Damages in a Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit

April 27, 2023 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Damages in a Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit

Across the country, firefighters, military personnel, and entire communities are filing firefighting foam cancer lawsuits. These lawsuits allege that the companies making this firefighting foam linked to several types of cancer knew of the inherent dangers of their products yet failed to warn the public of these risks.

If you or someone you love received a cancer diagnosis, and you believe exposure to firefighting foam is to blame, it is important to speak to an experienced and knowledgeable product liability lawyer immediately. Exposure to firefighting foam is a severe health hazard that can lead to a significantly high risk of developing cancer and other health problems.

How Our Attorneys Are Recovering Damages in AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuits

AFFF firefighting foam can prevent serious harm in the form of fire damage and burns when used to control a blaze. However, despite its utility in curbing these dangers, it undoubtedly contains hazardous chemicals that can not only hurt you but also contaminate entire communities as well.

It's essential to understand the full breadth of damages that exposure to firefighting foam can inflict. Accurately valuing the costs that AFFF exposure can have on victims and their families ensures that a skilled lawyer can obtain the amount you need when seeking compensation through a lawsuit. Many who have sustained losses from exposure to PFAS, and other toxic chemicals are unaware that they can pursue legal action against responsible parties or underestimate how much their settlement is truly worth.

Our attorneys are committed to giving you the means to pursue the highest compensation possible. We want to listen to your story, examine your case, and provide information about the legal options available to you. Should you choose to pursue an AFFF lawsuit, our lawyers can help collect the damages you deserve after suffering from a firefighting foam-related cancer or medical illness.

Schedule A Free Consultation

What is Firefighting Foam?

Firefighting foam, or aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) as it is also known, is a substance utilized to extinguish fires in which water is ineffective. These include such as oil-based flames and fires fueled by jet fuel.

Firefighting foam has seen widespread use for decades by more than just firefighters. One of the biggest users of AFFF is the military, with all branches utilizing the foam on various military sites.

Toxic Firefighting Foam and Hazardous PFAS Chemicals

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the danger in firefighting foam comes from per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals that have had a long and controversial history of harming those they come into contact with. These chemicals were the focus of a feature film called “Dark Waters,” which chronicled the struggle to litigate DuPont's chemical manufacturing company over the unregulated pollution and subsequent poisoning of an entire West Virginia community with PFAS.

While there is much that researchers still don't know about these chemicals, there is ample evidence to suggest that they present great risks to the population. PFAS exposure has been linked to a wide range of health problems, including liver damage, thyroid disease, kidney, testicular, and prostate cancer, and immune system problems. Some studies have also suggested that PFAS exposure may be associated with developmental delays and learning disorders in children.

Carcinogenic PFOS and PFOA in Firefighting Foam

The two most damaging PFAS that are in firefighting foam are perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). These two chemicals exhibit a number of dangerous carcinogenic properties that damage cell health and lead to cancer. Researchers and scientists conducted numerous studies to determine the effects of PFOA and PFOS exposure.

The conclusion is that these chemicals are not only dangerous because they can contribute to the growth of cancer, but also because they have a very long half-life. This basically means that PFOA and PFOS take an incredibly long amount of time to break down. For this reason, they have the nickname “forever chemicals.” These chemicals will last centuries, finding their way into animals' tissues, the soil, and the groundwater we drink.

Does Firefighting Foam Cause Cancer?

The most common injury and damage that is associated with firefighters and those exposed to AFFF is cancer. Research surrounding this topic continues to evolve. However, there is substantial evidence backed by leading research organizations to suggest that the toxic chemicals in AFFF foam are damaging to human health and contribute to the growth of many types of cancer.

Exposure to PFAS in firefighting foam can occur through inhalation of the foam or skin contact with contaminated equipment or surfaces. Many are also exposed by inhalation; when firefighting foam is used to extinguish fires, it can create toxic fumes that firefighters may inhale. This exposure can actually result in many types of cancer, such as:

  • Kidney cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Neuroendocrine tumors
  • Prostate cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancer

Is There an AFFF Class Action Lawsuit?

AFFF lawsuits are currently being consolidated into a multidistrict litigation under Judge Gergel in the United States Federal Court for the District of South Carolina. The AFFF MDL is expected to result in compensation to dozens, if not hundreds, of plaintiffs who have experienced damages due to aqueous film forming foam.

While a class action lawsuit and multidistrict litigation serve similar purposes, they have some key differences. The firefighting foam cancer lawyers at Dolman Law Group can help you learn about your legal options to recover damages through AFFF litigation. They are also available and eager to answer any questions you may have about the current status of these lawsuits and what criteria potential claimants must fulfill to recover compensation.

How Much Money Can I Get for a Firefighting Foam Lawsuit?

When you suffer from cancer or another firefighting foam illness, you have a right to seek compensation for the damages caused. The amount of compensation that you can expect to receive from a firefighting foam cancer lawsuit depends on several factors. Despite the common denominator of all of these lawsuits being hazardous firefighting foam, each case is unique, and the varying details can have a significant impact on your chances of successfully receiving compensation for damages.

AFFF Lawsuit Settlement Amounts

The compensation awarded to plaintiffs in AFFF lawsuits will vary depending on what damages they claim. These damages are typically both economic and non-economic in nature.

The extent of your damages depends largely on the severity of your injury. However, cancer and other firefighting foam health illnesses are generally severe. As such, the damages suffered are costly, and individuals and families often need a considerable amount of compensation to help cover those damages. There is no set amount paid out for cancer injuries; they must be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Economic Damages

The law defines economic damages as financial damages suffered because of an injury, cancer, or illness. These damages are easier to calculate and include monetary losses suffered both now and in the future. Economic damages can include:

Medical Expenses: the cost of medical care when dealing with cancer can be exceptionally expensive. Doctor consultations, chemotherapy, cancer drugs, surgeries, and hospital stays can leave a person in crippling debt even when they have saved up while working a well-paying job and have insurance coverage. For those without these resources, medical bills of any scale can be even more catastrophic.

Lost Wages: Being out of work with an injury can result in losing much-needed wages you could have earned. This can put an increased financial strain on families struggling to deal with illness.

Loss of Future Earnings: Put plainly, cancer ruins lives. Entire careers are lost because of a cancer diagnosis, which can drastically affect someone's earning potential and, consequently, their quality of life.

Cost of Future Medical Care: Treating cancer caused by firefighting foam does not often end quickly. Many require medical care and treatment throughout their lives. Damages must include money to pay for ongoing treatment, checkups, therapy, and prescriptions they need because of the damage cancer inflicted.

Travel Expenses: Cancer treatment may require travel to specialized medical facilities, which can result in additional expenses for transportation, lodging, and meals.

Home Modifications: Some cancer patients may need to make modifications to their homes to accommodate their treatment or recovery, such as installing wheelchair ramps or modifying bathrooms.

Caregiver Costs: Family members or friends who act as caregivers for cancer patients may also experience financial strain, such as lost income or increased expenses for travel, meals, and lodging.

Emotional and Mental Health Costs: Cancer can take a significant emotional and mental toll on patients and their loved ones, which may result in additional expenses for counseling, therapy, or other forms of support.

Non-Economic Damages

In addition to economic damages, some damages are not as easy to put a dollar amount on. These are known as non-economic damages. These damages are not as tangible; thus, calculating their value can require specialized methods and deliberation based on the details of a person's case. Non-economic damages in a firefighting foam lawsuit settlement can include:

Pain and Suffering: Cancer can ravage a person's body and cause incredible pain. Treatment for cancer also is one of the most intense fights a person can experience. This physical pain and suffering inflicted by cancer may not be easy to quantify, but it is damage worthy of compensation.

Loss of Consortium: Cancer can cause immense strain and damage to a person's relationships. The effects of an injury like cancer on this aspect of a person's life can be considered part of the loss of consortium or companionship damages.

Mental Anguish: The immense physical pain a person can experience when facing cancer often brings incredible mental and emotional pain as well. Mental anguish can have a very real effect on a person's quality of life. It is certainly a damage one must consider in an AFFF lawsuit due to a cancer diagnosis.

Individual AFFF lawsuit settlement amounts may vary depending on the above factors and more. However, you can be confident that a skilled lawyer will compile these losses accurately and work to ensure you're compensated fairly.

Seek an Experienced Firefighting Foam Cancer Attorney

As citizens and consumers, we rely on the producers of various chemical products to provide us with the proper safety information necessary to ensure that those using their product do so aware of any potential risks to their health. When your safety and health are compromised due to a manufacturer's failure to warn of potentially serious or even fatal side effects, you have a right to pursue justice. If you have developed cancer or another severe illness because of firefighting foam exposure, you may be able to seek compensation for damages you suffered by filing a product liability lawsuit.

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, has assisted those that have suffered at the hands of negligent companies for years by representing injured plaintiffs in product liability lawsuits. While our main office is located in Florida, we help consumers across the country who suffered because of firefighting foam exposure. Do not hesitate to contact our Clearwater office about your case. We offer free consultations to those who have found themselves in need of legal help due to the negligence of others.

Our Approach is Backed by Results

Given the unique circumstances of cancer-causing injuries and the losses they can cause, it's impossible to predict how much an AFFF settlement will award you. However, our AFFF lawyers believe that by standing by our commitment to delivering high-quality service and results to injured clients, we are able to provide a unique opportunity to recover financially despite having experienced great losses. We are experienced trial attorneys and have recovered millions of dollars for victims of product liability, including through participation in multidistrict litigation lawsuits.

Dolman Law Group Can Help You Recover More

Our firefighting foam lawyers can assist you in building a solid case, calculating the damages you've suffered, negotiating settlements, and, if necessary, representing you in a court of law. The lawyers of Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, will walk you through every step of the process and maintain close communication with you regarding your case's progress.

We provide the resources and experience of a larger law firm, while also giving each case the personal touch and investment one would expect from a smaller one.

Call us for a free consultation today at (727) 451-6900, or fill out a contact form online to learn about how we may be able to help you file an AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit and recover compensation for your injuries.

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 451-6900


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

Learn More