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Although aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) is extremely effective in combating fires, research indicates this firefighting foam may cause irreversible damage to public health and the environment. Firefighting foam contains toxic chemicals linked to several types of cancer. These toxic chemicals have led to extensive pollution. For instance, research from Stockholm University found that even rainwater across the globe is contaminated with unsafe levels of the “forever chemicals” found in firefighting foam. Did you develop adverse health complications after suffering exposure to aqueous film-forming foam? Reach out today to learn how a firefighting foam lawsuit can benefit you.
Our law firm is currently handling lawsuits on behalf of individuals exposed to aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) or firefighting foam. Prolonged exposure to firefighting foam may increase the risk of various cancers, among other adverse health effects. If you developed cancer from AFFF, don’t hesitate to contact us today. Call (888) 525-3529 or fill out the free case evaluation form on this page today to get in touch with a firefighting foam lawyer at The Lake Law Firm.
Firefighting foam, also known as aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), is a fire suppressant used to extinguish petroleum-based fires. AFFF is considered a superior substance to fight fires because it cuts off the oxygen supply, suppresses vapors, and creates a cooling effect. Firefighters use firefighting foam to combat Class A fires, which involve solid materials, and Class B fires, which are fueled by liquids or gas. AFFF is deemed more effective than water to put out these types of fires.
AFFF contains per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are human-made chemicals that contain fluorine and carbon and are very resistant to heat. While PFAS make AFFF an exceptional firefighting tool, these chemicals do not break down in the environment. Instead, PFAS linger and can even contaminate drinking water and food. Furthermore, PFAS build up inside the bodies of people repeatedly exposed to these chemicals. Once in the body, PFAS can remain for an extended period of time.
PFAS are highly toxic to humans and linked to many types of cancer. Scientists refer to PFAS as “forever chemicals” because they do not easily break down in the environment or the body once consumed. The International Agency for Research on Cancer designated the active chemicals in firefighting foam as “possible human carcinogens.” Furthermore, FDA testing confirmed that animals and plants can absorb PFAS in air, soil, and water. Humans can consume PFAS due to this contamination of the food supply. In March 2020, the Environmental Working Group released a study on how PFAS act similarly to known cancer-causing agents. Also, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment added a specific PFAS to its list of known carcinogens in December 2021.
Recently, the EPA updated its current understanding of PFAS. While research is ongoing, the EPA acknowledged that exposure to PFAS can lead to reproductive issues, developmental delays, an increased risk of certain cancers, weakened immune systems, hormone disruption, and increased cholesterol.
DuPont originally invented the first PFAS, Teflon, in the 1940s. However, 3M quickly became one of the primary manufacturers, and soon dozens of companies assumed PFAS production. There are several firefighting foam manufacturers, such as:
Some companies have attempted to absolve themselves of accountability in firefighting foam lawsuits. For example, in September 2022, firefighting foam plaintiffs secured another small victory in the MDL when the judge ruled that 3M is not exempt from PFAS contamination litigation. 3M attempted to convince the judge to grant it immunity from firefighting foam lawsuits since the Navy contracted the company to produce the foam according to government specifications. However, the MDL judge struck down this motion on the grounds that 3M may have concealed the toxicity of PFAS in firefighting foam from the government.
Firefighting foam lawyers have helped thousands of people file lawsuits nationwide. As of April 2023, there were 4,173 cases in federal multidistrict litigation in South Carolina. These lawsuits allege that firefighting foam manufacturers failed to warn consumers about the health risks of AFFF. Claimants accuse manufacturers of producing and marketing AFFF despite knowing the association between PFAS and several cancers. Although many lawsuits pertain to individuals exposed through their work, individuals exposed to AFFF from contaminated groundwater have also filed claims against manufacturers. Firefighting foam lawsuits state that companies contaminated groundwater near military bases, airports, and other industrial sites where workers used the foam to extinguish fires.
Additionally, many states have filed lawsuits against firefighting foam and PFAS manufacturers. California, Minnesota, and Michigan are among the states targeting 3M, DuPont, and other companies for polluting waterways and water systems and damaging natural resources and public health.
The first firefighting foam bellwether trial will begin in May 2023. A bellwether trial is a test trial that helps parties understand how much cases might be worth. This first case is the City of Stuart vs. 3M Company. It is not an individual personal injury case but involves a city in Florida that is suing 3M for allegedly contaminating its water supply with PFAS in firefighting foam.
The individuals most susceptible to long-term exposure to PFAS are those who use firefighting foam occupationally. These individuals include firefighters, airport workers, service members, and chemical industry workers. Many military departments continue to rely on firefighting foam, and the Federal Aviation Administration required firefighters to use AFFF at airports until 2018. But, growing evidence suggests that forever chemicals linger in our atmosphere, water sources, and food supply. Injuries related to AFFF exposure include:
Filing a lawsuit against a massive corporation with disposable funds and resources can be intimidating. But our firefighting foam lawyers can assist you every step of the way in your potential claim. Tell us your story today if you were diagnosed with cancer after exposure to firefighting foam.
There are no personal injury firefighting foam verdicts or settlements at this time. As we progress through firefighting foam litigation and hold more bellwether trials, we will better understand how much juries may compensate individuals harmed by firefighting foam.
It is difficult to provide an exact estimate of how much your case might be worth. The exact amount you could receive in a firefighting foam claim depends on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, how these injuries have impacted your life, the extent of your exposure to AFFF, and medical expenses and treatment costs. While our attorneys can provide insight into potential compensation amounts, no specific outcome or guarantee can be made. Nonetheless, our team has the expertise to help you understand your options and guide you through the legal process.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries following exposure to firefighting foam, you may recover compensation for any or all of the following:
Manufacturers allegedly neglected to inform the public about the dangers of PFAS in firefighting foam. Their failure to provide warnings about the toxic and carcinogenic nature of the chemicals in the foam compromised the health of thousands of individuals, according to firefighting foam lawsuits. For years, firefighters and service members used AFFF, unbeknownst to the potential cancer risks. Our firefighting foam lawyers want to assist you in holding these negligent manufacturers accountable for their reckless actions. Contact one of our attorneys today to discuss how exposure to firefighting foam has harmed you.
The Lake Law Firm was founded by Edward J. Lake, Esq., a personal injury lawyer for over 25 years. Our dedicated team of attorneys is committed to seeking justice on behalf of those who have suffered injury or death due to the negligence of others. Our experienced attorneys handle many different types of pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and other defective products. The lawyers in our firm have helped collect millions of dollars for their clients. A firefighting foam lawyer will advocate for you and your rights. Please contact us for a free confidential case evaluation at (888) 525-3529 or submit an inquiry on this page.