Millions in IBM Endicott Pollution Claims Paid
IBM has paid several million dollars to hundreds of people who have been seeking compensation for claims related to chemical contamination at the company's Endicott microelectronics facility.
Bob Joseph/WNBF News [file][/caption]The company and many of the plaintiffs who had taken IBM to court last year agreed to a settlement of the lawsuit filed nearly a decade ago.
Endicott Mayor John Bertoni told WNBF News he has heard that compensation checks have been received in recent days.
Although IBM reportedly had agreed to pay settlements totaling several million dollars to several hundred plaintiffs, it's not known how much money is now being paid out.
Business owners in the lawsuit received more than owners of residential property near the North Street manufacturing complex.
Two law firms - Levene Gouldin and Thompson of Vestal and Faraci Lange of Rochester - mailed out settlement checks in late December.
Some plaintiffs had alleged spills of the chemical TCE may have resulted in illnesses and deaths. The lawsuit also contended property values dropped and nearby businesses were harmed because of the contamination.
IBM was founded more than a century ago in Endicott. The company now is based in Westchester County.
IBM representatives could not be reached for comment. Attorneys representing the plaintiffs also were not available to discuss the payments.
The terms of the settlement are said to prevent those who received payments from saying anything publicly about IBM or Endicott Interconnect Technologies, which acquired the company's microelectronics unit in 2002. Endicott Interconnect Technologies now is known as i3 Electronics.
Huron Real Estate Associates now owns the buildings and land which encompassed what many still refer to as "the birthplace of IBM."
Bertoni said while some of the plaintiffs have received checks, not all have agreed to settle with IBM.
The mayor said he doesn't know the status of those who haven't settled but, he said: "They need closure."
Bertoni said he'll be happy "when everyone is compensated."
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