9/8/2005 - Posted by:
Gillin Jacobson Ellis & Larsen
Phone: 925-253-5812
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$3.9 million for burn injuries to a high-tech worker caused when a glass bottle holding acid broke.

$3.9 Million for burn injuries to a high-tech worker caused when a glass bottle holding acid broke.

A Fremont woman has accepted a $3.9 million out-of-court settlement from the maker of a glass container that shattered four years ago, pouring acid down her leg.

The woman, Annette Montano, 23, was working at the Fairchild Camera and Instrument plant in Mountain View when the accident took place in July 1980, according to her attorney, Luke Ellis of Orinda.

The sulfuric acid was used to etch circuitry in the manufacturing of semiconductor chips and wafers, Ellis said.

"She picked up two bottles and one of them just disintegrated," the lawyer said.

Montano spent 45 days in the hospital and underwent three skin grafts, but her right leg still is scarred severely, Ellis said.

Ellis' law firm, Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis & Larsen of Orinda, filed suit in Santa Clara County Superior Court, contending the container manufacturer, Allied Chemical Corp. of Owens, Ill., was responsible for the injuries.

The suit contended that had Allied Chemical spent 50 cents more and coated the $10 containers with plastic, a broken container would have been sufficiently leak-resistant so that Montano would not have been scarred.

"The technology was available at the time the container was made," Ellis said. "We had evidence that there were numerous cases of shattered containers and Allied knew of these cases but continued to manufacture the uncoated containers."

The settlement calls for immediate payment of $390,000 to Montano, $2.6 million more in monthly payments beginning at $2000 a month and increasing every five years to $5000 monthly in 25 years, and periodic lump-sum payments totaling an additional $1 million over the next 40 years, according to Ellis.

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