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Silicosis Attorneys in Louisiana

Securing Compensation for Clients with Serious Lung Disease

In 2018, two men died at ages 36 and 38 of silicosis. They both worked at a countertop fabrication company, where they cut, ground, and polished stone countertops for multiple years. These are just two cases in an increasingly severe outbreak of silicosis in the stone fabrication industry. Although the CDC recently discovered 18 cases of this preventable disease in four different states, public health organizations have done little to protect the nation’s employees.

If you’ve worked with stone products such as quartz or granite, you may be at risk of developing this severe and potentially fatal lung disease—and while employers or public health organizations may not have your best interests in mind, our attorneys at Plotkin, Vincent & Jaffe do. We are deeply committed to protecting Louisiana’s catastrophically injured workers, and we believe in your right to skilled representation and maximum compensation.

If you believe you may have been exposed to silica, seek medical treatment as soon as possible, and call Plotkin, Vincent & Jaffe at (855) 916-2963 for immediate legal support.

What Is Silica?

Crystalline silica is a natural substance, typically taking the mineral form of quartz. Exposure to hazardous levels of airborne silica can cause silicosis, a severe lung disease.

Natural and manufactured products containing crystalline silica include:

  • Granite
  • Concrete
  • Sand/sandstone
  • Quartzite
  • Glass
  • Pottery
  • Bricks

When any of these materials undergo cutting, mining, drilling, crushing, polishing, or hydraulic fracturing, very small silica particles become airborne as dust. Because the particles are 100 times smaller than sand, anyone in the vicinity can unknowingly inhale them. Therefore, people who work in these manufacturing facilities (e.g. inspectors, quality control technicians, production operators, housekeepers, etc.) may be exposed to harmful amounts of airborne silica dust.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), American workplaces expose more than 2 million people to silica.

Common Silicosis Symptoms

Silicosis is the irreversible lung disease caused by inhaling silica. The silica particles damage the lungs’ air sac lining, causing fluid-buildup and scarring that inhibit the person’s ability to breathe. It is often disabling and potentially fatal.

The three main types of silicosis are:

  • Acute: inflames lungs and fills them with liquid; weeks or a few years after exposure
  • Chronic: causes lungs and lymph nodes to swell; 10-30 years after exposure
  • Accelerated: causes the above issues at a high rate; within 10 years of extreme exposure

Common symptoms of silicosis include:

  • Coughing
  • Tiredness
  • Chest pain
  • Weight loss
  • Shortness of breath/wheezing
  • Low blood-oxygen levels

As a person’s silicosis worsens, they may need assistance from breathing devices. The disease can also heighten the risk of developing chronic bronchitis, tuberculosis, and even lung cancer. Unfortunately, symptoms may initially be so minor that they go unnoticed, and those with silicosis may not seek medical treatment until it has gotten much worse.

If you believe you were exposed to silica but worry you have missed the opportunity to file suit, you may still be within the statute of limitations if you only just recently discovered the disease. Our legal team at Plotkin, Vincent & Jaffe can work closely with you to evaluate the best course of action for your unique situation.

Silica Exposure Controls in the Workplace

While silicosis is incurable, it is completely preventable. The CDC recommends that employers take simple yet effective measures to protect workers. These measures include local exhaust ventilation, water feeds, respiratory protection, and medical surveillance. If stone fabrication employers ensure their workplace environments comply with federal standards, employees will benefit from a significantly decreased likelihood of developing this irreversible lung disease.

Unfortunately, some employers mistakenly or purposefully fail to follow the recommended protocol. For those exposed to silica, this negligence is not simply unacceptable—it is potentially deadly. Because our goal is to expose the negligence that caused your injury or illness, we will work tirelessly to develop airtight litigation strategies for your case. If you are suffering because of an unsafe workplace, you deserve full compensation, and we are ready to fight for the best possible result.

Get Started on Your Case with Our Dedicated Team

At Plotkin, Vincent & Jaffe, we have 80+ years of combined legal experience, and we want to put that experience to work for you. You have suffered long enough—let us help you attain the relief you need and deserve.

For a complimentary case evaluation , call our firm at (855) 916-2963 today.

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  • Experienced

    No legal matter is too complex for our seasoned litigators, who can offer proven counsel backed by several decades of collective litigation experience.

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    Our plaintiff attorneys are armed with backgrounds as defense lawyers, equipped with invaluable insight to assert our clients' rights against large corporations.

  • Resolute

    We are motivated to present our clients with integrity and compassion. Toward that end, our attorneys deliver determined and diligent legal counsel.

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