Firefighter Cancer Lawsuit – We Are Investigating Claims Nationwide
Firefighting foam has recently become the focus of significant legal action from not only many private individuals but from numerous states and their counties as well. Firefighting foam cancer lawsuits have been filed against dozens of companies that manufacture and distribute firefighting foams.
These lawsuits come after numerous studies and reports have shown the link between firefighting foam and the development of cancer among the many people that are exposed to it either in its use or its lingering in the environment (drinking water).
Firefighting foam, or aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) as it is also known, is a widely used tool in the suppression of fires. Firefighters regularly use AFFF to smother flames and deprive them of oxygen but scientists and researchers uncovered a worrisome link between a particular type of ingredient it contains known as Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances also known as PFAS and a number of cancers.
The manufacturers of firefighting foams have become the focus of litigation due to the dangerous properties that their product exhibits and the diagnosis of cancer.
Firefighting foam cancer lawsuits allege that major manufacturers deliberately withheld knowledge of their product’s dangers for decades, in order to increase their profits.
We presently represent numerous claimants who were diagnosed with cancer following consistent exposure to AFFF firefighting foam.
Our law firm investigates claims for individuals who developed cancer after being exposed to firefighting foam nationally and associate with local counsel if and when necessary, in accordance with all ethical rules.
We have noted that the largest clusters of individuals diagnosed with cancer and specifically kidney cancer are in areas that surround military bases.
The groundwater and potable water sources on and near numerous military bases—along with many other neighborhoods—across the United States have been contaminated by the military’s use of PFAS-containing AFFF for decades.
To date, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not legislated any regulations that would directly address the health risks that are allegedly caused by PFAS.
On July 14, 2021, the Department of Defense (DOD) hosted a forum online in order to discuss their plans for addressing the contamination where PFAS were used or released at 698 military installations.
The DOD is facing scrutiny due to a report from July 23, 2021, that was released by its Office of Inspector General. In this report, the Office of Inspector General criticized the DOD’s delay in responding to PFAS contamination at these military installations. The report found that due to the DOD’s failure to respond to the PFAS contamination in a timely manner, “people and the environment may have been exposed to preventable risks from PFAS-containing AFFF”.
This failure has led to the filing of more than 850 AFFF-related lawsuits. The federal court’s multi-district litigation (MDL) system has consolidated all AFFF cases in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina.
The AFFF Multi-District Litigation
When a large number of lawsuits are being filed in different US courts, the Joint Panel on Multi-District Litigation (JPML) will meet to consolidate all the cases in front of one federal court judge for the purposes of organizing the vast amounts of litigation. The JPML felt that the existing lawsuits had numerous common questions of law and fact. Thus, On December 7, 2018, they consolidated all lawsuits before Judge Richard Gergel in the District of South Carolina. The firefighting foam MDL is still in its infancy as hundreds of AFFF cancer lawsuits have been filed in the past ninety days.
There are about 500 cases that are currently pending in the MDL according to the District of South Carolina’s website. The court expects more cases to be transferred into the MDL from around the country.
Most of the MDL lawsuits can be categorized into three types of claims:
- bodily injury, including claims of cancer or other impaired health, due to exposure to PFAS in water supply
- bodily injury claims, typically made by firefighters, who were routinely exposed to AFFF.
- damage to soil, groundwater, and/or drinking water supply and water systems due to PFAS
There may be a large number of lawsuits yet to be filed as AFFF has been in use for decades.
The last status conference in the AFFF MDL occurred on May 1, 2021. During the status conference, both parties updated the Court as to pending discovery matters, scheduled depositions, and document production. Latest News On Firefighting Foam Lawsuits
Firefighter cancer lawsuits are currently pending across the country.
Latest News on Firefighting Foam Lawsuits
On January 7, 2021, lawyers representing citizens of Peshtigo, Wisconsin, announced a settlement they had reached with the defendants (Tyco Fire Products, L.P., ChemDesign Inc., and Chemguard Inc.).
The total settlement amount was $17.5 Million for the alleged contamination of drinking water wells throughout Peshtigo, Wisconsin.
The settlement money will go towards individuals who suffer from testicular cancer, kidney cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, preeclampsia.
Cancer From AFFF Foam
Firefighting foam, or aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) as it is more formally known, has been linked to the increased risk of developing cancers among those exposed to it.
This exposure can either occur at work through direct contact with the foam or in the community by ingesting foam-contaminated water supplies. Firefighting foams are made and sold by some of the most powerful chemical companies in the world such as Dupont, 3M, Chemguard, and Chemours to name a few.
Our firefighting foam lawyers are presently representing numerous claimants in an AFFF foam lawsuit that is being organized into one class action that has been filed in U.S. Federal Court in South Carolina.
AFFF firefighting foam could cause AFF foam cancer and has directly and indirectly affected a large number of people ranging from firefighters directly exposed to AFFF to civilians that did nothing more than drink water from trusted water sources that became contaminated.
The AFFF lawsuit alleges that the aforementioned manufacturers knew for decades the dangers it posed to those exposed. Further, it is not a stretch assuming corporations like Dupont should have realized the firefighting foam would potentially contaminate the surrounding water supply.
The negative health effects have allegedly long been known by the manufacturers. We are curious to learn just how much they knew. An AFFF Lawsuit is the only way to get to the bottom of what and how much these manufacturers knew and the efforts taken to cover it up.
For a free legal consultation, call 833-552-7274
Filing an AFFF Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit
Firefighting foam cancer lawsuits against these companies are nothing new. If you or someone you love believes that AFFF exposure caused a cancer diagnosis or other serious medical issue, you have a right to hold negligent manufacturers accountable.
To do so, it is important to understand the lawsuits already filed, as prior cases will have a significant impact on how future litigation against firefighting foam manufacturers will proceed. Before filing an AFFF lawsuit, it is vital to have some perspective.
PFAS Exposure & The AFFF Foam Cancer Lawsuit
Currently, there are hundreds of people, many organizations, and several states coming forward to file lawsuits against AFFF manufacturers over the damage their products caused. However, this flood of legal action related to AFFF firefighting foam did not appear overnight.
As with most major class-action lawsuits, the attention to the dangers of AFFF foam cancer was drawn by smaller lawsuits. This is similar to other situations where dangerous products that harmed the populace resulted in extensive litigation like Roundup weedkiller controversy and many dangerous medications.
Abbott vs Dupont – AFFF Lawsuit
In March 2020, an AFFF lawsuit involving Dupont and a cancer survivor from Ohio known as Travis Abbott reached a resolution where Abbott was awarded $40 million in compensatory damages and his wife $10 million for loss of consortium damages. Abbott had developed testicular cancer that resulted in the removal of both of his testicles after he drank water that was contaminated by chemicals in Dupont’s fire-fighting foam.
The chemicals in question are per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) which are synthesized and used in a wide array of products; most notably, AFFF. Of these PFAS chemicals, Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) are especially dangerous and the cause of Abbott’s cancer. These chemicals are present in AFFF and are commonly referred to as forever chemicals since they are resistant to breaking down both in the environment and when they accumulate in people’s bodies causing cancer. AFFF firefighting foam contains a disturbingly high level of PFAS and PFOA. Manufacturers of aqueous film-forming foam allegedly knew of the excessive levels of carcinogens in their product and failed to remove the product from distribution.
States File Lawsuits Against Firefighting Foam Manufacturers
Currently, several states and counties are in the process of filing lawsuits against major chemical companies such as 3m and Dupont because of their negligent sale and production of AFFF that eventually contaminated state water supplies.
For example, the State Attorney General of Michigan has recently filed several lawsuits against companies that have manufactured and sold AFFF firefighting foam. The state seeks compensation for damages caused by the contamination of water sources with PFAS chemicals.
The lawsuit alleges that companies like Dupont and 3M were aware of the negative effects their firefighting foam could potentially cause not only their consumers but also entire communities whose water supplies were contaminated.
In Pennsylvania, the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office has recently filed a complaint against dozens of chemical manufacturers for these companies’ role in the PFAS contamination at three fire facilities.
Chemours, 3M, and DuPont are among the biggest companies named as the source of PFAS.
Despite this knowledge, companies that manufacture AFFF prioritized profits over the safety of consumers and not only withheld the knowledge that this type of firefighting foam was harmful to those exposed to it but also went to great lengths in order to keep this information concealed.
Michigan and Pennsylvania are not the only states filing lawsuits like this. The attorney general of New York and a coalition of 22 state attorneys general have taken legal action in response to the crisis facing communities regarding contamination of water supplies with PFAS chemicals via AFFF use.
Dupont Vs. Chemours Lawsuit
Interestingly enough, the companies that have manufactured AFFF and are now being considered liable for all the damage they have caused actually sued each other. Chemours—a spinoff company of Dupont—is suing their parent company over their potential liability for AFFF damages. Chemours claimed that Dupont stuck them with the bill when it came to the expensive cleanup of PFAS chemicals from the environment which cost them millions of dollars.
The $83 million settlement resolved legal disputes that arose from the spinoff and establishes a cost-sharing arrangement and an escrow account for potential future legacy PFAS liabilities prior to July 1, 2015.
DuPont, Chemours, and Corteva (previously the agriculture division of DowDuPont, now an independent public company) also agreed to resolve roughly 95 cases that are pending involving PFOA litigation in Ohio. The settlement will be split equally between the three companies.
Even though the case was settled out of court, it shows that there is genuine concern on the part of these AFFF manufacturers. For lack of a better phrase, the firefighting foam lawyers smelled blood in the water and that a lot of people are going to ensure that somebody pays the inevitably massive sums of money for the damage AFFF foam has caused.
AFFF MDL & Class Action Lawsuits and Firefighting Foam Cancer
In 2019, the judicial panel on multidistrict litigation determined that AFFF cases should consolidate into an MDL 2873. This multi-district litigation compromised approximately 500 AFFF firefighting foam cases pending before the court regarding injuries, cancers, and illnesses caused by firefighting foam, AFFF, PFOA, and PFAS.
In February 2020, numerous victims filed an AFFF class-action lawsuit against the manufacturers of firefighting foam. These lawsuits allege that the manufacturers knew of the dangers and chose to make and sell AFFF dispute the health and environmental hazards. These PFAS chemicals caused numerous cancers and other medical illnesses.
Class action lawsuits are typically brought by one or more people who suffer similar damages or have similar claims against an entity.
In May 2020, Thomas J. Gentile, Tommy McGarry, and Charles O’Keefe filed another class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. This class action AFFF foam lawsuit represented firefighters who alleged that they were exposed unknowingly to toxic chemicals in the AFFF they used to fight fires. This lawsuit called for the manufacturers and distributors to pay for the medical monitoring of firefighters with AFFF foam cancer.
Stuart, Florida Selected as Trial Case in AFFF Multidistrict Litigation
The City of Stuart, Florida filed a lawsuit in 2018 against the manufacturers of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) for allegedly contaminating the public water system. The city filed the lawsuit after learning they would have to pay to repair and fix their local public water supply because of its contamination with the toxic, cancer-causing chemicals.
The case was later transferred to multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court in South Carolina, along with other cases against AFFF manufacturers. However, recently, Stuart’s case was selected as a trial case in the lawsuit, meaning it could be one of the first cases selected to go to trial.
According to the lawsuit, the PFOA and PFOS chemicals found in the city’s water supply were deposited there when the Stuart fire department used firefighting foam.
The lawsuit alleges that the makers of AFFF (3M Company, Tyco Fire Products, Buckeye Fire Protection Company, Chemguard, and National Foam, Inc.) were aware of the health risks associated with the chemicals but failed to properly warn the city. As a result, firefighters have been exposed to the product for years, and civilians were exposed through local water wells.
Johnson Controls Agrees to $17.5 Million Settlement over PFAS and AFFF
Johnson Controls, a subsidiary of Tyco Fire Products, agreed to pay $17.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit and individual injury lawsuits stemming from allegations that they are partially responsible for injuries and damages caused by PFAS and AFFF.
In this specific case, plaintiffs claimed they were exposed to the chemicals through contaminated drinking water near a Wisconsin Tyco Fire Technology Center that routinely used the foam.
The settlement covers about 300 homes with an estimated 1,200 residents.
Out of the $17.5 million, $11 million will go toward loss of property value, $4 million will go toward exposure without current disease, and the remaining $2.5 million is for individuals who developed a disease as a result of their exposure.
As part of the settlement, Tyco has outlined a plan to construct a series of wells that will pump contaminated groundwater into a treatment system. This plan was approved by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
However, the Wisconsin government has stressed the cleanup plan will only reduce the chemicals over the next 30 years, not eliminate them. Even after the proposed 30 years of decontamination, the company’s models show that more than 40% of the PFAS will remain in the groundwater.
The Johnson Controls settlement is the first settlement to come out of the consolidated multidistrict litigation (MDL) in South Carolina whereas of June 15, 2021, there are about 1,235 AFFF lawsuits still pending.
DuPont, Chemours, and Corteva Agree to a Settlement with the State of Delaware
On July 13, 2021, a settlement was reached between the Delaware Department of Justice and the companies of DuPont, Chemours, and Corteva. This agreement holds these companies responsible for the damage done to Delaware’s environment through toxic chemicals known as PFAS or ‘forever chemicals’ over decades. Earlier this year, Delaware’s justice department had intended to file a colossal lawsuit against DuPont, Chemours, and Coteva.
This settlement will result in a guaranteed $50 million dollars to the state with DuPont and Corteva each contributing $12.5 million and Chemours contributing $25 million. The companies will fund up to an additional $25 million if they settle similar claims with other states for more than $50 million.
Seek an Experienced National AFFF Lawsuit Attorney
If you have been exposed to firefighting foam, then you may qualify to file an AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit.
We rely on the producers of various chemical products to provide us with the proper safety information necessary to ensure that those using their products do so aware of any potential risks to their health. 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 joining the AFFF class-action lawsuit.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA has extensive experience representing firefighting foam cancer victims and their families across the United States. Even though our office is located in Florida, we have helped individuals in communities across the country seek justice as we will associate with local counsel when applicable and remain your attorneys.
We offer free consultations to those that have found themselves in this terrible situation and are considering pursuing a firefighting foam lawsuit.
Our attorneys can assist you in building your AFFF foam lawsuit, calculating the damages you’ve suffered, negotiating settlements, and compiling the necessary medical records to illustrate the damages you have sustained.
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 in regard to 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 firm.
Call us for a free consultation today at (866) 643-7535 or fill out a contact form online.
Why Choose Dolman Law Group?
Dolman Law Group is a law firm; comprised of experienced serious and catastrophic injury lawyers. Our attorneys have over 120 plus years of experience handling injury and negligence cases throughout Florida and even the nation wherein we associate with local counsel when necessary. We have recovered over $175 Million for our clients as of December 2020.
Matthew Dolman has been voted by his colleagues to Florida Super Lawyer and Florida Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Less than 2.5% of Florida Bar members have received such distinction. He is also a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for case resolutions in excess of $1 Million and $2 Million respectively.
Stanley Gipe is a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer which connotes he is an expert in the discipline of trial practice. Stan has tried numerous cases to verdict and is a recognized plaintiff lawyer. Both Matthew and Stan have served as lead counsel on lawsuits filed throughout Florida.
Our firefighting foam lawyers offer a free consultation to review your claim. Rest assured; we are a law firm with the financial resources of a large shop but offer the personal attention that you deserve. We have experience handling mass torts cases and class-action lawsuits.
We are presently investigating PFOS and PFOA exposure cases.
Call us now for a free consultation regarding a potential AFFF lawsuit.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765