Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) Lawsuits | February 2024 Update

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Firefighting is an extremely dangerous occupation for many reasons. Courageous first responders who put their lives on the line to save others deserve our respect and protection as they perform their jobs. Unfortunately, research has discovered a link between firefighting foam, known as AFFF, and several serious medical conditions. As a result, more than 5,000 AFFF Lawsuits have been filed around the nation, and this number continues to grow each month. A large portion of these claims has been brought by military firefighters who are routinely exposed to AFFF firefighting foams.

Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) Lawsuit Attorney, Matt Dolman

The AFFF Lawsuit

Exposure to toxic chemicals embedded in AFFF firefighting foam, such as PFAS and other forever chemicals, has been linked to several different cancers for which lawsuits have been filed. Specifically, long-term exposure to PFAS has been linked to:

Kidney Cancer: Kidneys usually act as blood strainers, removing unnecessary and harmful substances like PFAS before the blood is recycled. This is likely what makes kidney cells more susceptible to developing gene mutations from interacting with toxic PFAS, which can turn into kidney cancer if the damaged cells reproduce unchecked. 

Testicular Cancer: This uncommon type of cancer begins in the part of the male reproductive system where sperm is made. Cells that have been altered by exposure to PFAS multiply and begin to crowd out healthy cells, compromising the testes ability to function normally. Rates of testicular cancer are typically higher among firefighters, who are regularly exposed to PFAS through AFFF.

Bladder Cancer: When flawed bladder cells, typically the urothelial cells, begin to reproduce out of control, this is known as bladder cancer. Researchers believe that the bladder’s role in the urinary system, which helps rid the body of waste like PFAS, may explain its ties to PFAS exposure.

Prostate Cancer: This is a common type of cancer that originates in the prostate gland in men, which helps with sperm growth. At this point, research indicates that higher levels of exposure to PFAS are likely correlated with prostate cancer.

Breast Cancer: Contrary to popular belief, breast cancer can occur in both men and women. Cells with defective DNA overproduce and outnumber health cells, often leading to a cancerous mass or lump in the breast. PFAS are known to mess with hormones, and cancers of the reproductive system, like breast cancer, are known to be triggered by fluctuating hormone levels. 

Leukemia and Lymphoma: These two types of cancer develop in white blood cells, which are a key part of your body’s immune response. Leukemia can be particularly dangerous because it begins in the bone marrow but is aided in metastasizing by the bloodstream. Lymphoma is found in damaged white blood cells in the lymph nodes or spleen. Individuals who regularly come into contact with PFAS through AFFF are absorbing toxins that can easily infiltrate the blood, laying the groundwork for these kinds of cancer.

Rectal cancer: As flawed cells located in the rectum multiply, they can accumulate into polyps before becoming rectal cancer. As PFAS make their way through the digestive system over time, they may negatively affect the DNA of large intestine cells where the rectum is located. Rates of rectal cancer are higher among firefighters, who frequently handle AFFF containing PFAS. 

Fertility issues: This includes difficulty conceiving and potentially a higher likelihood of having a stillbirth or miscarriage. Studies have found that women with significant levels of PFAS in their systems may have hormone imbalances that make it difficult for them to get pregnant.

Ulcerative colitis: UC is an autoimmune disease that causes the colon and the rectum to be irritated due to an overactive immune response. PFAS may weaken the lining of the digestive tract, making people who have been exposed to high levels of PFAS more prone to inflammation in these areas. 

Thyroid cancer: This type of cancer starts in the thyroid gland, which plays a critical role in producing hormones. As discussed, PFAS interfere with the body’s hormone response, and some studies have found that PFAS exposure led to a 56% increased risk of developing thyroid cancer.

Colorectal cancer: Colorectal cancer develops in the large intestine, which is responsible for the final stages of the digestive process before waste is excreted. Cells in the colon and rectum may be harmed by PFAS as the body attempts to process the toxins, before growing unrestrained and compromising organ function. 

Firefighter Foam Lawsuit

If you're a firefighter with a history of AFFF exposure or have encountered these dangerous chemicals elsewhere, it's crucial to reach out to an AFFF cancer lawyer right away. You may be entitled to compensation for the legal damages and financial losses you have suffered due to AFFF-related illnesses, including related medical bills and lost income.

You are not alone. Numerous AFFF foam lawsuits have been filed across the nation by people just like you.

Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) is widely used as a fire suppressant in many cases where water is ineffective or even dangerous to use for battling a fire. Various chemicals in AFFF, including PFAS are necessary to create the compounds that work so well on certain fires.

However, these same chemicals are now considered toxic and carcinogenic with devastating effects on human health. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated, "There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans."

Kidney cancer, liver cancer, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer are the most common diseases associated with AFFF firefighting foam.

Don't wait any longer, call 866-535-9515 or submit your case for review today!

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits - Updates

We will continue updating this page with new developments in AFFF litigation.

February 21, 2024 - Number of AFFF Lawsuits in MDL Nears 7,000, 3M May Threaten Bankruptcy Again

Although the next MDL court date is not scheduled until March 1st, many plaintiff's lawyers remain optimistic that a settlement could still happen this year. With an additional 279 AFFF firefighting foam injury cases filed in January, nearly 7,000 plaintiffs are waiting for a legal remedy. It's not too late to join the MDL and join other injured firefighters and service members who deserve a reasonable settlement.

Judge Gergel recently praised the settlement proposed by 3M Co. that eventually resolved all pending public water contamination cases and helped almost 12,000 public water systems remove PFAS contamination. Meanwhile, all parties remain concerned about the possibility that 3M could file for bankruptcy protection under the weight of the pending PFAS cases. We expect 3M to threaten to file bankruptcy during settlement negotiations regarding the pending AFFF personal injury and wrongful death claims.

Although 3M's value has dropped by 80 percent since 2018, it still has an estimated value of $50 billion, which could certainly help compensate many injured military members and firefighters exposed to AFFF.

January 15, 2024 – State of Washington Inaugurates AFFF Disposal Initiative 

Washington has recently announced an AFFF collection and remediation campaign, to eradicate stockpiles of the hazardous substance in municipal fire stations across the state. The Department of Ecology intends to begin the drive upon the conclusion of a period of public comment and reevaluation. 

Washington’s efforts parallel those of New Hampshire, whose novel contract with Revive Environmental was one of the first major attempts to treat AFFF supplies, which pose chronic risks to the environment and human health. 

January 11, 2024 – Discovery Process for AFFF Bellwether Trials in MDL

Following the resolution of a discovery dispute later this month, Judge Gergel has ordered the parties involved in the current AFFF MDL to initiate evidentiary collection for a list of court-approved, prospective bellwether trials. The suits are the first AFFF personal injury cases to advance in the aftermath of a contentious series of proceedings over the legitimacy of 3M and DuPont’s settlements with municipal water suppliers. It remains to be seen how major defendants will respond. For example, 3M averted a bellwether trial for the City of Stuart Florida days before it was scheduled to take place in order to finalize a settlement.

January 6, 2024 – Hawai’i Sues Manufacturers of AFFF

Hawaii became the latest state to seek accountability and damages from high-profile AFFF manufacturers and contributors to PFAS contamination. Their December court filing condemns the deceptive marketing practices of such companies as 3M and DuPont, which knowingly sold toxic firefighting foams, and charges them with “failure to warn” and “public nuisance”. 

The state seeks compensation from the producers for a series of ongoing investigations and remediation campaigns, which have cost it millions over the course of the past several years.

January 5, 2024 - 244 AFFF Lawsuits Filed in Past 30 Days

The AFFF Lawsuit might be the fastest-growing mass tort at this juncture in time. Both sides are currently facing a January 31, 2024, deadline to resolve disputed discovery issues, including a motion to compel. With advertising for Camp Lejeune claims slowing to a crawl, there has been a noticeable increase in advertising for the firefighter foam lawsuit.

December 27, 2023 - Municipal PFAS Cases Settled, Judge Ready to Handle 6,600+ AFFF Cases in the MDL

With the conclusion of the municipal AFFF multidistrict litigation, Judge Gergel is getting ready to address the more than 6,600 personal injury cases participating in the MDL. In an early December case management order (CMO), the court ordered the prosecution to devise a list of plaintiffs for the bellwether trial process.

On December 12th, the plaintiffs submitted a list of 25 litigants suffering from kidney cancer, testicular cancer, hypothyroidism or thyroid disease, and/or ulcerative colitis. Typically, in MDLs, a bellwether case is remanded to the court where it was originally filed for trial. However, the Supreme Court Decision Lexecon v. Milberg Weiss permits plaintiffs to waive that right and have their case set for trial in the MDL transfer court. 

The 25 plaintiffs selected for the bellwether process waived their Lexecon rights so the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina could hear and resolve their claims. At the same time, the plaintiffs drew Judge Gergel’s attention to a recent ruling in the United States Bankruptcy Court. 

A formerly prominent defendant in the AFFF lawsuits, Kidde-Fenwal Incorporated (KFI) appealed to the Delaware Bankruptcy Court after running the risk of insolvency linked to the costs of litigation. After contentious proceedings, the court halted any AFFF-related charges or claims against KFI or its affiliates until January 5, 2024.

December 10, 2023 - Fairness Hearing Scheduled for PSA Municipal Water Settlements

The U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina is slated to hold a fairness hearing for the $1.18 billion DuPont settlement in the AFFF multidistrict litigation on December 14. Alongside a $10.3 billion settlement from 3M, the agreement tentatively concluded the first round of lawsuits addressing the complaints of municipal water suppliers. 

Upon the announcement of the settlement agreements in June 2023, a series of states, cities, and towns objected to the terms and payout figures. They asserted that the funds were insufficient to cover the costs of remediation campaigns and that the terms of the agreements were too narrow. 

December 4, 2023 - 351 New Lawsuits Added to AFFF MDL, Bringing the Total to Over 6400

Over the past thirty (30) days, 351 new lawsuits have been filed in the AFFF firefighting foam MDL in the United States District Court in the District of South Carolina. There are presently over 6400 AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits that have been filed into the MDL, which commenced approximately three years ago. A portion of these lawsuits were municipal water contamination lawsuits due to PFAS chemicals. In other words, these were lawsuits filed on behalf of cities and towns impacted by water contamination due to the presence of forever chemicals such as PFAS that have been found in water systems.

The vast majority of filings were AFFF cancer lawsuits filed by individuals who were diagnosed with several types of cancers due to firefighting foam products.

November 5, 2023 - Plaintiff and Defense Required to Submit List of Potential Cases for Bellwether Trials

We may soon learn when the first bellwether afff trial will take place. A new case management order in the AFFF firefighting form MDL requires the plaintiff steering committee (PSC) and lead defense counsel to each submit a list of cases to serve as potential bellwether trials. The selected cases will then proceed to Discovery before a final list of bellwether cases is selected.

A new study links testicular cancer to Firefighting foam among U.S. Air Force members. This is the first study to test actual blood samples. Researchers were able to causally link elevated levels of PFAS exposure to testicular cancer. There is a strong causal link that exposure to AFFF significantly increases the risk of testicular cancer. 

October 5, 2023 - 3M, Dupont, and Others Agree to $10.3 Billion to Resolve PFAS Municipal Water Contamination Claims

As predicted, 3M, Dupont, and other manufacturers of AFFF firefighting foam agreed to pay $10.3 Billion to globally resolve PFAS contamination/municipal water contamination claims. Members of the plaintiff's steering committee (PSC) and lead defense counsel have been focused on municipal water contamination cases involving PFAS chemicals over the past six months. We believe both plaintiff and defense lawyers will now focus on the individual firefighter cancer lawsuits. There are a significant number of testicular cancer and kidney cancer cases in the AFFF firefighting foam MDL. 

September 10, 2023 - Judge Orders Scientific Studies from AFFF Plaintiffs while Global Settlement on Municipal Water Contamination Cases Seem More Likely

Judge Richard Gergel asked the plaintiff's counsel for up-to-date information concerning scientific studies linking exposure to AFFF firefighting foam and various health risks. Plaintiff lawyers responded by submitting a recent press release from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA states there is no acceptable level of exposure to "forever chemicals" such as PFAS which is an active toxic substance in AFFF. 

We are also getting closer to a global settlement on the municipal water contamination cases. In turn, this will be a phenomenal development for the individual exposure cases as a global settlement shall serve as a precedent for future resolutions. At a minimum, it illustrates the willingness of defendants such as 3M, Chevron, Dupont, and Chemguard to resolve PFAS contamination claims and retire their corporate financial exposure. Firefighting foam lawyers will use a global settlement as leverage to accomplish a similar settlement of all individual claims. Another recent study illustrates a strong causal link between AFFF firefighting foam and prostate cancer. 

July 20, 2023 - 5000 Pending AFFF Cases and Growing

Over 480 AFFF cancer lawsuits were filed into the firefighting foam MDL in June. There are now 5000 pending AFFF cases in the MDL. Further, we are seeing a lot more commercials from plaintiff lawyers seeking toxic firefighting foam cancer cases. Thus, we expect the class of plaintiffs to grow substantially over the coming months. More prospective clients are learning they may qualify to file an AFFF lawsuit. 

July 5, 2023 - Dupont and 3M Settle for Billions in Municipal Water Contamination Lawsuits

Several manufacturers such as Dupont and 3M have entered into a global settlement to resolve all of their municipal water contamination lawsuits. Dupont and its spin-off "Chemours Co." have agreed to pay $1.18 Billion to settle 300 PFAS contamination lawsuits. 

3M (the largest defendant) agreed to pay $10.3 Billion to resolve their drinking water contamination claims and remediation of PFAS chemicals in drinking water sources. PFAS chemicals have been absorbed into the water aquifers and these forever chemicals are incredibly difficult to remove/remediate. There are presently over one hundred PFAS contamination sites throughout the United States. While this may not directly impact your AFFF cancer lawsuit, the indirect benefit is the willingness of large defendant manufacturers to resolve all claims.

Note* These settlements do not apply to all AFFF lawsuits.

June 5, 2023 - First AFFF Lawsuit Scheduled to Begin

The nation's first AFFF water contamination lawsuit was scheduled to begin today with the City of Stuart, Florida, as the plaintiff. This trial has been indefinitely delayed based on a strong likelihood that defendants such as 3M may be close to entering into a global settlement. This is good news for individual AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits as defendant manufacturers will begin focusing on resolving individual claims once their municipal claims have been resolved. 

Over 300 AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits were filed into the MDL in May. This is a fast-growing mass tort. 

firefighters extinguishing fire with chemical foam

Working with experienced firefighting foam cancer lawyers can help you create a successful AFFF firefighting foam cancer lawsuit to recover the financial compensation you need. Without the assistance of a skilled AFFF lawyer, you may face ongoing financial struggles and continued stress as you try to deal with your circumstances alone.

AFFF lawsuits filed in the pending multi-district litigation (MDL) involve high-profile defendants with the resources to mount a strong defense. If you have been harmed by AFFF foam exposure, dedicated firefighting foam cancer lawyers can level the playing field for you and dramatically increase your odds of receiving the full amount of compensation you deserve.  Our firefighting foam attorneys remain ready, willing, and able to assist you with an AFFF cancer lawsuit.

When you work with the experienced AFFF lawyers affiliated with Lawsuit Legal News (LLN), you'll have peace of mind knowing that your case is in the hands of a professional litigator with a vested interest in recovering the maximum compensation for you from the parties that harmed you.

Of course, the best personal injury attorneys do more than just offer legal advice and represent you during negotiations or in court. They also provide the resources and services needed to make the process of filing a lawsuit more convenient and worry-free when you are recovering from demanding injuries or illnesses. 

Your AFFF lawyer will help you through the process of completing and filing the necessary documentation for your firefighting foam cancer claim. They can also help determine what damages you can claim and calculate the maximum amount to request. Most of all, using extensive knowledge and negotiating skills, the team at LLN will fight for the best possible settlement to help you get the most financial compensation to cover the full extent of your damages.

If a settlement is not possible, you need a litigator who is willing to take your case to trial and advocate for your rights.

At LLN, we will keep you apprised of all developments in the AFFF MDL located in the United States Federal District Court for the District of South Carolina. We believe that several cancers are causally related to AFFF exposure. However, the most common diseases are kidney and testicular cancer.

The Firefighter Cancer Registry Act as passed in 2018 by Congress was designed to track diseases reported by firefighters and we believe the substantial information further illustrates the carcinogenic effect of AFFF firefighting foam. 

Fireman AFFF Lawsuit

The legal team behind LLN has an extensive, successful history of helping injury victims recover the financial losses they need to protect their futures. They have helped more than 40,000 clients and recovered more than $400 million in settlements and verdicts since opening their offices in 2004. Lead attorney Matthew A. Dolman is an award-winning, highly respected advocate and a lifetime member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum because of the results he has achieved for his clients. Matt Dolman is a nationally recognized firefighting foam attorney.

Combined, the legal professionals supporting LLN have more than 120 years of legal experience and ample resources to successfully resolve large mass tort claims against corporate giants like 3M, Dupont, and Tyco. When you need tough advocates fighting for your legal rights, look no further than Lawsuit Legal News.

What is Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF)?

firefighters extinguishing fire with chemical foam

When most people think of firefighters battling fires, they usually picture brave men and women using fire hoses to spray water and douse rampant flames. In most cases, firefighting relies on this tried and true method of combatting a blaze, but there are some instances where water is not a viable option. 

For example, where fires involve certain chemicals or fuel, the addition of water can worsen the situation. In situations involving flammable liquid, firefighters turn to aqueous film-forming foam, commonly known as AFFF. When this substance is sprayed onto fires, it creates a foam that turns into a film that smothers the flames by restricting oxygen until the fire is extinguished.

AFFF is usually purchased in a concentrated form that is mixed with water before its use. It comes in 3% or 6% variations depending on the ratio of water in the mixture. AFFF has been used since the 1960s when it was invented for use by the military primarily as a fire suppression tool for fuel fires. 

Although AFFF has been used extensively for decades, its days are numbered.  After so many firefighters and military members have reported illnesses and other medical conditions following exposure to firefighting foam, AFFF has come under scrutiny.  AFFF firefighting foam is being phased out due to an increased risk of cancer being discovered.

The phase-out of this product's use by the military is supposed to be completed by 2024, and many civilian institutions have since discontinued its use as well. They are working on a number of alternatives to combat fires caused by flammable liquids.  The dangers posed by toxic chemicals such as PFAS greatly outweigh the benefits of utilizing this product.

Of course, for some people, these actions come too late. Hundreds of product liability AFFF lawsuits have been filed around the country seeking fair compensation for those who have been diagnosed with cancer or other serious conditions as a result of their exposure to AFFF. The federal cases have been consolidated into multi-district litigation (MDL) to ensure consistent evidence disclosure and judicial rulings to protect these plaintiffs facing an uncertain future.

Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) Lawsuits FAQs

What are Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Chemicals, and How Do They Relate to AFFF Lawsuits?

PFAS Chemicals Found in Aqueous Film Forming Foam

Let's start with some background information to explain how AFFF can harm individuals who come in contact with this product. In order to make AFFF foamy and give it its trademark film that smothers fires, AFFF manufacturers utilize per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

PFAS are a controversial set of chemicals that have come under immense scrutiny due to their connection with an increased risk of cancer and their durability and longevity, which makes them an ongoing serious environmental and public health problem. 

These chemicals have been used since the 1950s in a variety of applications where their waterproof and durable characteristics have been of great use. You can find PFAS in a wide range of products, including solvents, food packaging, clothing, and furniture.

PFAS are manmade fluoropolymers that resist heat, oil, grease, and water. These attributes are useful in many circumstances, but the usefulness is offset by the fact that these chemicals take an extremely long time to break down in the environment. Known as "forever chemicals," PFAS can seep into soil and contaminate water sources and can accumulate in the bodies of wildlife and people who are exposed to or drink the toxic water. 

Because these chemicals can easily find their way into food and water supplies, they are extremely dangerous. PFAS can accumulate in human bodies over time and can cause significant damage that can affect organ functions and lead to cancer. 

These medical conditions can lead to extensive medical costs, the need for long-term care, and substantial changes in the affected person's lifestyle. A dedicated AFFF lawsuit attorney at LLN can explain how to bring a legal claim to recover related expenses and losses after a diagnosis of AFFF-related cancer. If you think your medical issues are related to AFFF exposure, don't wait to reach out to Lawsuit Legal News to learn more about your right to compensation.

Is there a settlement for AFFF in 2023?

In October 2023, a large number of AFFF water contamination claims filed by local water authorities and municipalities were resolved in a global settlement agreement. 3M, DuPont, and the other defendants will reportedly pay $10.3 billion to resolve these claims as part of the settlement deal.

As of December, a few municipal claims, known as the Telomer Water Provider cases, were not included in the global settlement, and the court is now working to resolve those claims. Unfortunately, this means the court is not focusing on individual personal injury claims, and those cases will most likely continue into 2024.

Who is Eligible for an AFFF Lawsuit Claim?

Eligibility for the AFFF Cancer Lawsuit primarily involves veterans and individuals who may have come in contact with Aqueous Film-Forming Foams (AFFF) during their military service or in certain environments and have since developed health conditions or illnesses due to this exposure. You must have used AFFF regularly on the job after 1960, you must have a diagnosis that is related to PFAS exposure, and you must have been discharged from the military other than dishonorably.

Who was affected by exposure to AFFF?

Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) has proven to be a highly effective tool used for fire suppression. The primary way people come into contact with AFFF is through occupational exposure, although certain groups are also at risk of environmental exposure given their proximity to job sites where AFFF is used. The following people are the most likely to be impacted by exposure to AFFF:

  • Firefighters: Fire stations across the U.S. have historically relied on AFFF to tame blazes in real life emergencies and training exercises. Military firefighters also use AFFF for similar purposes. In both cases, they have frequent and considerable contact with the carcinogenic substance.
  • Military Personnel: The military is one of the heaviest users of AFFF. Having AFFF on-hand and training service members on how to use it is essential to safety given the number of flammable and explosive equipment found on military bases, but that also means many military personnel have been exposed to harmful levels of toxins through AFFF.
  • Airport Workers: AFFF is a key element in most airports’ fire safety strategy, as fuel sources abound. However, airport employees who use AFFF to extinguish fires, as well as those who are nearby, have higher rates of exposure.
  • Communities Near Military Bases and Airports: AFFF runoff can taint the local water supply, subjecting nearby residents to the harmful effects of its toxins.
  • Workers in Industries Using AFFF: Industries that deal with explosive materials and highly flammable liquids often keep AFFF on-hand in case a fire breaks out.

AFFF firefighting foam has undeniable benefits when it comes to an immediate safety concern, but in the long-term, many believe that the hazardous chemicals it contains are not worth the risk. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS as the chemicals are also known, have heat-resistant properties that allow AFFF to cool off a fire. 

They have been dubbed “forever chemicals” because it takes the human body a long time to process them once they have been absorbed. As PFAS build up in a person’s system, they can upset the body’s normal routines, leading to a number of serious health issues like cancer and chronic conditions like thyroid disease.

The U.S. military, private companies, and other groups have taken note of the threat AFFF poses to the public. Many sectors are phasing out AFFF and committing researchers to creating other fire extinguishers that are PFAS-free. While these efforts look promising for reducing AFFF exposure in the future, there is still the matter of compensating individuals who have already been harmed by the forever chemicals in AFFF firefighting foam.

What states have banned AFFF foam?

States are taking swift action to transition to safer and more efficient alternatives without much delay. A total of twelve states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington, have implemented bans on the use of all PFAS in firefighting foam, permitting only restricted exceptions.

Which PFAS Chemicals are Found in Aqueous Film Forming Foam?

firefighters extinguishing fire with chemical foam

The two most common forms of PFAS in firefighting foam are perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Both have been linked to the increased risk of cancer and are considered toxic. Several companies have pledged to phase out the use of PFOS and PFOA, but they are far from completely abandoned. Even once the current use of these chemicals has ended, old PFOA and PFOS will continue to persist in the environment for a long time to come.

AFFF Toxicity Proven to Accumulate and Last For Years

The PFAS found in AFFF are the primary reason why firefighting foam is so hazardous to your health. PFAS can build up in a person’s body over time and remain without breaking down. Research is still ongoing to determine the full effects of PFAS on people’s health, but studies have concluded that PFAS are carcinogenic and also cause disruption of many organ functions. 

We know that any exposure to AFFF can be hazardous. However, incidental and isolated cases of exposure alone are usually not enough to cause cancer. Touching some AFFF foam alone will not immediately cause severe health issues, although it is highly recommended that people avoid any exposure to the substance if possible.

Cancer risks and other health issues become a strong concern after repeated exposure over a long period of time. This kind of danger usually happens as a result of working as a firefighter or serving in the military, where AFFF use is still a concern.

What cancerous compounds are found in AFFF?

Two of the compounds in AFFF that are known carcinogens are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). They are part of the chemical group of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). As human-made compounds, they do not occur in the natural environment. Some forms of PFAS can take over 1000 years to degrade. This long degradation period is why the actions we take today have such a huge effect on our future.

Who is At the Greatest Risk of Developing Cancer From AFFF?

firefighters extinguishing fire with chemical foam

AFFF is primarily used by firefighters, so they are at the highest risk for dangerous levels of exposure. Firefighters, in general, are exposed to dangerous substances in the course of their work, and despite the use of protective equipment, it is likely that they will come into contact with AFFF on a regular basis.

Firefighters can come into contact with AFFF while directly applying it to a fire, while preparing it for use, during the cleanup of the area and their protective clothing, and even just handling equipment that has become covered in the substance. As we know, even small amounts of exposure over the course of a career can add up and have a significant health impact on these first responders.

Part of AFFF's function is to leave a film on the surfaces it contacts in order. This film works well not just to smother a flame but also to keep flammable surfaces from reigniting. This has posed a problem since its resilience and pervasiveness on everything it touches makes human exposure and eventual soil and water contamination more likely.

Which Illnesses Are Connected to AFFF Exposure?

AFFF is most notably tied to an increase in cancer risk. The following are the most common types of cancer that have been linked to AFFF exposure. 

Illnesses Connected to AFFF Exposure
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Prostate cancer

In addition to these various types of cancer, people with long-term exposure to AFFF are more likely to develop a number of other illnesses that include:

  • Asthma
  • Fertility issues
  • Fetal and child developmental disorders
  • High blood pressure
  • Thyroid disease

Do You Have a Viable AFFF Lawsuit Against Manufacturers or Other Liable Parties?

firefighters extinguishing fire with chemical foam

Firefighting foam is a product that needlessly places firefighters at a high risk of developing severe health problems. Although firefighters understand they must work with a number of dangerous materials to perform their jobs, they have the right to know all potential risks to make the best decisions.

However, when the chemical manufacturers and distributors fail to fully disclose the potential health risks associated with normal AFFF use, their negligence has caused widespread harm to the people in our country who have dedicated their lives to saving others. 

Firefighters, emergency responders, and military personnel who have been diagnosed with the listed cancers and illnesses associated with AFFF exposure are taking legal action to recover compensation for the damages they have suffered due to AFFF exposure. 

Thousands of product liability lawsuits have been filed against 25 different companies, such as DuPont, 3m, Tyco, and Chemguard, that manufacture and sell AFFF products. The sheer number of federal lawsuits has led to the creation of a multidistrict litigation (MDL-2873) in South Carolina overseen by U.S. District Judge Richard M. Gergel. This MDL consolidates the many claims to make pretrial proceedings more efficient and consistent nationwide while also allowing the coordination of plaintiffs' attorneys and judicial rulings.

The manufacturers of AFFF have already resolved many of the municipal water contamination claims brought by various cities and towns as a result of the damage caused to the local aquifers by firefighting foam. In fact, the very first municipal water contamination case was set to be tried on June 13, 2023 (City of Stuart v. 3M Co.) and was postponed as a large portion of municipal cases were being resolved.

Damages Related to AFFF Exposure

Those harmed by AFFF exposure usually suffer severe losses to their financial, physical, and even emotional quality of life. In a product liability lawsuit, financial losses caused by AFFF exposure are considered legal damages. The goal of product liability mass tort claims is to make injured plaintiffs whole by providing sufficient compensation from the responsible parties that caused the plaintiffs' damages, including adverse health effects and the costs associated with treating such. 

Allowable damages can involve tangible financial losses like medical bills, known as economic damages, or non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and loss of quality of life, which do not have an easily attributable dollar value. An experienced product liability attorney can help you determine which damages you have suffered and place a value on your personal injury claim.

Some potential damages involved in these lawsuits include:

  • Medical expenses - current and future
  • Lost income - current and future
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost earning ability
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Permanent disability
  • Loss of consortium and family relationships

How Long Do You Have to File a Firefighting Foam Lawsuit?

firefighters extinguishing fire with chemical foam

Every state has created Statutes of Limitation that control how long an injured person can wait before filing a lawsuit to hold someone responsible for their injuries. The timeline that relates to your case will depend on many factors, including where you were injured when you discovered your injuries and could link them to prior AFFF exposure, and many other details. To ensure you don't miss your window of opportunity to bring a firefighting foam lawsuit, consult with one of the mass tort lawyers at LLN who can help you calculate the limitation period that controls your potential legal action.

How Much is Your AFFF Lawsuit Worth?

firefighters extinguishing fire with chemical foam

Because every person who has been exposed to AFFF has a different experience and is facing different medical concerns, we can't say what your specific case is worth without learning more about you. During a free consultation with one of the LLN team members, we can gather more information to help us make an educated estimate of the potential value of your AFFF injury claim.

How Much Does a Mass Tort Lawyer Cost?

Don't let the fear of paying a lawyer keep you from contacting the LLN mass tort team. We offer free consultations to ensure all your questions are answered, and we don't get paid until we successfully resolve your injury claim. Since you won't have to pay anything upfront, you have nothing to lose. Don't risk your future. Reach out today.

Others Who May Experience AFFF Exposure and Bring an AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit

firefighters extinguishing fire with chemical foam

While firefighters are the most at-risk group for harmful AFFF exposure, other people also can come into contact with AFFF in sufficient amounts and recurrence that they may face serious health risks.

Military personnel is at high risk for AFFF exposure since this product is commonly used in military settings such as in airfields and on ships to combat potential fuel fires. Airport personnel can also be at risk for contact with AFFF since many airports have a history of using firefighting foam as well. The LLN team also represents a number of airport workers who were exposed to high levels of PFAS as airport firefighters trained extensively with AFFF firefighting foam, which in turn impacted the drinking water with unacceptable levels of dangerous chemicals such as PFAS.

Some Claimants Were Harmed by Exposure to Persistent AFFF in the Environment

AFFF is made with forever chemicals, which make it resistant to breaking down safely in the environment. AFFF that is not properly disposed of can easily seep into the water table and end up in the bodies of local residents and wildlife. Areas that see the regular use of AFFF, such as military bases, airports, and firefighter training facilities, have been tested and show dangerous levels of PFAS in the water. 

People that live in the vicinity of sites where AFFF is used on a regular basis are at an increased risk of exposure to harmful PFAS that can elevate their risk of cancer and other serious health concerns. 

If you have received a cancer diagnosis following exposure to toxic firefighting foam, call our firefighting foam lawyers today for a free consultation at 866-535-9515 or email me at: matt@dolmanlaw.com.

Who are the AFFF Manufacturers & Defendants

The LLN team is currently investigating claims involving the following AFFF manufacturers:

  • Tyco Fire Products
  • 3M Company
  • Dupont
  • Chemguard
  • Kiddr Fire Fighting
  • Buckeye Fire Equipment
  • Chemours Company

If you have been injured as a result of AFFF foam exposure, it's in your best interests to contact an experienced firefighting foam lawyer with AFFF lawsuit experience as soon as possible. Partnering with a skilled attorney at Lawsuit Legal News will help you gather the necessary evidence to effectively prepare your firefighting foam cancer lawsuit and create a solid legal claim. Call our experienced firefighting foam lawyers today.

Don't wait any longer, call 866-535-9515 or submit your case for review today!

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