Have you or a loved one been exposed to the toxic chemicals in AFFF and now experiencing health complications? If yes, you’re not alone. You can file an AFFF lawsuit and be eligible to receive compensation for medical bills, pain, suffering, lost wages, etc. and you may be entitled to compensation. But before you join the class action lawsuit, consider this: individual claims may yield better compensation.
California personal injury law firm Nadrich and Cohen is highly experienced in toxic exposure cases and can help you weigh your options. Contact us to explore your legal rights and representation.
What is AFFF?
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) is a type of fire suppressant agent used to attack flammable liquid pool fires. AFFF is widely used in fire fighting vehicles, fire training facilities, and shipboard and shore facility fire suppression systems.
Firefighters use AFFF to combat liquid-based fires (starting from gasoline, oil, and other flammable liquids).
The composition of the AFFF includes hydrocarbon-based surfactants, such as sodium alkyl sulfate, and fluorosurfactants, such as:
- Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS)
- Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
Is AFFF Toxic?
AFFF has raised concerns severally since it comprises PFAS (per and polyfluoroalkyl substances). These are toxic chemicals known to cause harm to human health. In addition, PFAS don’t break down easily in the environment, wildlife, waterways, and human bodies. PFAS in AFFF is commonly linked to cancer.
Military personnel and firefighters are at the highest risk of AFFF’s toxicity. However, AFFF exposure can also result from drinking AFFF-contaminated water or eating foods grown in AFFF-contaminated areas. Chemicals in AFFF contaminate groundwater, air, and soil.
The nature of fighting fires with AFFF means that a lot of the substance is used to fight oil fires, with much of it aerosolized during the firefighting process. A simple catalyst such as wind or flooding can then transfer these chemicals throughout the environment, thus increasing the risks of exposure.
Side Effects of AFFF Exposure
AFFF exposure via occupational use of firefighting foam or via groundwater contamination can result in severe health complications. PFAS is often referred to as a “forever chemical” since the elemental bonds of fluorine and carbon are strong and hard to break down in the human body and environment. As such, when consumed by humans, the carcinogens in AFFF stay in the body for a long time.
Most people exposed to AFFF are either firefighters or military personnel. The US Department of Veteran Affairs has warned against possible side effects of AFFF exposure, such as:
- Thyroid disease
- Pregnancy-induced pre-eclampsia and hypertension
- Low birth weight
- Liver disease
- Immune system changes
- Fetal damage
- Fertility problems
- Cholesterol increases
- Child development issues
PFAS exposure has also been linked with:
- Ulcerative colitis
- Increased cardiovascular disease risk
PFAS exposure can also increase the risk of hypertension, according to a new study. The authors discovered a 42-47% increased risk of hypertension in women exposed to PFAS.
The study provides more evidence of the link between PFAS chemicals and increased cardiovascular disease risks. The study’s participant with the highest PFAS concentration in their body had a 71% increased chance of hypertension.
However, the intensity of the side effects will vary depending on the length of exposure and the AFFF concentration. A California AFFF lawsuit lawyer can help you get compensation for the medical bills incurred as a result of treating AFFF exposure.
Cancer Risks and AFF Exposure
Firefighters exposed to AFFF are at an increased risk of developing cancer. Cancers linked with AFFF exposure include:
- Kidney cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Breast cancer
- Liver cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Some of these cancers can be treatable when caught early. However, others lack a good prognosis. Cancer treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, may also have serious side effects.
Negative Impacts of AFFF Exposure
Firefighters exposed to AFFF are often the victims of:
- Medical conditions such as asthma
- High medical bills
- Lost wages and financial downtime
- Emotional and psychological distress.
Even if you or your loved ones survived a cancer diagnosis after AFFF exposure in your line of work, it is important to note that your life will have been impacted forever. Therefore, if you suffer from the illnesses mentioned above and medical conditions and suspect you were exposed to AFFF, you can file a lawsuit against the liable party for compensation and damages.
Who Can File A Firefighting Foam (AFFF) Cancer Lawsuit?
Anyone with long-term exposure to firefighting foam (AFFF) can be at risk of developing cancer from PFAS exposure. Such individuals include:
- Chemical industry
- Military service members
- Airport workers
- People living in or near a military base or an area with AFFF contamination.
Although these cases are generally known as firefighting foam lawsuits, most claimants are active or former military members. Therefore, you can file a firefighting foam cancer lawsuit if you or your loved one has been exposed to AFFF and have developed medical conditions or lost your loved one due to AFFF exposure complications. If unsure, reach out to a California firefighting foam (AFFF) cancer lawsuit attorney to help determine whether you have a case.
Plaintiffs in a firefighting foam lawsuit can also be municipalities with contaminated land or water supplies. For instance, the City of Stuart filed a claim against AFFF manufacturers for contaminating its water supply. Similarly, the state of California is part of the lawsuit against AFFF manufacturers, claiming contaminated water supply too.
Who Can Qualify to File A Fire Fighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit?
You qualify to file a firefighting foam lawsuit if you have been exposed to PFAS and have developed one of several specific conditions.
You must show that you used or were exposed to firefighting foam. If you use AFFF regularly as part of your job, you should qualify to file a firefighting foam cancer lawsuit without any issues.
You must have been diagnosed with one of the following conditions:
- Testicular cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Ulcerative colitis
- Thyroid disease – hyper and hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease
- Blood cancer
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Non-hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Multiple myeloma
- Bladder cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Liver cancer
- Breast cancer
Who is Liable for Toxic Firefighting (AFFF) Exposure Injuries and Damages?
Most defendants in firefighting foam cancer lawsuits are manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of products containing AFFF. Such corporations may include:
- 3M Company
- UTC Fire and Security Americas Corporation, Inc.
- United Technologies
- Tyco Fire Products, LP
- National Foam, Inc.
- Kidde P.L.C.
- Kidde-Fenwal, Inc.
- E. I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont)
- Dynax Corporation
- Du Pont de Nemours Inc. (DowDuPont, Inc.)
- Corteva, Inc.
- Chubb Fire, Ltd.
- Chemours Company FC, LLC
- Buckeye Fire Equipment Company.
Multi-billion dollar manufacturers such as DuPont and 3M have sold AFFF for decades. This is despite the fact that AFFF’s chemicals pose severe long-term risks to human health. Such manufacturers should be held accountable for placing profits over consumer safety, especially since they fail to warn the public of the known risks and possible side effects. To be held liable, it must be proven that the defendants were negligent in designing, manufacturing, testing, or marketing the products. In addition, claimants must prove that the negligence resulted in financial losses or actual injuries.
What Damages Can a Firefighting Foam Lawyer Help Me Recover?
A California firefighting foam cancer lawsuit cancer can help you recover financial compensation for various damages, such as:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future loss of earning capacity
- Past and future lost wages
- Out-of-pocket expenses and other economic damages
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
The specifics of the case will determine the value of your AFF cancer lawsuit claim. Our California AFFF cancer lawsuit lawyer can help you get the maximum compensation value depending on your case facts.
Laws Supporting Your Firefighting Foam Lawsuit in California
PFAS Action Act
The dangers of PFAS have led to Members of Congress introducing the PFAS Action Act. The PFAS Action Act establishes a national PFAS drinking water standard. It also designates PFAS as a hazardous chemical and limits PFAS industrial discharge.
AFFF manufacturers sell their products without warning the public of their possible dangers. The result is exposure to multiple causes of action in firefighting foam lawsuits, including negligence and strict liability.
Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI)
According to CACI No.1221, a product manufacturer is negligent when it fails to use the amount of care when manufacturing products that a reasonably careful manufacturer would employ in similar instances to prevent exposing others to foreseeable risks of harm.
Furthermore, according to CACI No.1222, a product manufacturer is negligent when it knows or reasonably should know that the product is dangerous or can cause danger when used or misused in a reasonably foreseeable manner but still fail to sufficiently warn of the danger when a reasonable manufacturer would have provided sufficient warning of the risks under similar circumstances.
Most AFFF manufacturers are aware of the possible risks and have been selling the products for decades without warning the public about the risk of developing cancer. Such actions expose AFF manufacturers to lawsuits on the grounds of negligence.
According to CACI No.1205, a manufacturer can be found strictly liable for damages caused by their products when there is scientific and medical proof that their product is possibly dangerous yet still fail to warn users about the danger. Unfortunately, AFFF manufacturers fail to warn the public of the dangers of AFFF and, as such, can be held liable under strict liability.
Under CACI No.1203, a manufacturer can also be held liable for damages caused by their product when a properly manufactured product doesn’t perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would expect it to when used or misused in an intended or reasonably foreseeable way. It should also be proven that the claimant suffered harm as a result and that the product’s failure to function safely was a substantial contributing factor to the harm done. In this case, an AFF product doesn’t perform as an ordinary consumer would expect it to when used reasonably. It is defective by design since it causes cancer, even when manufactured properly and used as intended.
What is the Statute of Limitations for AFFF Lawsuits in California?
A statute of limitation determines the amount of time you have to take legal action after discovering injuries relating to your claim. The length of time varies depending on your case type and state.
The statute of limitations for a product liability case like the AFFF lawsuit is two years from when you first notice symptoms to file a claim. The same applies to a statute of limitations for a negligence claim.
Is the AFFF Lawsuit A Class Action Suit?
An AFFF class action lawsuit was filed against corporations manufacturing firefighter foam. Victims claimed that the manufacturers chose to manufacture and sell AFFF despite knowing the various environmental and health hazards linked with PFAS chemicals found in the product. Currently, the affected parties seek compensation for their medical expenses, attorney fees, and court-supervised water-testing program.
Hundreds of former and current firefighters, as well as individuals exposed to firefighting foam while performing their duties and later diagnosed with cancer and other medical conditions, are currently filing product liability lawsuits against DuPont, 3M, and other AFFF manufacturers.
All other firefighting foam lawsuits pending countrywide were consolidated into a MDL claims suit in the US District Court for South Carolina before the Honorable Judge Richard M.Gergel for coordinated discovery and pre-trial matters.
The Judiciary panel on MDL determined that AFFF lawsuits comprised common questions of law and fact, such that centralization of these matters was unquestionable. The MDL is currently underway, with more and more cases still being filed.
These mass tort claims allege that exposure to AFFF’s PFAS harms human health and increases the risks of cancer development. The lawsuits involve claims linked to per- or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS Chemicals).
The plaintiffs allege that AFFFs containing PFOA and PFOS contaminated groundwater near military bases, chemical plants, airports, and other industrial sites where they were utilized to extinguish liquid fuel fires like jet fuel. Plaintiffs in these lawsuits are suit parties involved in the manufacture, production, and sale of AFFF products alleging negligence, gross negligence, recklessness, and willfulness in the design, manufacture, labeling, instruction, training, warning, marketing, selling, and distribution of these products in one or more of these respects:
- In the sale and distribution of products inherently dangerous for public consumption
- Failing to employ reasonable care in the marketing, promotion, and advertisement of the AFFF products to avoid unreasonable risks of harm to the public
- Failing to use appropriate care in warning/ instructing the public of risks linked with the AFFF product
- Failing to use appropriate care in product inspection to prevent unreasonable risks of harm to the public
- Failing to use reasonable care in product testing to prevent unreasonable risks of harm to the public
- Failing to design the product to avoid an unreasonable risk of harm to individuals.
How Much Settlement Amount Can You Expect from Your Firefighting Foam Lawsuit?
Factors affecting your compensation amount typically depend on the severity and circumstances of your case. One of the primary factors when considering the compensation amount is professional diagnosis.
Other factors likely to affect your compensation amount include:
- The extent of pain and suffering
- Long-term prognosis and seriousness of your illness
- The level of exposure to AFFF
If you’ve suffered lost earning capacity as a result of any disability due to AFFF exposure.
Therefore, the question of how much settlement you can get from an AFFF lawsuit is a moving target and, frankly, pure speculation.
The two primary types of compensatory damages are medical bills and pain and suffering. Most cancer treatments cost an average of $10,000 monthly, whereas some can go as high as $30,000 monthly. In all fairness, a reasonable amount of compensation can be about thrice the amount of economic losses.
Firefighting Foam Lawsuit FAQs
What Information Should I Provide to Prove the Validity of My AFFF Lawsuit?
Liaise with a personal injury lawyer to understand your legal rights and what info you should provide to prove your claim. Such records can include:
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Evidence of your AFFF exposure.
How Long Does It Take to File An AFFF Lawsuit?
Getting your settlement can take a lot of time. The same can also apply to filing a lawsuit. However, the sooner you contact a personal injury lawyer–most likely when you first notice the symptoms of AFFF exposure–the faster the lawyer will file the lawsuit.
An experienced personal injury attorney can walk you through the process and give you a rough idea of the timeline relating to your claim. Generally, factors contributing to the length of your claim include:
- The extent of your cancer and treatment protocols
- The negotiation rounds you go through.
Can I File A Wrongful Death Claim As A Result of AFFF Exposure-Related Cancer?
You can file a wrongful death claim if you lose a loved one due to cancer from AFFF exposure. The wrongful death claim can compensate you for the loss associated with losing a loved one. Reach out to an attorney experienced in AFFF claims to give you a better understanding of what compensation to expect.
How Do I Get Maximum Damages from A Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit?
You can recover compensation for both economic and non-economic harms if you successfully prove negligence and liability in court. An experienced California firefighting cancer lawsuit lawyer has the technical know-how to help you recover the maximum compensation you deserve for damages.
Economic damages are tangible damages that are easily quantifiable and can include medical bills and lost earning capacity. Your lawyer may ask you to provide your employment/military and medical records.
If you or your loved one is currently undergoing cancer treatment, ensure you keep copies of your treatment plan, previous appointment records, medication histories, hospital bills, and receipts. These documents can help cement your compensation claim and can help determine how much your compensation will be.
On the other hand, non-economic damages are intangible and can be hard to estimate. However, they may also have a significantly higher value than economic damages. Non-economic damages often include pain and suffering as well as emotional distress. Our firefighting foam cancer lawsuit attorney can help you discover the benefits you’re eligible to get from an AFFF lawsuit.
How Can Our Firefighting Foam Lawyers Help?
Have you or your loved one been exposed to firefighting foam and developed cancer or other complications? Our personal injury lawyer at Nadrich and Cohen can help you seek compensation for your damages.
The lawyers at Nadrich & Cohen are experienced in representing parties affected after exposure to PFAS. One of our partners served as co-lead counsel in PFAS exposure litigation, securing a $671 million settlement for the claimant. Besides this settlement, our law firm has secured settlements for different clients amounting to $12.5 million, $5.1 million, and $1.6 million.
Can PFAS Be Removed From Drinking Water?
There are some technological innovations which might be able to effectively remove PFAS from drinking water.
These technologies include:
Activated carbon treatment: Activated carbon can effectively absorb numerous compounds, including PFAS, since it is extremely porous and provides a lot of surface area with which to absorb things. It is made with organic materials with a lot of carbon in them, like coal, lignite and wood. PFAS can be removed by flowing water through an activated carbon filter after particulate removal has taken place. This technology can remove 100 percent of PFAS from water.
Ion exchange treatment: Ion exchange resins are composed of tiny beads, are very porous and are insoluble in water, bases and acids. Anion resins with a positive charge attract negatively charged PFAS ions. The resin can be incinerated once it has been used to remove PFAS from water. This technology can remove 100 percent of PFAS from water.
High-pressure membranes: Nanofiltration and reverse osmosis membranes can remove over 90 percent of PFAS from water. They represent practical, effective methods for homeowners to remove PFAS from their own drinking water.
How can we help you?
Our California firefighting foam cancer lawsuit lawyers can help you determine if you have a claim. We take a deep approach to understanding every fact of your situation to determine your eligibility to file the claim.
We then provide unbiased and proper legal advice on the way forward. Once we determine if you qualify to file an AFFF lawsuit, we provide the proper legal representation necessary to hold liable parties accountable.
In addition, our personal injury lawyers use tools, resources, and knowledge at their disposal to help you get the maximum compensation you deserve. While a jury award or settlement can’t erase the harm or damage, a monetary recovery can alleviate the financial hardships you incur from exposure and subsequent harm.
What Compensation Can We Get You in An AFFF Lawsuit?
Our legal team aims to maximize compensation for our clients’ exposure to AFFF. Plaintiffs can be eligible for monetary damages to compensate for current and previous medical bills, loss of future earnings, lost income, permanent disability, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. Our lawyers will analyze the specifics of your case to determine how much compensation we can help you get for your damages.
Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyer
The firefighting foam (AFFF) lawsuit against manufacturers is an ongoing process that has seen a number of developments in the recent past. If you or a loved one has been affected by AFFF exposure, it’s important to note that these claims are individual claims and not a part of a class action lawsuit. By filing an individual claim, you may be able to recover more compensation than if you were to join a class action lawsuit. If you’re considering legal action, we recommend contacting Nadrich & Cohen for more information on your options.
Our firefighting foam lawsuit lawyers have the experience and tenacity to fight for you to get the maximum compensation amount you deserve. We do it for you at no cost but will charge a small percentage of your successful recovery. Call us today for a free consultation.
Call us today for a free consultation, text us from this page, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the free case evaluation form on the right.