If you or a loved one worked with processed quartz or engineered stone countertops and were diagnosed with silicosis, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact the Kishish Law Group today for your free and confidential case evaluation by completing our contact form or calling us toll free at 1 (888) 402-5552.
A popular artificial countertop has been linked to death and lung injury. A report by the Centers for Disease Control, released in late September 2019, revealed 18 reported cases of silicosis, a dangerous lung disease, in stone fabrication workers. Because around 100,000 people work in the U.S. countertop fabrication industry, more people could be at risk for this debilitating and sometimes deadly disease.
The Kishish Law Group is investigating potential claims arising out of silicosis injuries due to working with countertops. Filing a lawsuit can help you pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages due to your injuries. Lawsuits can also help send signals to companies that they should ensure that their products and workplaces are safe.
What is an engineered stone countertop?
Engineered stone countertops are an increasingly popular type of countertop material, made from quartz crushed and mixed with plastic and other materials. Often sold as just "quartz" countertops, engineered stone countertops are popular with consumers for kitchen or bathroom countertops because they are cheaper and easier to maintain than granite countertops. Engineered stone countertops are sold under names like Zodiaq, Caesarstone and Silestone and produced by companies like DuPont, the Israel-based Caesarstone Sdot-Yam, and Spain-based Cosentino.
What are the problems with engineered stone countertops?
Engineered stone countertops can be up to 90% silica, a well-known workplace hazard. When these countertops are cut by countertop fabrication workers to fit a kitchen or bathroom, silica particles are released into the air. Inhalation of silica dust can cause a condition called "silicosis," a potentially fatal lung disease.
The countertops initially gained popularity outside the United States. As the countertops became popular in Israel and Spain, scientists in those countries observed outbreaks of silicosis in workers in the countertop industry. Some have even called for a ban on engineered stone countertops because of the dangers they pose to workers.
Lawsuits filed by workers in the U.S. countertop industry have shown that U.S. companies are not immune from the problems observed in Israel and Spain. Though workplace controls are often superior in the United States, countertop companies have often allegedly failed to protect their workers from silica dust. NPR reports that in one suit against Cosentino, testimony suggested that the company failed to inform their workers of the dangers of working with silica, failed to provide adequate personal protective gear, and delayed in implementing countertop cutting methods to control the dust. These types of inadequacies in workplace safety combined with the high silica content of the engineered stone can put workers at a heightened risk of developing silicosis.
What are the symptoms of silicosis?
Silicosis is a disease caused by exposure to silica dust and can result in severe lung damage and respiratory failure. The American Lung Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) say that symptoms of silicosis can include
- Cough, wheezing, and breathing difficulty
- Leg swelling
- Increased breathing rate, shortness of breath
- Bluish lips
- Loss of appetite
- Chest pain
- Respiratory failure
OSHA further warns that silicosis can lead to other conditions like lung cancer, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), increased susceptibility to tuberculosis, scleroderma, and kidney disease.
If you suspect that you have been exposed to silica dust and are experiencing the above symptoms, you may want to seek medical advice.
Do I have a countertop silicosis lawsuit?
Contacting a lawyer is the best way to determine whether you have a lawsuit for your injuries due to cutting countertop. Our experienced lawyers and staff will listen to your story and help you determine your legal path forward. The Kishish Law Group's initial countertop lawsuit consultations are free and confidential. If you or a loved one has worked with engineered stone or processed quartz countertops and were diagnosed with silicosis, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Kishish Law group today by completing our contact form or calling us toll free at 1 (888) 402-5552.
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Speak with a Countertop Silicosis Lawyer
If you worked with processed quartz or engineered stone countertops and were diagnosed with silicosis, contact Kishish Law Group to find out your options.
Contact a lawyer today for a free and confidential legal consultation.
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