A Colorado jury Tuesday found Cleveland-based Brush Wellman Inc. was not negligent and did not conspire with the federal government to hide from workers at a nuclear weapons plant the dangers of beryllium.
Four workers at the now defunct Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant sued, claiming they had contracted chronic beryllium disease, an ailment of the lungs, because Brush Wellman and the government conspired to hide from them the dangers of the substance.
The company said it was "very pleased with the outcome of this complex case. This verdict exonerates Brush Wellman of the totally unsupported conspiracy theory the plaintiff''s attorneys attempted to put forward when they were unable to challenge our solid record of responsible hazard communication and product labeling."
There are 47 other claims pending against the company. An attorney for the plaintiffs said he did not believe the Colorado verdict would affect other cases around the country.
Beryllium is a hard, gray metal that is extracted from ore, refined into a very fine powder and used to manufacture cars, nuclear weapons, cell phones and other products.
by Virginia Sutcliffe