The AFFF firefighting foam is a dangerous chemical that can cause illness if the worker is exposed to it. Many firefighters may be eligible to file a lawsuit. Airport and military firefighters are typically exposed to this type of chemical more frequently, but any firefighter who comes in contact with it could be eligible for a settlement. Each case is different, and factors such as the extent of exposure and the degree of illness are taken into account when calculating the settlement amount.
A PFAS lawsuit is a great way to hold manufacturers of firefighting foam responsible for their products. PFAS is a chemical with multiple health hazards and dozens of states have banned or restricted the use of PFAS in firefighting foam. Some of these states have also filed suits against the companies that produce PFAS.
Hundreds of firefighters are currently suing the manufacturers of specialized firefighting foam, known as aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF). AFFF is a chemical used to extinguish fast-spreading fires, and its composition includes per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). In late 2017, elevated levels of PFAS were found in the blood of firefighters who used AFFF. Moreover, elevated levels of PFAS were found in firefighters’ turnout coats.
In recent years, PFAS or perfluoroalkyl substances have come under scrutiny because of their link to a number of illnesses. The chemicals are not easily broken down and can accumulate in the body over time. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry have issued warnings about these chemicals, which can cause a range of health problems. Several lawsuits have been filed against companies who have sold PFAS or PFOS-containing products to the public.
PFAS chemicals have been in use since the early 1960s. The Fire Fighting Foam Coalition, which is led by Tom Cortina, has long tried to defend their products against concerns of toxicity. Cortina and DuPont’s Steven Korzeniowski have repeatedly repeated the same talking point about PFAS chemicals.
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is now classified as a “possible human carcinogen” by the World Health Organization. It has been linked to certain types of cancer including kidney and testicular cancer. If you have become ill as a result of exposure to PFOA, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. The chemicals permeate groundwater and soil, and have been found in many cities.
ThreeM and the other manufacturers of AFFF firefighting foam are facing class-action lawsuits from people who were exposed to the chemical. Plaintiffs say the company knew about the risks of PFOA and AFFF, and were not careful enough to stop using them. The company’s defense is that it is a government contractor and thus immune to liability for injuries caused by its products. However, that argument has not been accepted by the court.
Class action lawsuits
If you have been exposed to toxic levels of AFFF firefighting foam, you may be eligible to file a class action lawsuit. This lawsuit can hold AFFF manufacturers responsible for their negligence, which may result in health problems. For example, a class action lawsuit can be filed against 3M for causing PFOA contamination in the water supply near its manufacturing plants.
Those who are afflicted by PFAS chemicals and who have developed cancer may also be eligible to file a lawsuit. The attorneys at Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP, can help you determine if you are eligible to file a lawsuit. They can also help you navigate the complexities of litigation and maximize your compensation.
PFAS in AFFF
PFAS, or perfluorinated compounds, are man-made chemicals with a long list of known health effects. Most are used in consumer and industrial products, and don’t degrade easily, so they can quickly spread throughout the environment. They are particularly harmful to firefighters, who are subject to a high level of exposure to them.
The federal government is taking action to limit the use of AFFF, but progress is slow. States are leading the charge, including Washington State, which banned its use at federally mandated sites in 2018. Other states are limiting their use or banning it altogether in all training exercises, and requiring companies to disclose the presence of PFAS in firefighting gear.
Class action settlements
While AFFF is effective in suppressing fires, many people are concerned about its safety. The chemicals used in firefighting foam are not only hazardous to human health, but they are also harmful to the environment. The chemicals can leak into groundwater and can pollute underground water. In some cases, they can even cause cancer.
In a recent decision, the judge threw out a defense that 3M has argued gives it immunity from injury resulting from its products. The judge rejected the defense that 3M is a government contractor and is not liable for injuries caused by its products.
PFAS (per and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a group of toxic chemicals that are often used in firefighting foam. They are known to alter biological functions and are linked to an increased risk of cancer. According to the EPA, PFAS chemicals are a threat to human health and should be avoided.
PFAS-containing firefighting foam is mainly used in air force bases, airports, and industrial plants. During the 1970s, the Department of Defense (DOD) was aware of the health risks posed by this product, but it didn’t do anything to prevent firefighters and other fire service personnel from being exposed.