Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits
Did you develop cancer as a result of exposure to firefighting foam on a military base? If so, contact Lawsuit Authority right away. We have a network of experienced firefighting foam attorneys that we can connect you with. You could be owed significant compensation, and these lawyers can tell you how to get it. Contact Lawsuit Authority today to learn which specialized lawyers will be the best fit for you.
Firefighting foam contains dangerous synthetic chemicals known as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). Despite the dangers, firefighters and military personnel have been using PFAS for decades. PFAS chemicals are especially useful in extinguishing fires caused by petroleum and jet fuel. However, studies have found that they can cause cancer and a number of adverse side effects, such as hormone disruption, liver and kidney toxicity, harm to the immune system, and developmental issues.
Firefighters and military personnel put their lives on the line every day to protect U.S. citizens. But their health, and the health of their families, shouldn’t be threatened by the very tools and products they use to protect us. At Lawsuit Authority, we want to make sure those harmed by firefighting foam get the best legal representation possible. The right lawyer can get you the help, support, and advice you need to move forward with a strong lawsuit. Lawsuit Authority can connect you with that lawyer.
Your cancer diagnosis and the suffering you’ve had to endure is something you shouldn’t deal with alone. The negligent party should compensate you for your medical expenses, lost wages, and additional costs related to your illness. Don’t call just any attorney. These cases dealing with firefighting foam require specialist knowledge and skills. Most lawyers do not handle these types of cases. Contact us at (281) 985-9544 to find out how we can put you in touch with the experienced lawyers who can help you recover the financial award you need for your losses.
What Is Firefighting Foam?
Aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) is a fire-suppressant foam used to put out fires. The foam creates a barrier between the object that’s on fire and the oxygen needed to continue burning. Firefighters, military personnel, and airport workers have been using it for half a century.
AFFF contains PFAS, polyfluoroalkyl substances that help smother the fire. The manmade chemicals contribute to the heat-resistant barrier that the foam forms. In the past, they were a common chemical in consumer items, such as nonstick cooking pans. For example, you can find PFAS in the following:
- Water-repellent fabrics
- Firefighting foams
- Nonstick products, such as Teflon
Scientific and medical evidence suggests that exposure to PFAS leads to long-term medical issues, including cancer. Many companies decided to stop using PFAS in their products. However, firefighting foam from some manufacturers still contains toxic chemicals.
Who Is Most at Risk of Harm from AFFF?
3M originally produced the PFAS compounds known as PFOS and PFOA for a range of chemical products. Despite being efficient, PFAS have specific properties that allow them to accumulate in a person’s blood and affect their body and health. You may experience adverse health problems even if your exposure is short-term.
The people harmed by AFFF the most either worked or lived near the following areas:
- Military airport hangars
- Aircraft crash sites
- Firefighting training areas
- Chemical plants
- Flammable liquid storage and processing facilities
- Oil refineries, terminals, and bulk fuel storage farms
Since 1960, the U.S. Navy and other branches of the military have used AFFF containing PFAS. The U.S. military also utilized firefighting foam during emergencies and firefighter training.
Individuals at the most risk of exposure to AFFF and its side effects are firefighters who used it, Air Force personnel, manufacturers of the firefighting foam, and anyone living near military bases using AFFF.
Effects of Firefighting Foam on Military Bases
The U.S. military’s use of firefighting foam containing dangerous chemical compounds like PFAS could have negative consequences for workers handling it or living near it. Throughout the country, Air Force and Naval bases have discovered the presence of contaminated groundwater on their sites.
Known as “the forever chemical”, PFAS don’t break down naturally in the environment, which is why it’s easy for groundwater to become contaminated. They enter groundwater from the firefighting foam or other products containing PFAS.
The Department of Defense confirmed that there are more than 600 military bases that have confirmed or suspected groundwater contamination caused by the firefighting foam. This discovery is prompting lawmakers to force members of the military to stop using AFFF.
A new proposed bill will require military bases to refrain from using firefighting foam in their training activities. Millions of dollars will also be available for an environmental clean-up at National Guard bases to address the contamination of groundwater.
The plan is to eliminate firefighting foam containing PFAS by September 2029. Lawmakers stated they would allow AFFF in emergency fire situations, but only until they can find an alternative. They want to identify a fire fighting agent free from PFAS by the beginning of 2025.
Effects of Exposure to Firefighting Foam
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that PFAS could affect the immune system and increase the risk of cancer. The EPA classified the toxic chemicals as emerging contaminants, which means they create significant health and environmental hazards.
There are links between firefighting foam and different forms of cancer, including the following:
- Pancreatic cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Liver cancer
- Ovarian cancer
It can also lead to side effects, such as:
- Impaired growth in children
- Immune system damage
- Fertilities issues
- Liver damage
- Increased cholesterol
- Increased risk of thyroid disease and asthma
Hold the Manufacturer Responsible for Harm Caused by their Firefighting Foam
Manufacturers are supposed to design and market products that are safe for consumers. If any end up causing you physical or emotional harm, they can be held financially responsible.
Current lawsuits name the following companies as defendants for designing, marketing, manufacturing, distributing, or selling AFFF products:
- 3M Company
- Chubb Fire
- Kidde Fire Fighting
- Dynax Corporation
- Tyco Fire Products
- Du Pont de Nemours
- UTC Fire & Security America’s Corp
- Buckeye Fire Equipment
- The Chemours Company
- National Foam
- Enterra Corp.
- Williams Holdingsv
If you want to pursue a financial award in a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the firefighting foam you used, there’s a strict deadline you must follow. The statute of limitations for a product liability lawsuit varies by state. The statute limits the amount of time you have after your cancer diagnosis to sue for damages.
If you want to base your defective drug lawsuit on the existence of negligence, you’ll need to provide the relevant proof. Your basis of negligence must include the following five elements:
- Duty: The manufacturer owed you a reasonable duty of care;
- Breach of duty: The company breached that duty;
- Cause in fact: If not for the failure to meet that duty, you wouldn’t have gotten cancer;
- Proximate cause: The failure, and nothing else, caused your cancer or another medical condition; and
- Damages: You suffered losses as a result of your cancer diagnosis.
You’ll need to produce sufficient evidence that shows your exposure to PFAS, that you got cancer, and that you required medical intervention to treat your cancer. Documentation and additional evidence you could obtain includes the following:
- Medical records regarding your cancer diagnosis and treatment
- Receipts and pharmacy records
- Correspondence and documentation showing you spent time away from work
- Witness statements of individuals who saw the effects of cancer on your life
If you want to base your lawsuit on liability, you have to show that the manufacturer did something wrong. To establish that, you must show the following circumstances existed:
- A defect existed that made the firefighting foam dangerous;
- You didn’t alter the AFFF after purchasing it;
- You used the firefighting foam as intended;
- You developed an injury or illness because of the product use; and
- You suffered physical or monetary damage.
An additional option when filing a lawsuit is to allege a breach of warranty. A warranty is an explicit or implicit promise that a party makes. If the manufacturing company didn’t uphold the warranty, you could seek compensation for damages.
Explicit warranties are advertisements, marketing efforts, and written statements regarding a product. An implicit warranty is a promise made to the consumer that they didn’t make in writing. For example, merchantability and fitness are implicit warranties.
Damages Available in a Lawsuit
If you choose to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of firefighting foam, you could potentially win a financial award that covers your past and future damages. Compensatory damages are the expenses and suffering resulting from someone else’s negligence. Compensatory damages fall under two categories: economic and non-economic.
The damages you could pursue in an AFFF lawsuit include the following:
- Past and future medical bills
- Loss of income and lost future wages
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Physical impairment or disability
- Loss of companionship or consortium
Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, are difficult to calculate since they don’t include a monetary value. A jury will review all your damages to determine how much money you should receive for any suffering you had to endure. If you sustained a permanent disability, you’ll likely win a higher compensation than if you completely healed.
You can also seek punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages don’t compensate you for your losses. Instead, they punish the party responsible for your suffering and try to prevent further negligence.
Contact Lawsuit Authority to Find the Right Lawyer to Help with Your Lawsuit
Were you diagnosed with cancer after exposure to PFAS in firefighting foam? If so, contact Lawsuit Authority to discuss how we can find you the best lawyer to assist you with your lawsuit. We believe those who suffered because of the careless actions of others should receive compensation, and so do the lawyers in our network.
When we connect you with an experienced firefighting foam cancer lawyer, they will help you seek the justice you deserve for the harm and hardships you faced. They understand you suffered because of a manufacturer’s lack of regard for your health and safety. They will help you hold the manufacturer responsible and pursue a financial award that will cover your losses.
To find out how we can connect you with the lawyer who will best suit your needs and help you with your firefighting foam cancer lawsuit, call us at (281) 985-9544 today.