People who cut or were involved in making quartz countertops and were diagnosed with certain diseases (including silicosis and lung cancer) or experienced breathing problems requiring medical treatment.
What’s Going On?
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are investigating whether lawsuits can be filed on behalf of countertop workers who may have been injured by exposure to silica, the main component of quartz. They have reason to believe the countertop manufacturers could be responsible for workers’ medical expenses and other damages.
What You Can Do
To learn more about your eligibility for a lawsuit, fill out the form on this page or keep reading for more information. After you fill out the form, an attorney or legal representative may reach out to you directly to ask you a few questions and explain more about what’s involved with filing a lawsuit.
What Does This Cost?
It costs nothing to get in touch or speak with one of the attorneys we work with. Plus, if you end up filing a lawsuit, you will only pay if they win your case – and the attorneys’ payment will come directly from your settlement or jury award.
How Could a Lawsuit Help?
A lawsuit could potentially provide money for physical and emotional suffering, lost wages, medical bills, funeral expenses and more.
If you worked with kitchen and bathroom quartz countertops and were diagnosed with any of the following diseases within the past five years or experienced breathing problems requiring medical treatment, you may have an opportunity to sue for medical expenses and other damages:
Silicosis (chronic, accelerated or acute)
Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus)
Connective tissue disease
Any other breathing condition
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are investigating a potential link between “engineered” stone and silicosis, a debilitating and potentially fatal lung disease that has been on the rise among countertop workers. It’s also believed that silica exposure from manufacturing quartz countertops may lead to various other lung-related conditions and autoimmune diseases.
For more information on what’s involved with filing a lawsuit, fill out the form on this page. It costs nothing to get in touch or speak with someone about your options, and you’re under no obligation to take legal action just because you spoke with someone.
Silicosis and Quartz Countertops: What’s the Link?
Silicosis is a type of lung disease that’s caused by breathing in small bits of silica, which can also be referred to as quartz dust. It’s a disease typically seen in miners, but has become increasingly common in those who work with countertops made of quartz, also referred to as “engineered” or “artificial” stone.
While quartz countertops don’t present any risk to the average consumer, those who cut, drill, polish and otherwise alter the material can be exposed to what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) calls “hazardous levels” of small crystalline silica dust particles. These particles can be inhaled and trapped in a worker’s lung tissue, leading to the development of silicosis.
It’s been reported that engineered stone presents a higher risk of silicosis in that it contains significantly more silica than alternative materials, such as marble and granite.
Specifically, NPR reports that engineered stone contains more than 90% silica, while granite and marble have only 45% and 10%, respectively. Unfortunately for countertop workers, the material has seen an increase in popularity due to its resistance to stains and cracks.
Studies Indicate Silica Exposure May Be Linked to Lung Cancer, Other Diseases
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified crystalline silica as a human carcinogen in 1997, and various studies have suggested a link between exposure to the particles and lung cancer.
Other studies have indicated that chronic inflammation and damage to the lungs from silica dust can cause workers to be more susceptible to infections such as tuberculosis and histoplasmosis.
In 2019, a group of scientists in Australia who were studying “an emerging epidemic” of silicosis among workers exposed to silica during the cutting of artificial stone countertops published evidence of a “clear association” between exposure to silica dust and the development of connective tissue diseases, including scleroderma and systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus). In fact, the scientists wrote that although an association between silica exposure and connective tissue disease “has been documented for over 100 years,” it is now supported by “a convincing body of evidence.”
OSHA Issues Health Warning Over Silica Exposure During Countertop Manufacturing
In 2015, OSHA issued a “Hazard Alert” regarding worker exposure to silica during countertop manufacturing, finishing and installation. The organization said that it had identified exposure to silica as a health hazard for both those who manufacture stone countertops and those involved with in-home finishing and installation.
The alert offered “simple and effective” dust controls for “most countertop operations” to help protect workers. On a similar note, major manufacturers are claiming that silicosis comes from poor handling of various materials and that the risk of the disease is “not specific to engineered stone.”
With the increasing number of workers falling ill, however, attorneys working with ClassAction.org are further investigating the link between engineered stone and various diseases and whether countertop manufacturers could be held accountable.
Is this a Class Action Lawsuit?
No. Attorneys working with ClassAction.org, should they decide to pursue this litigation, will be handling these cases on an individual basis. This means you will need to file your own lawsuit, outlining your individual work history, medical history and the damages (lost wages, medical bills, etc.) you incurred. You can learn more about how these types of cases differ from class action lawsuits here.
How Much Does a Lawyer Cost?
The attorneys working with ClassAction.org are handling these cases on what’s called a “contingency fee” basis. This means you will only pay if they win your lawsuit – and their payment will come directly from your settlement or jury award.
What Could I Get from a Lawsuit?
A lawsuit could provide compensation for the following:
Loss of life’s enjoyment
In the event of death, a lawsuit could also provide compensation for funeral expenses, loss of expected wages and loss of consortium (i.e., benefits of a familial relationship, such as love, affection and comfort).
If you or a loved one worked with quartz countertops and has been diagnosed with any of the diseases mentioned on this page within the past five years or experienced breathing problems that required treatment, contact us for free by completing the form on this page.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are strict time limits for filing these types of lawsuits.