Former employees accuse trucking company of ‘horrific’ chemical exposure

March 2, 2022

Tyson Fisher


One year after Trimac Transportation employees filed a lawsuit alleging “debilitating injuries” from chemicals, attorneys representing additional Trimac employees have filed a second lawsuit with similar allegations, including explicit details of the pain and suffering experienced by affected employees.

In a complaint filed on Feb. 8, 17 former Trimac employees accuse the trucking company of lying to them about the dangers of the chemicals they were exposed to. As a result, plaintiffs claim the chemicals directly led to diagnoses of severe illnesses, including lymphoma, colon cancer, pancreatic tumors, tumors in groin, lymphadenopathy, partial loss of sight, severe short term memory loss, extremity numbness and extreme difficulty breathing.

Trimac showers
According to attorneys for Trimac employees, this photo shows the shower workers were to use in the event of chemical exposure, highlighting the alleged unsafe conditions.

In addition to Trimac, the complaint names CSX and several of the world’s largest chemical makers as defendants.

Specifically, plaintiffs accuse Trimac of failing to warn them of the dangers of the chemicals they were exposed at facilities in Atlanta, Ga. For more than 20 years, transloaders and wash rack technicians claim they were exposed to harmful chemicals, including:

  • Acrylate
  • Ammonia
  • Benzene.
  • Caustic
  • Formaldehyde
  • Methylene
  • 85% Hydrogen peroxide
  • Nitric acid
  • Roundup (glyphosate)
  • Sulfuric acid
  • Toluene
  • Xylene

Former employees claim that Trimac knowingly lied when the company told them the chemicals were safe and did not necessitate legally required protective measures.

Consequently, many workers fell extremely ill as a direct result from the chemical exposure.

Plaintiffs also accuse the company of failing to provide proper showers in the event of chemical exposure. Photos show brown liquid coming out of the showerhead. Additionally, former employees publicly released dozens of pages of lab results.

“These are good hardworking people. Some of the largest companies in the world have lied to these men for years about their acutely toxic chemicals,” lead trial lawyer James Hugh Potts II said in a statement. “They’ve lied too about the dangers of working in confined spaces with these acutely toxic chemicals. All to keep their chemicals flowing. We are going to stop it.  We’re going to hold these ruthless cowards accountable for destroying these men’s lives. For destroying the lives of their families. No telling how many of these good hardworking men have already died. All for what? To make another billion dollars? Fortunately, as we continue to uncover evidence of this widespread misconduct, the EPA and OSHA are taking notice.”

The lawsuit is an extension of a complaint filed in December 2020. However, there are a few key differences. First, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have gotten involved since the first lawsuit. Second, plaintiffs in the latest lawsuit were Trimac employees after the first lawsuit was filed, suggesting the company continued to expose employees to toxic chemicals despite the pending lawsuit.

Two plaintiffs in the first lawsuit have died since it was filed. Many more have been diagnosed with significant illnesses after “horrific” chemical exposure, according to Potts. LL