Thirteen plaintiffs are suing Tenneco, Inc. over their plant in Hartwell, Georgia, in the Hart County Superior Court. The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified punitive damages against the company for premises liability (https://www.sclawpc.com/), nuisance, and loss of consortium. This is an ongoing problem for Tenneco, and comes on the heels of their recently having to pay $100,000 in fines for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations within the last year and a half. In addition to Tenneco, three other companies- Compass Health and Safety, LTD, Atotech, and KCH Services, LLC- are also listed in this personal injury lawsuit.
The allegations in the lawsuit against Tenneco, a company that manufactures vehicle replacement parts, come from the plaintiffs’ exposure to high levels of the chemical hexavalent chromium, which is used in the production of shock absorbers and struts for cars, for eight of the 13 plaintiffs. Those eight were employees at the Tenneco Hartwell plant. The lawsuit alleges that the four defendant companies failed to “exercise ordinary care of the premise” and failed to “maintain safety” of the work area.
The complaint alleges that all eight workers- Jonathon T. Vickery, Ricky Willis, Max McCollum, Roger Freeman, Charles R. Allen, Ralph Burdette, Hubert Leon Pierce, and Wesley Willimon- suffered health problems as a result of exposure to hexavalent chromium. They particularly highlight nasal and respiratory injuries. Studies have shown that long-term exposure to this chemical also increases the risk of cancer.