutting costs on worker safety.

Motorola failed to protect their clean room workers

Motorola did not provide workers with adequate protective equipment. In fact, their primary objective was to protect the computer chips from hair, skin, dust and pollutants – not to protect the employees. The equipment they did provide was often damaged and inadequate, and the company never told its workers that they were being exposed to chemicals that could harm them or cause genetic abnormalities in their children.

Motorola knew there were risks associated with their clean rooms, especially to pregnant workers. They knew the chemicals were toxic, but chose not to use safer alternatives, nor warn their workers, nor provide them with the appropriate protective gear.

Fathers-to-be also passed on damaged genes

It wasn’t just pregnant women who were at risk. In some cases, the toxins leached into male bodies and affected the workers’ sperm.

A study published by Live Science discussed the connection between men who worked within certain industries and the risk of birth defects in their newborn children. Researchers concluded that men working with solvents during the months prior to conception are at greater risk of have children with birth defects.

All of this led to a slew of genetic defects, birth injuries, birth defects, and stillbirths.


Teratogens and other chemicals that cause birth defects

Birth defects have been linked to exposure to teratogens, “an agent or factor that causes malformation of an embryo,” before and during pregnancy.

Workers were also exposed to other chemicals that cause birth defects, such as:

  • Ethylene glycol ethers
  • Fluorine compounds
  • Chlorine compounds
  • Radio frequency radiation
  • Arsenic compounds
  • Organic solvents such as benzene

While these toxins are passed from mother to baby, women are not the only ones who need to be worried about exposure to chemicals. Men who work with chemicals are also at increased risk of having children with birth defects.

What kinds of birth defects did Motorola workers’ children develop?

Families who worked for Motorola had children who suffered birth defects such as:

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Neural tube defects like spina bifida
  • Paralysis
  • Epilepsy and seizure disorders
  • Heart defects
  • Cleft palate
  • Club feet
  • Muscular deformities
  • Skeletal deformities
  • Brain damage
  • Still births
  • Fetal death

Obtaining compensation for various types of birth defects

The medical challenges of birth defects can have lifelong implications for your child and cause significant difficulties for your family. Treatment and rehabilitation for are often extensive and costly. Without compensation from the responsible party, your family’s resources and savings can be quickly depleted.

Our compassionate Phoenix chemical exposure lawyers understand the economic challenges your family will face for years to come. That is why we work hard to hold employers accountable. Proving employer negligence and that a particular child’s injuries resulted from that negligence is complex and expensive, but you do not need to worry. When you secure representation from our firm, we pay for the up-front costs of investigation and litigation. If we cannot prove the case, we’ll tell you. If the case is both righteous and provable, we’ll fight for you. Let us make a difference for you and your family.


If you worked at Motorola and your child has a birth defect, we want to help

Motorola lied to its workers and failed to protect them and their families. We can help you fight for the justice you deserve. Plattner Verderame, P.C. handles chemical exposure-related birth defect cases on a contingency-fee basis, which means that you can focus on caring for your child without worrying about the burden of up-front legal fees. You won’t owe us anything for our representation unless we obtain a verdict or settlement on your behalf. If your baby was born with some type of physical or mental disability, please call 602-266-2002, or fill out our contact form. Serving Phoenix, Tempe, and all of Arizona.