Major Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits
The manufacturers of firefighting foams have become the focus of litigation from all sides due to the dangerous properties that their product exhibits. Firefighting foam cancer lawsuits allege that major manufacturers deliberately withheld knowledge of the product’s dangers for decades, so they could increase their profits.
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 water from 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.
Those that have suffered because of their exposure to firefighting foam and the harmful chemicals they contain can hold those responsible for their damages accountable for their actions. AFFF 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.
Firefighting foam cancer lawsuits against these companies are nothing new. If you or someone you love believes that exposure to firefighting foam caused your cancer or medical illness, you have a right to hold negligent manufacturers accountable too. To do so, it is important to understand the lawsuits already filed, as past cases will have a significant impact on how future litigation against fire fighting foam manufacturers will proceed.
PFAS Exposure and Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits
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 did not appear overnight. As with most major class-action lawsuits, the attention to the dangers of firefighting foam was drawn by smaller lawsuits. This is similar to other situations where dangerous products that harmed the populace resulted in extensive litigation like with Monsanto’s weed killer controversy and many dangerous medications.
Abbott vs. Dupont
In March, a firefighting foam cancer case 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 Dupont’s chemicals.
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.
Several States File Lawsuits Against Firefighting Foam Manufacturers
Currently, several states 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. The State Attorney General of Michigan has recently filed several lawsuits against companies that have manufactured and sold 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.
Despite this knowledge, companies that manufacture AFFF prioritized profits over the safety of consumers and not only withheld the knowledge that AFFF was harmful to those it was exposed to but also went to great lengths in order to keep this information concealed. Michigan is not the only state 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 are actually suing each other. Chemours, a spinoff company of Dupont is actually suing their parent company over the liability for AFFF damages. Chemours claims 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 case will likely be settled out of court but it shows that there is genuine concern on the part of these AFFF making companies. For lack of a better phrase, they can smell that there is 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 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 multidistrict litigation compromised approximately 500 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 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.
Seek an Experienced National Firefighting Foam Lawsuit Attorney
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. 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 has extensive experience representing firefighting foam cancer victims and their families across the nation. Even though our office is located in Florida, we have helped individuals in communities across the country seek justice. We offer free consultations to those that have found themselves in this terrible situation.
Our attorneys can assist you in building your case, calculating the damages you’ve suffered, negotiating settlements, and representing you at trial if need be. The lawyers of Dolman Law Group 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 (727) 451-6900 or fill out a contact form online.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765