Hospitalized sanitation worker hires attorney following hazardous leak

WATCH: Hospitalized sanitation worker hires attorney following hazardous leak

FOX13 has learned one of the Memphis sanitation employees injured Friday after crews picked up what they believe was hazardous material has hired a lawyer.

Paramedics rushed Supervisor Clarence Morrow to the hospital where he died. The cause of death has not been determined.

RELATED: Mayor Strickland sends condolences to city sanitation worker’s family

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A union member told FOX13 another employee, Eric Wilkerson, was injured and had to be hospitalized.

Wilkerson has hired Memphis Attorney Art Horne.

Video recorded by a Memphis sanitation worker and obtained by FOX13 News shows the truck leaking a foaming fluid. It is suspected of being some type of chemical.

One person can be heard on the recording saying “Don’t breathe that (expletive). It is acid.”


“It is believed that he may have a collapsed lung from smoke inhalation from that acid," Horne said.

Horne told FOX13 his client took pictures of two jugs that contained the chemical Muriatic acid, a form of hydrochloric acid used in home repairs.

His client told him sanitation workers picked up the jugs from a home along their route.

“We believe that whoever placed that chemical, the homeowner who placed that chemical in that container was negligent for doing such," Horne said.

According to the City of Memphis website, hazardous materials are supposed to be dropped off at a separate location.

Union members told FOX13 these chemicals are not supposed to be placed in a garbage truck.

FOX13 has learned the Tennessee Department of Labor is investigating the death of the sanitation supervisor and so is the Memphis Police Department.

Horne said he wants to see the findings from the investigations and whether there are any long term health issues for his client.

“Once we figure that part out, we will deal with the legal ramifications,” he said.

Tuesday night MPD said their investigation was still underway.

The union representing the sanitation workers said they have not received any update from the city’s solid waste director and have been advised by their attorney not to comment.