Many firefighters and military members are struggling with cancer and other medical issues as a result of being exposed to Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) while fighting fires. It’s not surprising that many have taken legal action to help recover some of their financial losses.
After many federal AFFF lawsuits were filed, a multi-district litigation (MDL) was created to consolidate all cases for pre-trial purposes. On this page, you’ll find the most recent and relevant AFFF lawsuit updates to help keep you informed.
Typical MDLs involve hundreds or thousands of plaintiffs who have all been exposed to something harmful and who are requesting financial compensation for their related expenses. Injured firefighters and service members have brought AFFF lawsuits against the manufacturers of AFFF for providing a dangerous product and failing to warn about its potential harm.
AFFF Lawsuit Updates – September 2023
**If you are considering filing an AFFF claim, or if you are already involved in the pending MDL, be sure to return to this page often for the latest information that can affect your future.
September 8, 2023 – 1,000 more AFFF Lawsuits Join the MDL, Study Links AFFF to Testicular Cancer, EPA Discusses Immediate Health Concerns of PFAS Chemicals
After 1,000 new cases joined the AFFF multi-district litigation (MDL) in the past two months, the total case count at the end of August was 5,614. Also, a new study was released showing a connection between testicular cancer and exposure to PFAS chemicals, especially among US Air Force Servicemen.
In response to Judge Gergel’s request for recent information, plaintiffs’ counsel have submitted an EPA press release discussing immediate health issues related to PFAS chemicals. The EPA confirms these forever chemicals are potential carcinogens with no acceptable level of exposure or consumption.
In the meantime, the global settlement related to municipal AFFF water contamination is going smoothly. We hope it will pave the way for the upcoming individual personal injury cases that are still pending.
August 1, 2023 – An AFFF Plaintiff Has Died, His Daughter Will Step In
Unfortunately, an Alabama plaintiff who filed an AFFF lawsuit that was eventually transferred to the MDL has passed away while the litigation is still pending with no settlement in sight. The court appointed his daughter to act on his behalf in the MDL. As this litigation drags on, we realize that some injured plaintiffs will not live to see and receive the compensation they deserve.
July 17, 2023 – Record Number of New Cases Added to MDL
In the past 30 days, 493 new lawsuits joined the AFFF multi-district litigation (MDL). This is the largest monthly number since the MDL began. Some of the 5,000+ pending cases are municipal water contamination cases which should be resolved according to the settlement agreement reached with 3M, DuPont, and other defendants earlier this month. The remaining cases will be individual personal injury matters, the cases we are watching closely at LLN.
July 5, 2023 – Municipal Water Contamination Lawsuits are Settled with 3M, DuPont, and Other Manufacturers. Focus Shifts to Individual Cases Now
The first bellwether AFFF trial, filed by a municipal water provider, was scheduled for June 2023. However, all municipality-related AFFF lawsuits settled before trial. DuPont and its subsidiaries Chemours Co. and Corteva Inc agreed to pay $1.18 billion to resolve 300 drinking water suppliers’ PFAS complaints as reported on June 2nd. The biggest defendant, 3M, also agreed to pay up to $10.3 billion to resolve municipality drinking water contamination cases, according to a 3M press release. Since the payments will occur over a 12-year timeframe, the actual payout may be closer to $12.5 billion, according to 3M’s SEC filing.
Now the focus will shift to individual firefighters’ and military members’ claims for personal injuries related to AFFF exposure. Since they paid these billion-dollar settlements, we hope the AFFF manufacturers will offer smaller amounts to resolve the individual personal injury lawsuits quickly. As of July 1st, there were 4,793 pending AFFF cases pending in MDL.
June 5, 2023 – First AFFF Trial is Delayed. Are AFFF Lawsuit Settlements Possible in 2023?
The first AFFF trial that was supposed to start today was delayed because of a motion filed by both parties due to an imminent settlement. This first trial does not involve an individual personal injury claim against AFFF foam manufacturers. Instead, it was a claim brought by the City of Stuart, Florida, regarding its municipal water sources, groundwater and local soils. The city claimed the PFAS chemicals found in AFFF contaminated these areas and put citizens at risk.
The team at Lawsuit Legal News learned that 3M is close to paying $10 billion to settle all municipality-filed lawsuits. DuPont is also considering settlement at this point, but again, only for municipal water sources, not individual injury claims.
Since these municipal settlements may lead to individual settlement discussions in firefighters’ and military members’ injury lawsuits, The LLN legal professionals are watching these initial settlements closely.
June 2, 2023 – Three Defendants Reach Settlement Agreement With Municipalities
Three of the largest AFFF manufacturing defendants—DuPont de Nemours, the Chemours Company, and Corteva—have reached a settlement with municipalities where the public water systems were contaminated by PFAS chemicals related to AFFF. The companies will create a $1.185 billion settlement fund and each will contribute amounts based on their agreed involvement. The proposed settlement will go to the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina for approval.
May 23, 2023 – EPA’s Finally Proposes Limits on PFAS in Drinking Water, Evidence Will Be Admissible in First AFFF Trial
The EPA’s proposed limits on the amount of PFAS chemicals acceptable in drinking water is only four parts per billion. This statement will confirm the extreme dangers firefighting foam presents. Although the defendants in the first AFFF trial have objected to the admission of these limits, Judge Gergal denied their motion to bar the evidence.
The judge agreed that the EPA’s limits might explain how toxic these PFAS are and why they should be removed from city water sources. If this first bellwether trial results in a substantial victory for the plaintiff, we expect the defendants will appeal the judge’s decision.
May 18, 2023 – Defendant Kidde-Fenwal, Inc. is Out of the First AFFF Bellwether Trial; Second Round of AFFF Trials Address Personal Injuries
Kidde-Fenwal Inc. (KFI) was a named defendant in the upcoming trial brought by the City of Stuart, FL. claiming KFI (and others) manufactured AFFF firefighting foams containing PFAS, which contaminated the city’s water sources. Recently, KFI filed for bankruptcy protection and the Judge dismissed KFI as required by bankruptcy rules.
The first round of bellwether trials will focus on municipal water contamination, then the focus shifts to personal injury claims brought by military members and firefighters exposed to AFFF foam during their service or employment. Cases will be organized by the plaintiffs medical issues – kidney cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid disease, or ulcerative colitis. Also, these cases must involve AFFF foam exposure near Colorado Springs Municipal Airport, Peterson Air Force Base, the Naval Air Warfare Center in Warminster, or the Willow Grove Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base.
May 12, 2023 – The City of Stuart, Florida Alleges AFFF Foam Contaminated City’s Water Supply
The first test trial, also known as a bellwether trial in the nationwide AFFF lawsuit, is City of Stuart v. 3M Co., et. al. Stuart, Florida, is on the Atlantic coast near Jupiter. The city claims its water supply and groundwater were contaminated by PFAS resulting from AFFF firefighter foam runoff.
The named defendants include 3M, DuPont, and Tyco Fire Products. The jury will be required to consider complicated scientific evidence and decide if the manufacturers are responsible for contaminating the water sources. This first trial should have a big impact on this litigation and other potential AFFF lawsuit settlements.
May 7, 2023 – First Bellwether Trial is Approaching, Study Shows Firefighters’ Equipment Also Contains PFAS
The first bellwether case (test lawsuit) is set for a jury trial in June. In the meantime, new research from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) tested 20 different materials that make up firefighter gear and found all contained up to 17 types of PFAS. It is unclear whether these PFAS can be absorbed into firefighters’ skin and lead to the risk of cancer.
April 20, 2023 – CDC Creates a National Firefighter Cancer Registry
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)created the National Firefighter Registry for Cancer and is asking all firefighters to enroll to track and analyze the incidence of cancer among firefighters. In general, it is now an accepted fact that firefighters report more cancer diagnoses than the general public.
There are now 4,173 claims pending in the AFFF lawsuit MDL.
March 3, 2023 – The US Air Force Agrees to Stop Using AFFF for Fire Suppression
In response to the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, the Air Force plans to be the first military department to stop using fire suppressants containing PFAS chemicals by October 2024. As a result, the Air Force created an AFFF Sundown Policy calling for all foam systems to be “locked out” at the tank. The tanks will then be tagged with AFFF signage and removed from the area.
February 9, 2023 – Illinois Brings a Statewide Lawsuit Against AFFF Manufacturers
As the sixth-largest state in the country, Illinois has some of the nation’s largest natural water reservoirs. The state filed a lawsuit against AFFF manufacturers arguing that the foam presents a risk of public water contamination. The lawsuit named defendants 3M, Dyneon, L.L.C., DuPont, and several other distributors and manufacturers.
January 11, 2023 – New Study Discloses Firefighter Dangers
A new study published in Occupational Medicine revealed that firefighters are four times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and three times more likely to be diagnosed with leukemia than the general population. This scientific evidence will provide strong support for plaintiffs in the pending AFFF multi-district litigation.
To provide more information about the earlier history of the AFFF litigation, our affiliated legal team created this detailed AFFF Lawsuit Updates page. If you have any other questions, LLN’s experienced mass tort lawyers are available to discuss your unique circumstances during a free consultation.
The Lawsuit Legal News Team Can Help With Your AFFF Lawsuit Needs
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with cancer or another serious medical condition after being exposed to AFFF firefighting foam, reach out to the skilled legal team at Lawsuit Legal News for all the information you need. We can help you protect your rights and bring legal action to recover compensation for your AFFF-related losses.