This article uses affiliate links, which means if you purchase products through these links, we may earn a commission. Click here to see our T&C. For licensing please click here.

It's a well-trodden story—rich and powerful oppressors are stomping on those below them. In the past, the oppressors were usually cocky and arrogant kings and queens, but today, the oppressors are big companies. Unbridled and without any remorse, they are making the oppressed pay a hefty fine.

Nathaniel Mack
Nathaniel Mack Nathaniel Mack

According to AFL-CIO's 2021 Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect report, "workplace hazards kill and disable more than 100,000 workers each year—5,333 from traumatic injuries and an estimated 95,000 from occupational diseases." But the damages are not exclusive to the workplace. There are countless stories where common people and sometimes whole ecosystems are affected by negligence. While greedy companies are often fighting tooth and nail to deny the wronged people their rightful compensation, there are some attorneys out there who are still doing what's right, attorneys such as Nathaniel Mack.

"From huge disasters like the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to some smaller ones like the Flint water crisis, we have a new crisis almost every day," he says. "And the size of the disaster doesn't matter because more often than not, the currency that we pay for other's negligence is the most precious one—life."

Nathaniel Mack is a renowned personal injury lawyer running a top-rated law firm for personal injury cases in Texas. Some would say that this is a modern world Sisyphean task, as huge companies often have unlimited budgets and huge teams of attorneys, but Nathaniel Mack likes to call his job a David versus Goliath battle.

"Even though Goliath was bigger, and seemed stronger, David managed to defeat the giant with a single blow," he says. "Nobody believed that David would succeed, but he did. And that's what we are doing here. We are tackling these seemingly untouchable companies and making them pay for their wrongdoings."

The current battle Mack is waging is against Union Pacific Railroad (UP) regarding their facility in an area of Houston known as the Fifth Ward, Kashmere Gardens. As Mack explains, the said area is known as a cancer cluster and the Texas Environmental Health Association has confirmed that this area of Houston has the highest rate of cancer per capita of anywhere in the country.

The problem started years ago with the use of a highly cancerous chemical known as creosote, but at the time this chemical wasn't known to be toxic. Mack points out that ignorance can't be used as an excuse. These communities have been going through hell because a company didn't want to do things safely even after it knew about creosote. Now that the company has made so much money, UP simply doesn't care.

"Throughout the years of investigating, we have discovered that UP was using a chemical known as creosote to preserve the wooden ties. In addition to that, there were plumes of it and piles of it throughout the community," explains Nathaniel Mack. "Unchecked for years, the creosote seeped into the drinking water and polluted the air in these communities. And today, we have a huge problem as both young and old are dying from cancer and leukemia. We are just trying to help these people and these communities, to give them a fighting chance."

Mack is currently representing a mother whose twelve-year-old son died of leukemia. The early onset of leukemia was directly tied to both mother's and son's exposure to the dangerous creosote. "One aspect, one result of the creosote exposure is a high rate of birth defects in kids," he explains. "And it's so sad and unfortunate for someone that young to go through all that pain and lose their life. It's devastating for the parents, for the community, for everyone to go through that."

But fighting giant companies isn't the only problem that Nathaniel Mack and attorneys like him have on their plates. Texas is a very conservative and pro-big business state, which makes his job even more difficult when it comes to fighting big companies.

Add to that another component—insurance companies. "Congress is always trying to pass laws to make it difficult for injury lawyers to practice their craft. You could say that the majority of their constituents are the big insurance companies who pay for their campaigns and lobby for such laws," he says. "The same insurance companies are paying the damages when we win the personal injury case, so it seems that they're trying everything in their power to limit our ability to do that. That's still the ongoing battle but we have some hard hitters in our corner too."

Nevertheless, Nathaniel Mack will continue his fight for the righteous cause to try to bring the power to the "little guy" because that's who he is and who his clients are. "I'm a part of the DTLA, a Texas Trial Lawyers Association, and we are still holding our ground. We will never let these bullies take all the rights away from the little guy, from us. We will stand tall together with our communities because if we don't, then nobody else will."