Nic Lardieri loved his job as a stonemason, when he helped manufacture kitchen and bathroom benchtops made from engineered stone.
But now the 38-year-old is suffering from the life-limiting lung disease silicosis. It’s caused by inhaling silica dust, which is released during stone cutting and drilling.
“I guess it’s hard for the family, you know, you try to be as strong as you can,” Lardieri said.
“There was no protocol, no one came out to talk to us, to tell us you know this stuff is harmful.”
Shine Lawyers’ Dust Diseases National Special Counsel Roger Singh is seeking compensation on Lardieri’s behalf.
The claim, lodged in the Victorian Supreme Court, lists several of Lardieri’s former employers and major engineered stone benchtop manufacturer Caesarstone.
“Silicosis is an irreparable lung disease which can be terminal,” Singh said.
“It’s our view that Caesarstone knew – ought to have known – about the deadly product.”
Last year, there were more than 400 silicosis claims by Australian tradies against various companies.
“I just wish I could have my health back and live a normal life and do the normal things, kicking a footy and that sort of stuff,” Lardieri said.
Caesarstone declined to comment.