What is the Firefighting Foam Lawsuit

Although firefighting foams have long been used in place of water to extinguish fuel-based flames, it’s only been within the last couple of decades that experts have explored the health risks these foams can pose to those who are regularly exposed to them. And unfortunately, this research has shown a clear connection between the use of and exposure to aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) and cancer. Below, we discuss the firefighting foam lawsuit and what you should do if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer after exposure to AFFF.

Firefighting Foam Cancer

AFFF contains toxic chemical compounds called polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which contain fluorine and carbon. These chemicals are heat-resistant and effective at extinguishing fires caused by oil, paint, gasoline, and other petroleum products. But they also don’t degrade over time—which means that once they’re in your body, they bind to proteins and aren’t excreted.

Recently, PFAS and the other chemicals used in AFFF have been associated with many negative health effects.

The link between firefighting foam and illness from prolonged exposure also includes:

  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Testicular Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer

AFFF has also been associated with blood cancers like leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report in 2016 that warned the public about this clear connection between exposure to firefighting foam and cancer; it was quickly joined by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the American Cancer Society, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all of which have issued their own statements warning of PFAS exposure.

The Firefighting Foam Lawsuit

After the connection between PFAS and cancer was made, many of those who developed cancer after long-term occupational exposure to AFFF took legal action against its manufacturers, including major manufacturers 3M and DuPont, arguing that they were aware of the dangers of PFAS yet continued to produce potentially toxic AFFF. Currently, the largest group of affected individuals is former and active military personnel; others at risk include firefighters, airport workers, and chemical industry workers. 

There are thousands of individual plaintiffs with pending AFFF lawsuits throughout the U.S., and a number of individual injury lawsuits filed at the federal level have been consolidated into a multi-district litigation (MDL) lawsuit. 

Firefighting Foam Settlement

Large class-action lawsuits like the firefighting foam MDL are far more likely to result in settlement than in a trial. This means that many of those who have AFFF lawsuits pending are probably going to receive a settlement offer within the next few years. Those with a legal claim may receive financial compensation to pay medical bills.  The compensation that will be available to each affected individual will depend on the circumstances of their case. Some of the factors the courts will consider when classifying AFFF plaintiffs include: 

  • How much and how frequently they were exposed to AFFF 
  • The seriousness of their illness and their long-term prognosis
  • How much pain and suffering they’ve experienced
  • Whether their condition has caused them to retire due to disability 

How The Ferraro Law Firm Can Help

The Ferraro Law Firm has a nationwide reputation for handling lawsuits, from complaint to settlement or trial. The lawyers at The Ferraro Law Firm are here to help you navigate your legal options and to provide those impacted by AFFF exposure the guidance and direction that you need to make sure your case is professionally handled.

To set up your free consultation with The Ferraro Law Firm, please complete our free consultation form and one of our attorneys will quickly be in touch.

Frequently Asked Questions: AFFFs

  • What Does AFFF Stand For?
  • Is AFFF a carcinogen?
  • Is AFFF foam toxic?
  • What chemicals are in AFFF foam?

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