For years, Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) has been utilized by firefighters, including military and civilian units, to extinguish fires during actual events and training exercises in various organizations.
Unfortunately, several of the compounds found in AFFF can accumulate in the body over time and cause harm to people's health. Exposure to these toxic chemicals in firefighting foam can significantly increase the risk of developing severe, life-threatening diseases like cancer.
Suppose you have received cancer or any other medical diagnosis due to exposure to the dangerous chemicals in firefighting foam. In that case, you may qualify to file an AFFF lawsuit against the responsible manufacturers, including Tyco, 3M, Dupont, and other companies.
Get Legal Help from Clinton O. Middleton Attorney At Law
Clinton O. Middleton Attorney At Law, is dedicated to assisting individuals who have suffered from severe illnesses caused by exposure to AFFF foam in obtaining the compensation they deserve. This includes airport and military firefighters, local first responders, and residents residing near locations where AFFF foam was utilized.
If you have been exposed to firefighting foam and have received a cancer diagnosis related to AFFF exposure, don't hesitate to contact the knowledgeable Clinton O. Middleton, Attorney At Law, to understand your legal options.
AFFF Foam Lawsuits Consolidated into MDL
All pending AFFF foam lawsuits in federal court have been combined into multidistrict litigation (MDL), with Judge Richard M. Gergel presiding over the proceedings in the US Federal Court for the District of South Carolina. The aim of the MDL is to streamline the pre-trial and discovery processes by bringing all federal AFFF lawsuits filed in different circuits across the United States in front of one judge.
Although some may refer to the case as an AFFF class action lawsuit, it is, in fact, an MDL. Unlike class action lawsuits, AFFF fire fighting foam lawsuits involve various types of cancer and medical issues resulting from AFFF exposure.
The Use of AFFF in Firefighting and Its Potential Risks
Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) is a firefighting agent that forms a protective layer to extinguish fires that cannot be put out by water alone. AFFF contains perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS) that aid in extinguishing fires. Despite the known cancer risks associated with these chemicals, they are still present in some firefighting foams.
Although AFFF was developed to suppress fires faster than other methods, its potential risks may outweigh its usefulness, particularly if the chemicals seep into groundwater or runoff into nearby land, posing severe hazards for residents.
Due to the hazardous conditions that exist on ships and aircraft, the Department of Defense uses firefighting foam. AFFF acts quickly by spreading over the fuel's surface, depriving the fire of oxygen, and quickly extinguishing even significant fires. Additionally, the foam prevents the hot fuel from reigniting. Currently, only AFFF containing PFAS chemicals can put out dangerous fuel fires quickly and keep them out.
Lack of Awareness of AFFF Foam Dangers Among Firefighters
Most people who experience high levels of exposure to AFFF foam are firefighters. Unfortunately, many firefighters are not informed about the possible hazards linked to the use of AFFF or exposure to PFAS. In addition, while firefighters receive training on specific firefighting procedures, they are not given adequate warnings about the long-term effects of exposure to firefighting foam. This lack of awareness can put firefighters at risk of future health problems.
AFFF Foam Exposure and Its Impact on Groundwater and Drinking Water
AFFF foam has a slow degradation rate, and it can persist in the environment for thousands of years without significant breakdown, potentially leading to hazardous exposure to harmful chemicals for local citizens. This is especially true in areas where it was frequently used, such as Navy bases or firefighter training grounds.
Private citizens who believe they may have been exposed to harmful chemicals from AFFF and are now facing cancer should consult their doctors and consider consulting with a lawyer to gain a better understanding of their legal rights and the damage caused by these chemicals. It is crucial to understand the long-term effects of AFFF on local areas and take necessary precautions to ensure public safety.
Holding AFFF Foam Manufacturers Accountable for Public Safety
Many companies using AFFF firefighting foam, including local fire departments, may have been unaware of the potential side effects of the chemicals. However, some companies producing fire suppression systems have known about the dangers for decades and failed to take necessary steps to protect the public, including firefighters risking their lives to suppress fires.
Clinton O. Middleton Attorney At Law, is dedicated to pursuing compensation for victims who have faced severe diagnoses and symptoms due to AFFF exposure. We are evaluating claims, assessing the challenges faced by affected individuals and holding AFFF foam manufacturers accountable for public safety. Feel free to contact us for a consultation and determine if you qualify to join the firefighting foam lawsuit settlement.
The Dangers of PFAS Chemicals and their Impact on Water Supply
PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances), also known as "forever chemicals," are hazardous chemicals that can take years to break down. Exposure to PFAS has been linked to various types of cancer, including kidney, prostate, thyroid, ovarian, endometrial, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, pancreatic, leukemia, and testicular cancer. AFFF firefighting foam, containing PFAS chemicals, has also been linked to thyroid issues and changes in the immune system.
PFAS chemicals typically contaminate the soil and, eventually, the water supply, which is expensive and challenging to remediate. As a result, individuals residing in the affected regions frequently face continuous exposure to these harmful chemicals and known cancer-causing agents, primarily through consuming and using contaminated water for bathing purposes.
According to a study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nearly 900 uses of AFFF products or spills containing firefighting foam have entered various U.S. waterways, resulting in the pollution of water resources with hazardous chemicals and recognized carcinogens. Therefore, it is essential to understand the dangers of PFAS chemicals and their impact on the water supply to ensure public health and safety.
What You Need for an AFFF Lawsuit
If you are planning to file an AFFF lawsuit, you will need to work closely with a personal injury attorney to understand your legal rights and gather the necessary information. The following are some essential elements you will need for your case:
Medical records: Your medical records will help establish your diagnosis, the severity of your symptoms, and the treatments you received for your cancer.
Medical bills: Make sure to gather all medical bills linked to your cancer diagnosis and treatment, which may include bills for tests, follow-up appointments, cancer treatments, and any medical procedures undergone.
Evidence of your AFFF exposure: You will need to provide evidence of your exposure to AFFF, including when and where it occurred, such as working as a firefighter or consuming groundwater contaminated with AFFF chemicals.
An experienced AFFF foam attorney can assist you in collecting this data and constructing a compelling case to seek damages for your injuries.
How Employment Records Can Help Prove AFFF Exposure
Employment records can play a crucial role in proving AFFF exposure, particularly for firefighters. If you worked as a firefighter, whether as a volunteer or a professional, your employment records can show when and where you may have faced exposure to AFFF. If you were employed as a firefighter at an airport or in the Navy, your employment records could also serve as evidence of your exposure to harmful chemicals.
An experienced attorney can help investigate your claim, assess the chemicals used in your workplace, and review any cases of direct exposure. By gathering and presenting the necessary evidence, including employment records, an attorney can help build a strong case to pursue compensation for the injuries caused by AFFF exposure.
Basic Elements of AFFF Litigation for Cancer Patients
If you have been diagnosed with cancer due to PFAS exposure, it's essential to contact an experienced personal injury attorney with AFFF experience. They can provide an overview of the compensation you deserve and determine who may be responsible for paying it. AFFF litigation due to exposure to carcinogens includes the following basic elements:
Medical Bills: Cancer treatment bills can add up quickly, including long hospitalizations, multiple procedures, surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. Some patients may require expensive immunotherapy or palliative care to alleviate their symptoms.
Lost Wages: Cancer patients may have to take time off work temporarily, causing them to miss out on substantial amounts of their regular wages. While some patients may work part-time, others may find it challenging to balance their cancer treatments while working full-time.
Pain and Suffering: Cancer patients undergo a significant amount of pain and suffering during treatments, affecting their daily lives and causing them to miss out on important activities, relationships, and events.
Discuss with your attorney how to include the pain and suffering you have faced due to your diagnosis as part of your lawsuit.
The Negligence of AFFF Manufacturers in Protecting Firefighters
As a firefighter, you took on the job of protecting people and properties. If you were employed as a firefighter at an airport or in the Navy, you might have been regularly exposed to high levels of dangerous chemicals like PFAS during your duties. Unfortunately, the companies that manufactured AFFF did not take the necessary steps to protect you from exposure to those chemicals.
Although AFFF can still be used with proper protective gear and safety measures, the potential dangers posed by fires may be greater than the possible risks of exposure to AFFF. But manufacturers did not take the necessary steps to protect firefighters or private citizens who may have come into contact with those chemicals.
If you were diagnosed with cancer as a result of your AFFF exposure, you deserve compensation for the losses you faced. Get in touch with Clinton O. Middleton Attorney At Law to understand your legal entitlement to compensation via the worldwide firefighting foam settlement.
Anticipated AFFF Lawsuit Settlement
Manufacturers of AFFF are currently preparing for bellwether trials, the first of which is set to occur in April 2023. These trials enable both sides to assess how juries may evaluate similar cases within the AFFF MDL. However, once several bellwether trials have been decided, it is expected that one side will initiate discussions for a potential AFFF settlement, this could prevent multiple lawsuits from being filed in either direction.
The AFFF lawsuit settlement is expected to be based on several categories, including the type and severity of cancer. While it is still early to predict an accurate settlement value, past mass tort cases may provide some insight. It is estimated that the average AFFF lawsuit settlement value will exceed $150,000.00, and the average jury verdict can exceed $1,000,000.00. However, only a small percentage of mass tort cases go to trial due to the associated risks and costs.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Seek Compensation for AFFF Exposure
Exposure to AFFF and the resulting cancer diagnosis can be a challenging and stressful time for anyone. Nonetheless, collaborating with a skilled personal injury lawyer can assist you in pursuing the rightful compensation for any kind of personal injury lawsuit. In addition, an attorney can provide valuable advice, fight for you, and provide peace of mind throughout the process. Here's how:
Legal Advice: An attorney can help you understand your legal rights to compensation and advise you on how much compensation you deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney can also assist you in determining whether you should join a class action lawsuit or pursue compensation independently. An attorney can also provide guidance on when to accept a settlement offer and how it may impact your financial future.
Fighting for You: Companies may respond more to attorneys than to private individuals, and an attorney can help fight for the compensation you deserve. They can also take your claim to court if necessary and fight aggressively for your rights.
Peace of Mind: A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, and an attorney can help provide peace of mind throughout the process. Collaborating with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer enables you to concentrate on your healing process instead of dealing with legal matters.
In conclusion, if you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer after exposure to AFFF, contacting a personal injury attorney can help you seek the compensation you deserve.
No matter where you live in the United States, contact the Law Offices of Clinton O. Middleton for a free consultation and case evaluation at 703-777-9630.