Last year, Judge Janis Graham Jack of the Federal District Court in Corpus Christi, TX, questioned the validity of several thousand silica claims that were before her. And in the wake of this questioning, it was found that about 65% of the plaintiffs had also filed claims for asbestos in the past. In a harshly worded decision, Judge Jack, a former nurse, declared that many of the medical findings in the silicosis lawsuit before her were worthless and that they had been â€œmanufactured for money.â€ She remanded the lawsuit to state courts, and since then, more than half of those 10,000 silica claims have been dismissed - most of them voluntarily by the law firms that filed them.
We all know that the increase in natural stone consumption in the U.S. has been remarkable over the past few years. The use of stone products - particularly in a slab format - has been exploding, as homeowners are considering granite kitchen countertops to be a staple of their residential projects. However, rise in slab consumption - coupled with the increase in new companies dealing with slabs - has led to a major issue that our industry needs to face: SAFETY.
Park Industries' high-production Prestige CNC stoneworking center produces curved edgework and complete sink cut-outs with touch-screen simplicity, the company reports. The machine was engineered to be a fast, easy-to-use work center, utilizing Park's proven, easy-to-operate CNC controls.
The AlphaÂ® VSP 110 variable-speed wet polisher was designed to be the standard for wet polishing applications. As an option, the company's newest wet polisher comes with a step-down gear set to reduce spindle RPMs.
Specially created for the medium-small marble-shop, the Comandulli Penta edge polisher, available in North America from AGM, is a small-sized conveyor belt machine for straight edges, which assures high production with low energy consumption, the company reports.
When I was growing up, I remember reading a survey that definitively stated: â€œThe typical American family has two-and-a-half children.â€ Despite never having met a half-child, that number stuck in my mind. Recently, the market research department at BNP Media (Stone World's parent company) conducted a groundbreaking survey of stone fabricators to determine the most prevalent industry trends.
In this issue of Stone World, we take a look at several U.S. stone producers. Among them is Quality Stone Quarries in Stigler, OK. The owner of the quarry has transitioned his business through the years to keep up with market demand.