OVERVIEW OF SILICOSIS LAWSUIT
Workers in a vast array of industries and workplace environments have suffered exposure to silica dust. Workers in many industries have inhaled toxic levels of crystalline silica dust, a compound of quartz, granite, sand, soil, amongst other minerals. Inhalation of crystalline silica can cause fibrotic nodules and scarring to develop on the lung tissue. This fibrotic condition is silicosis, a progressive lung disease without a cure. If the nodules become too large, they can interfere with breathing and may become fatal. Individuals with silicosis face a high risk of developing active tuberculosis. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) refers to silicosis as a “progressive, disabling, and often fatal lung disease.” Further, silicosis may cause other serious medical conditions such as chronic bronchitis, kidney failure, and lung cancer.
WHAT IS SILICOSIS?
Silicosis comes in three forms based on the type and duration of exposure. Each variation of the occupational disease has different symptoms and outcomes.
Accelerated Silicosis: This version of silicosis can occur after five to ten years of high exposure to silica dust. This form of silicosis causes fluid to accumulate in the lungs and inflammation, which compromises the lungs’ ability to oxygenate the blood. Symptoms include weakness, weight loss, and shortness of breath.
Chronic Silicosis: This most prevalent version of silicosis develops after 15-20 years of low or medium levels of exposure to silica dust. Symptoms will not always be apparent, so workers exposed to silica at these levels should receive a chest X-ray to assess any lung damage. As this version of silicosis advances, symptoms include shortness of breath during exertion and clinical signs of poor oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange. Symptoms include respiratory failure, acute shortness of breath, fatigue, and chest pain in advanced stages.
Acute Silicosis: Although exposure to silica with this type of silicosis can be relatively brief, the volume of silica particles to which the individual is exposed is exceptionally high. The condition will occur from a few months to two years after exposure. Symptoms include weight loss, extreme disabling shortness of breath, weakness, and often death.
WHAT INDUSTRIES EXPOSED EMPLOYEES TO SILICA?
Most people who have developed silica-related illnesses suffer exposure in the workplace. OSHA has recently indicated that silica exposure continues to threaten the health of over two million workers in the United States, including 100,000 workers in high-risk occupations like mining, abrasive demolition, tunneling, stonecutting, etc., foundry work, and quarry work. Workers in many other industries and workplace environments also face a risk of exposure to silica, such as:
Oil Fields and Refineries
PROVEN RECORD OF SUCCESS RECOVERING HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR TOXIC TORT VICTIMS
Our silica exposure attorneys at Porter Malouf, P.A. have successfully represented individuals who have developed silicosis and other serious medical conditions caused by exposure to silica dust. Our partners offer over 50 years of collective experience, during which we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients, including over $236 million in judgments and verdicts from our three most significant toxic tort recoveries. Our recoveries for clients include millions of dollars for victims of injuries caused by silica. Based on this record of results, our law firm was recognized as the 14th Winningest Law Firm in the United States by the National Law Journal (2002). Our success in silicosis litigation is built on our reputation as exemplary plaintiffs’ attorneys in complex toxic tort litigation after our involvement in the last two major asbestos cases in the U.S. These types of results, coupled with our commitment to effective and timely communication with our clients, has enabled our firm to grow from two attorneys to twenty.
Suppose you have developed serious medical conditions caused by exposure to silica. In that case, our law firm offers attorneys with extensive experience handling the complex causation issues involved in toxic tort cases combined with substantial litigation resources, decades of experience, proven results, and a network of renowned experts. Tim Porter participated in and delivered the closing argument in Cosey v. ED. Bullard, an asbestos trial that garnered a $48.5 million jury verdict. He also served as one of the lead attorneys in Simeon Johnson v. AC&S, et al., which resulted in a $150 million verdict for 12 asbestos victims. Some of our notable verdicts and settlements in major toxic tort cases include the following:
$150 Million Asbestos exposure
$72 Million Jury Award for Talcum Powder causing Ovarian Cancer Jury Award
$7.6 Million Silica exposure
$7 Million Lead Paint exposure
According to Martindale-Hubbell, Porter Malouf, P.A. has been determined to be an AV® Preeminent™ Rated law firm. This rating is the highest bestowed on law firms based on exemplary legal skills and integrity. If you need trial attorneys with proven success and extensive experience handling sophisticated litigation, challenging legal issues, and complex scientific evidence, our law firm offers a free case evaluation, so call us today at (866) 957-1173 or complete an online contact form for a free case evaluation.
NEW OSHA STANDARDS HAS SPURRED A RISE IN SILICA LITIGATION
New OSHA regulations have spurred increased litigation involving silica-related illnesses. The federal agency recently established a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL), which constitutes the highest level employees can be exposed during their eight-hour work shift. Employees also are to receive hazard communication training. The final new standard imposed by OSHA requires a respirator program until the implementation of engineering controls.
SPECIAL CHALLENGES FACING PLAINTIFFS IN SILICA LAWSUITS
Silica litigation presents unique challenges, including proving the causal link between a worker’s exposure to silica and the development of medical conditions, such as tuberculosis or lung cancer. Our law firm works with highly regarded medical experts who can present this scientific evidence persuasively. Silica litigation also involves taking on defendants with extensive financial resources and national insurance carriers. Because many years might have passed between exposure and the development of silicosis, identifying the responsible parties also can be difficult. Our silica exposure attorneys at Porter Malouf, P.A. investigate our client’s work history, places of suspected exposure, specific products containing silica, companies that manufactured paper dust masks, and other relevant evidence to establish the responsible parties.