You’d think a foam designed to smother petroleum-based fires would save lives, not endanger firefighters and military personnel. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for aqueous film forming foam, or AFFF. This fire suppressant, commonly used for decades, contains dangerous chemicals linked to cancer and other illnesses.
If you or a loved one suffer harm from exposure to AFFF firefighting foam, you may seek compensation by filing an AFFF lawsuit against the makers and sellers of these dangerous products. Hiring an experienced AFFF lawyer can dramatically improve your chances of recovering full and fair compensation for your firefighting foam claim.
Why Are People Filing AFFF Lawsuits?
Combating oil fires takes thousands of pounds of aqueous film forming foam. Much of the foam aerosols during the process. Wind and flooding easily transfer these chemicals into the ground, contaminating groundwater, soil, and air.
Until the 1990s, AFFF manufacturers told firefighters and military servicemembers the firefighting foam was safe. But studies dating back to the 1970s show that the chemicals found in AFFF—PFAS, including PFOA and PFOS—were dangerous and likely carcinogenic.
New scientific evidence linking PFAS in firefighting foam to cancer triggered a rush of product liability lawsuits against manufacturers such as DuPont, 3M, Tyco, and Chemguard. The lawsuits claimed that manufacturers knew or should have known that their firefighting foam was dangerous, but they were too concerned with making profits and failed to warn firefighters and military personnel.
In September 2018, with the number of AFFF lawsuits steadily increasing, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated all federal lawsuits into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in South Carolina. Today, at least 3,700 AFFF lawsuits are pending in the AFFF firefighting foam MDL. Some of these cases include claims brought by local governments accusing PFAS in firefighting foam of contaminating their water supply.
Our law firm is actively accepting AFFF lawsuits on behalf of people exposed to AFFF and suffering from cancer or other AFFF-related illnesses.
How Can an AFFF Lawyer Help Me With My AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit?
A lawyer can play a crucial role in helping you with your firefighting foam lawsuit in the multidistrict litigation. MDLs consolidate multiple similar cases from different jurisdictions into a single federal court for complex pretrial proceedings. Here’s how a lawyer can assist you in this context.
A lawyer experienced in handling MDLs and product liability cases will evaluate your situation to determine the strength of your claim. They will assess whether you have a valid case and the likelihood of success in the litigation.
Filing and Pleading
Your lawyer will handle all the necessary paperwork for your case, including filing the complaint and other legal documents with the court. They will also draft the necessary pleadings to present your case effectively.
During the pretrial discovery phase, your lawyer will gather evidence to support your claim. This may include obtaining documents, deposing witnesses, and working with experts to build a strong case.
In cases involving firefighting foam, expert witnesses may need to provide technical or scientific expertise related to the harmful effects of the foam’s chemicals. Your lawyer will identify and retain the appropriate expert witnesses to bolster your case.
Negotiations and Settlements
In MDLs, the defendant(s) may settle their cases out of court. Your lawyer will negotiate on your behalf to secure a fair and just settlement, taking into account your best interests.
Your lawyer will represent you during court hearings, conferences, and any other necessary appearances throughout the litigation process.
Liaison with MDL Leadership
MDLs often have a leadership structure involving a steering committee representing various plaintiffs’ lawyers. Your lawyer will participate in this process and protect your interests.
Class Action Considerations
In some instances, MDLs may evolve into class action lawsuits. If your case becomes part of a class action, your lawyer will guide you through that process and help you understand your options and rights as a class member.
Communication and Updates
Your lawyer will keep you informed about the progress of the MDL, any developments in your case, and any important decisions you may need to make.
Contact an Experienced AFFF Attorney Today
If you want to hold makers and sellers of dangerous AFFF accountable for the harm they caused you or your loved one, choose an experienced lawyer with a successful track record in handling complex MDLs and product liability cases. An experienced attorney can navigate complex litigation, provide advice, and work tirelessly to protect your rights and recover fair compensation for any harm you suffered due to firefighting foam exposure.
The lawyers at our firm understand the dangers of AFFF and have extensive experience handling multidistrict litigations. Call us today at 866-467-0943 or complete our online contact form for a free consultation, and let us discuss your legal options.