Delta Air Lines announced in January that it’s going to redesign its Passport Plum uniforms made by Lands’ End as soon as late next year in response to employee complaints about allergic reactions to the new uniforms. But it is too little too late for my client Benita Johnson, a former Delta gate agent.
She is one of 1,300 Delta employees I’m representing in a proposed class action lawsuit against Lands’ End, the manufacturer of Delta’s Passport Plum uniforms. Rolled out in May 2018, the new uniforms have caused severe allergic reactions to my clients including skins rashes, headaches, hair loss, nosebleeds, breathing difficulties and vocal cord damage, to name a few.
Nine years ago, 57-year-old Benita Johnson left her job as a medical assistant to pursue her dream: to become a Delta gate agent. She loved her job. But a month after donning her new Passport Plum uniform, Benita developed a rash on her neck, waist and thighs, and she began coughing and having trouble breathing. Then she started having severe asthma attacks that left her hospitalized for days at a time. Eventually, her physician concluded she was a having a severe allergic reaction to her uniform.
Our proposed class action lawsuit alleges toxic chemicals in Benita’s uniform were making her sick. The uniforms contain chemicals and finishes that made them high-stretch, wrinkle and stain-resistant, waterproof, flame retardant and deodorizing. Our lab testing found heavy metals and chemicals – chromium, antimony, mercury, formaldehyde, fluorine and bromine – in the uniforms that were in far excess of industry-accepted safe levels for clothing. All are known to cause harm.
Once Benita realized it was her uniform that was making her sick, she called Lands’ End and Delta to complain, and wore an alternative cotton black and white uniform. She experienced secondary reactions to her co-workers’ uniforms, leading to more asthma attacks and hospitalizations. She also tried a non-wool, untreated replacement uniform, but still experienced allergic reactions. Our lawsuit contends Benita had become sensitized to the chemicals in her uniform.
After being hospitalized with asthma attacks five times within 13 months, Benita could no longer perform her job duties without getting sick. Our lawsuit contends her work environment was literally toxic. Benita says her medical providers warned her that the next time she had an asthma attack, she might not make it. She resigned last September and has not had an asthma attack since. She is looking for another job, while caring for her 94-year-old mother.
Benita worries about the long-term effects the exposure to her uniform will have on her health, and her former co-workers who are still exposed to its chemicals. Even though she has not worn a uniform in at least six months, Benita says her clear bath water sometimes developed a lavender tint after she has soaked in it. She says her doctor advised her that wearing the uniform for long periods of time, coupled with sweating, allowed the purple dye from the uniform to absorb into her system.
These uniforms are very hazardous and they are putting employees’ health at risk. Our lawsuit calls on Lands’ End to recall them immediately and pay money damages to those employees who suffered injury or damages to property as a result of the purple dye “crocking” or bleeding onto their skin and personal property.
We Can Help
Terrell • Hogan represents the injured as they seek justice. We represent people injured by defective and dangerous products, including toxic uniforms. We can investigate what caused your injuries to hold the responsible parties accountable. Delta employees experiencing a reaction to their uniforms may contact me for a free case evaluation.