Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) is a specialized foam specifically designed to combat high-intensity fires driven by accelerants like gasoline. It contains chemicals from the poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) family, which, due to their resilience against degradation, are known as “forever chemicals.” Over recent years, concerns have grown about the health risks of PFAS—and many people exposed to AFFF firefighting foam have been diagnosed with cancer.
If you were exposed to these chemicals and developed a disease, the lawyers at Estey & Bomberger, LLP can help. With a track record of advocating for those injured by defective products and a 99% case success rate, our AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit attorneys can fight for the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free case consultation today to learn more about your legal options.
Why Choose Our AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit Attorneys?
- For decades, the attorneys at Estey & Bomberger, LLP have passionately advocated for those injured by defective products, securing millions of dollars for our clients. We will work tirelessly to achieve the justice that you deserve.
- We specialize in claims involving defective products, including AFFF firefighting foam. Leveraging our knowledge and expertise, we will guide you through every stage of your claim and advocate for the best possible outcome.
- We believe that injured people deserve access to quality legal representation, regardless of financial barriers. Our law firm operates on a contingency fee basis; you only pay if we recover compensation in your case.
The Dangers of AFFF Firefighting Foam
AFFF firefighting foam was engineered to tackle intense fires, particularly those that are fueled by accelerants like gasoline. PFAS are primarily responsible for this product’s capabilities. These chemicals are characterized by their stability due to their robust carbon-fluorine bonds.
While PFAS stability is beneficial, it can also lead to serious health problems. PFAS are infamously resistant to breaking down, which means that they can linger in the environment for extended periods of time. Over the years, many organizations have shed led on the potential dangers of prolonged exposure to PFAS.
For example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report in 2016 that links these chemicals to certain types of cancer in animal studies. Several other global organizations have also highlighted these risks, associating PFAS exposure with specific cancers in humans, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
Who Was Exposed to AFFF Firefighting Foam?
Many people may have unknowingly come into contact with AFFF foam, either while working with it directly or indirectly as an environmental contaminant. Over time, repeated exposure can lead to serious and life-threatening illnesses.
In AFFF firefighting lawsuits, many plaintiffs have experienced occupational exposure. At the front line are firefighters, who routinely used or trained with AFFF. Additionally, the U.S. military has been an avid user of AFFF, especially in areas like military bases, airfields, and naval ships. While AFFF played a crucial role in fire prevention and control, those handling it were often uninformed of the potential health risks posed by the PFAS components.
AFFF has also found its way into other industries. For example, commercial flight facilities used the product for drills and real-life emergencies involving fuel-related fires. Industrial zones, especially those handling combustible materials, also integrated AFFF into their fire control strategies.
In some cases, communities that lived near facilities that used AFFF also experienced health problems. Over time, Over time, PFAS from the foam permeated the soil, reaching groundwater sources. This made the drinking water in these areas unsafe, especially in areas next to military or airport grounds.
Types of Cancers Caused by AFFF Firefighting Foam
Many cancers have been linked to AFFF firefighting foam exposure, including the following:
- Pancreatic cancer
- Liver cancer
- Breast cancer
- Blood cancers
- Testicular cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Out of these illnesses, the most common types of cancer involved in AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits are testicular, kidney, and prostate. However, PFAS is linked to a wide range of cancers that go beyond the scope of this list. If you are able to demonstrate a causal link between your cancer diagnosis and prolonged AFFF exposure, you may be eligible for legal action against the foam’s manufacturer.
Benefits of Hiring an AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit Attorney
Dealing with the aftermath of health issues stemming from exposure to AFFF firefighting foam can be overwhelming. In these situations, you may want to represent yourself in a claim against the manufacturer. Sometimes, you might not want to deal with the stress of a lawsuit at all.
It is important to remember that you deserve justice. AFFF firefighting foam manufacturers need to be held accountable for their dangerous products. The product liability attorneys at Estey & Bomberger, LLP can fight for your right to justice and help you secure the compensation that you deserve.
A specialized product defect attorney can provide critical support and guidance during this difficult time, allowing you to focus on recovery rather than complex legal procedures. Here are some reasons why having an skilled mass torts attorney can make a significant difference in your lawsuit:
- Navigating Legal Procedures: The legal system can be intricate and challenging to navigate for those unfamiliar with its nuances. An attorney understands the paperwork, filing requirements, and legal protocols involved in the process, and can make sure that your claim progresses smoothly and avoids unnecessary delays.
- Building a Compelling Legal Case: AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits can be difficult to prove, which is why you need to build the strongest case possible. Your attorney will gather all pieces of available evidence and leverage legal knowledge to present a robust argument on your behalf.
- Enlisting the Help of Expert Witnesses: Establishing liability in an AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit requires deep medical and technical expertise. To bolster the credibility of your claim, your attorney can identify and collaborate with expert witnesses, who can provide authoritative testimony on your behalf.
- Calculating Your Potential Settlement: Determining a fair compensation amount requires an understanding of both current damages and potential future expenses. Your attorney can help evaluate the true financial impact of your situation, from medical costs to lost wages.
- Allowing You to Focus on Recovery: With a personal injury lawyer handling the complexities of your case, you can prioritize your health and recovery. Your attorney will keep you updated on case developments and guide you on necessary actions, alleviating you from the stress of legal procedures.
Are You Eligible for a Lawsuit for Firefighting Foam-Related Cancer?
AFFF firefighting foam has been manufactured and sold by multiple companies, including big names like DuPont and 3M. Allegedly, as far back as the 1970s, these companies knew the potential harm that PFAS chemicals in their products could cause to the environment.
By the 1990s, there were concerns that these chemicals were not just harmful to the environment but could also cause cancer in humans. Despite these suspicions, companies did not warn the public or change their foam formula. Now, victims of AFFF firefighting foam are holding these manufacturers accountable by filing mass tort lawsuits.
A mass tort is a legal action where many injured people come forward, each with individual cases, against one or several corporations that caused their injuries. They essentially help multiple victims pool their resources and share evidence, making the legal process more efficient.
To qualify for an AFFF lawsuit, you generally need to meet the following criteria:
- Exposure to AFFF: First, you need to prove that you were consistently exposed to the PFAS present in AFFF firefighting foam. This exposure can either be in a professional capacity such as being a firefighter or an airport personnel or stemming from residing in areas where groundwater was contaminated due to the foam.
- Cancer Diagnosis: Next, you must show that you were diagnosed with a cancer associated with PFAS exposure. Your medical records can help establish this fact, as well as testimony from medical experts.
If you are unsure whether you are eligible for a lawsuit, schedule a free case consultation with Estey & Bomberger, LLP as soon as possible. Our attorneys can assess your case and determine your legal options. Then, we can help you take your first steps toward justice.
What Compensation Is Available in an AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit?
Unlike class-action lawsuits, where victims form a single group and receive a collective settlement, in mass torts, each plaintiff has his or her own distinct case and potential award. This means each person’s situation is individually assessed, and the compensation reflects their specific circumstances.
Cancer can take a major toll on your life, affecting your financial, physical, and emotional well-being. Your AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit settlement can help pay for a wide range of damages, such as the following:
- Medical Expenses: This covers not only the immediate medical bills from treatments and surgeries but also future costs. Your settlement can help pay for medications, surgeries, doctor’s visits, disability accommodations, periodic check-ups, and more.
- Lost Wages and Future Earnings: Beyond the immediate income lost during treatment, cancer can limit or halt your ability to work entirely. Compensation for lost wages helps bridge the gap, and if your capacity to earn in the future is compromised, the lawsuit can address the long-term financial impact.
- Pain and Suffering: The physical pain from cancer and its treatments is immense. The emotional and psychological distress can also be immense. Your settlement will include compensation that recognizes this impact and strain on your daily life and personal relationships.
- Wrongful Death: For families who have tragically lost a loved one to complications from AFFF-related cancers, their settlement can include additional damages for wrongful death. This compensation aids in addressing funeral costs, lost financial support, and the immense emotional pain of losing a family member.
What Is the Value of an AFFF Firefighting Foam Settlement?
In many mass tort claims, defendants found liable often set up a settlement fund that is then distributed among the plaintiffs. Each person’s case is evaluated based on factors like injury type, exposure proof, and medical history.
Cases are then grouped into severity tiers. Those with the most severe damages or direct links to AFFF exposure receive higher payouts, while cases with less direct links or damages might get lesser amounts. As a result, the amount of compensation available can vary from person to person.
AFFF firefighting lawsuits will likely resolve in this manner. To make sure that you recover the settlement that you need to recover, it is essential to work with an attorney who can help estimate the value of your damages. Your specialized mass torts attorney from Estey & Bomberger, LLP will explore all potential avenues to compensation in order to recover the settlement that you deserve.
How Long Do You Have to File a Legal Claim?
When pursuing any type of lawsuit, it is important to be aware of the statute of limitations. This law sets the maximum period after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated. For product liability claims like mass tort lawsuits, this time frame can vary from state to state.
For instance, in California, you have a window of two years to file your claim. In contrast, Nevada offers a longer duration of four years, while New York sets the limit at three years. If you do not file your lawsuit within the required time frame, the court will most likely dismiss your case and prevent you from seeking compensation.
To protect your right to recovery, prompt legal action is very important. An AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit attorney from Estey & Bomberger, LLP can advise you on the specific time limits for your state. If you qualify for a lawsuit, we can help initiate your claim before the deadline passes.
Contact the Attorneys at Estey & Bomberger, LLP Today
The risks associated with AFFF firefighting foam have left many with severe health problems. If you have been harmed by this defective product, the lawyers at Estey & Bomberger, LLP can stand by your side and fight for your right to fair compensation.
Contact us today by calling (800) 260-7197 or completing our online contact form to discuss your next steps with an AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit attorney.