Employees sue company for toxic work conditions

By Joel Brakken | Feb 7, 2014

Former employees seek a class action lawsuit against a company for toxic working conditions. 

Stanley Beaty, Selma Bell, Theresa Ricks, Stephanie Rose, Erica Williams and the Estate of Dennis Malone filed a lawsuit Feb. 3 in the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Texas Marshall Division against The Hillshire Brands Co., Bimbo Bakeries USA Inc. and John and Jane Does 1-10, citing employment discrimination.

The plaintiffs brought this lawsuit alleging acts of intentional discrimination based on race and color by the defendants. They allege the defendant, formerly known as Sara Lee Corp., operated a plant in Paris, Texas, and employed hundreds of workers in a toxic, asbestos-laden environment.

According to the complaint, the majority of the employees at the plant were black.

The complaint alleges that many workers in the plant suffered illness -- including respiratory problems, cancer and death -- as a result of exposure to asbestos, mold and other toxic substances.

The plaintiffs allege that black employees were intentionally placed in areas of the plant where they were exposed to asbestos, black mold and toxic chemicals.

The plaintiffs are seeking a class action on behalf of a class of black former employees. They are seeking an undisclosed amount of damages, including punitive damages, costs and attorney's fees.

They are being represented in the case by attorneys Eric M. Albritton, Jay D. Ellwanger, Stefanie T. Scott, Sara Wyn Kane, Deborah L. Rubin, James A. Vagnini and Robert J. Valli Jr.

United States District Court Eastern District of Texas Case No. 2:14-CV-58


This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at the United States District Court Eastern District of Texas. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it represents only one side of the story.

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