Fort Wainwright Toxic Exposure Lawsuit

August 2, 2023 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Fort Wainwright Toxic Exposure Lawsuit

Located deep in Alaska, Fort Wainwright has long been a significant United States military installation, but it now finds itself at the center of controversy. A group of veterans and their families have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, alleging toxic exposure to contaminants such as PFAS from aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) at the base that have led to serious health problems. This is only the latest of many AFFF lawsuits filed over injuries caused by exposure to the toxic substance.

The Fort Wainwright lawsuit claims negligence in the handling and disposal of hazardous materials, leaving those stationed at Fort Wainwright, as well as nearby residents, at risk of dangerous exposure to certain contaminants like PFAS.

The Fort Wainwright toxic exposure lawsuits filed by veterans involve allegations of negligence in handling dangerous materials, the serious health consequences faced by veterans and local residents, the responses of the military, and the broader ramifications this case may hold for both environmental safety protocols and the accountability of military institutions.

If you or a loved one served at Fort Wainright and have been diagnosed with illnesses such as cancer or other conditions related to PFAS exposure then consider contacting Dolman Law Group at ____ or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation on your potential Fort Wainwright PFAS Lawsuit.

What is the Fort Wainwright Contamination Lawsuit?

The Fort Wainwright toxic exposure lawsuit is a legal case filed by veterans and their families against the U.S. government, alleging negligence in the handling of hazardous materials at the Alaska military base, leading to serious health problems such as cancer among those that served on base.

Background Information about Fort Wainwright

Established in 1941, Fort Wainwright lies in Fairbanks, Alaska, and serves as a United States Army base. The base is managed by the U.S. Army Garrison Alaska and is commanded by the 11th Airborne Division. The base spans 2,500 square miles with a population of 15,000.

Unfortunately, Fort Wainwright's environment has been polluted with Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a highly toxic group of chemicals that can persist in the environment and remain in the human body for years. Even small amounts of PFAS exposure can be harmful. One of the main sources of PFAS in the area is the use of the fire suppressant AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foam) by military firefighters. 

These substances are particularly concerning as the Veterans previously stationed at Fort Wainwright are advised to monitor their health for potential signs of toxic exposure-related diseases. 

What are Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)?

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of chemicals that are used in a variety of industrial and commercial products. These chemicals are water and stain resistant which makes them useful for waterproofing, containers, and industrial applications. Products like food packaging, upholstery, cookware, and clothing have all been found to use PFAS.

The downside of these chemicals is the fact that their durability makes them highly resistant to breaking down naturally and safely. Two of the most common PFAS, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) have been found to accumulate in water sources and ecosystems when products and manufacturing using them runoff and leak into the environment and accumulate over time.

PFAS tends to work its way from the environment to the bodies of populations near PFAS pollution and accumulate there as well which poses a significant health risk. PFAS is considered to be a carcinogen and endocrine disruptor that can affect the nervous system, the liver, the kidneys, the chance of developmental disorders, and even cause cancer.

Timeline of the Fort Wainwright Toxic Exposure Lawsuit

The Fort Wainwright lawsuit centers on the alleged negligence in the use and disposal of the fire suppressant AFFF, leading to contamination with PFAS chemicals, and consequently, serious health issues among the veterans and personnel who were stationed at the base.

Fort Wainwright Established in 1941

Fort Wainwright was established in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Military Firefighters Utilize AFFF as a Fire Suppressant 1970s-today

Military firefighters use the fire suppressant AFFF, which contains PFAS, a group of toxic chemicals, during training and emergencies. Over the years, the AFFF is not properly disposed and pollutes the area with PFAS that accumulates.

Late 20th - Early 21st Century Increased Awareness of PFAS Hazards

Growing awareness and concern over the environmental and health risks associated with PFAS chemicals.

Contamination Discovered

Identification of PFAS contamination within Fort Wainwright's environment occurred after initial testing of former firefighting training areas in 2013.

2023 Fort Wainwright PFAS Lawsuits Begin

A group of veterans and their families file a lawsuit against the U.S. government, alleging negligence in handling and disposal of PFAS-containing substances, resulting in health problems.

Ongoing Fort Wainwright PFAS Lawsuits

Legal proceedings continue, highlighting the need for responsibility and accountability in military environmental practices. Attorneys continue to look for injured families that need help.

What has Fort Wainwright said about the PFAS contamination?

Fort Wainwright and their lawyers have acknowledged the presence of PFAS contamination linked to the use of AFFF fire suppressant. As of the writing of this article, there has yet to be an official public response regarding the PFAS controversy.

While details of the official response may still be in the process of preparation for release to the public, military bases facing similar situations often express commitment to investigating the extent of contamination, taking corrective measures, and ensuring compliance with environmental regulations.

What issues have the Fort Wainwright toxic PFAS exposure caused?

The Fort Wainwright toxic exposure to PFAS has raised serious health concerns among veterans and personnel who were stationed at the base. These chemicals have been linked to a range of health problems, some of which can be severe. 

Studies have associated PFAS exposure with an increased risk of various cancers, liver damage, hormone disruption, immune system issues, and developmental problems in children. 

The long-term persistence of PFAS in the human body exacerbates these risks, leading to ongoing concerns for those who have been exposed. The lawsuit filed by veterans and their families seeks to address these health issues and to get compensation for their damages.

Research by the ATSDR and EPA has shown that exposure to these chemicals may affect:

  • growth, learning, and behavior in infants and children
  • lower a woman's chance of getting pregnant
  • interfere with the body's natural hormones
  • increase cholesterol levels
  • affect the immune system
  • increase the risk of certain cancers, such as kidney and testicular cancers

What other toxic agents are present at Fort Wainwright?

Besides PFAS, Fort Wainwright may be contaminated with additional harmful substances that could further exacerbate toxic exposure risks for service members. Here are some other potential contaminants that may be present on this military base:

  • chloroform
  • manganese
  • radium
  • barium
  • chromium
  • germanium
  • strontium
  • trihalomethanes

Current Status of Fort Wainwright Toxic Exposure Lawsuit 

As of August 2023, the Fort Wainwright toxic exposure lawsuits continue to progress, drawing attention to the complex issues surrounding PFAS contamination and helping victims to understand their rights. 

The veterans and their families that were affected by the exposure are seeking accountability and compensation for the alleged negligence in the handling of these harmful chemicals.

How Dolman Law Group Can Help You with a Fort Wainwright Toxic Exposure Lawsuit 

If you or a loved one has been affected by the Fort Wainwright toxic exposure, Dolman Law Group is ready to help right now. 

We have decades of experience in handling complex lawsuits against major corporations including  Johnson & Johnson, 3M, Dupont, Geico, Dow, Bayer, Unilever, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, and the U.S. Military.

Our team of skilled attorneys understands the unique challenges and concerns surrounding the health concerns caused by negligent contaminations. We are committed to seeking justice for victims, navigating the intricacies of military negligence, and pursuing the compensation you deserve. 

If you're facing health issues such as cancer, liver damage, hormone disruption, or other health issues, Dolman Law Group will ensure that your case is handled with care and expertise. 

Contact us today to discuss your Fort Wainwright Toxic Exposure Claim and discover how we can help you on the path to recovery.


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.

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