Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) is a fire suppressant that helps extinguish fires resulting from flammable gasses and liquids. The negative aspect of this foam is that it is very toxic, with 50% to 98% of PFAS (Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances).
It is a cluster of 9,000 toxic chemicals and once exposed to these poisonous chemicals, humans can develop chronic ailments, most notably cancer. Typically, volunteer firefighters, civilian contractors, and military firefighters are at high risk of developing fatal ailments due to AFFF exposure.
The formula used to manufacture AFFF goes way back in time! It was invented in 1967 by the 3M Company and the U.S. Navy. Even if one gets exposed to PFAS in small amounts, they will face severe health hazards. The list of diseases includes liver cancer, bladder cancer, leukemia, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid disease, low birth weight, liver damage, and many more.
People who have been affected by this toxic foam have filed a lawsuit and pursued legal action. There has been much progress in these lawsuits, and the recent class action lawsuit developments seem to be in favor of the plaintiffs. In this article, we will discuss the recent lawsuit updates and determine whether you qualify to file one.
Recent Updates for AFFF Lawsuit 2023
Often, people who want to file an AFFF lawsuit are in two minds about whether they would receive the fair compensation that they deserve. However, recent developments in this domain might help victims make an informed decision.
October 2023: 6,000 Cases in Total
Mid-October witnessed an entry of 111 recent cases into class action lawsuits. Even though several cases were resolved via settlement early this year, recently the number increased to over 6,000.
That aside, a new study established that people who suffer from AFFF exposure have 56% high risk of thyroid cancer. The outcome of this study proves to be beneficial for plaintiffs who are filing their legal complaints.
November 2023: Parties In a Lawsuit Choose Bellwether Discovery Pool Cases
Based on an order that got passed in October, parties to the lawsuit had a deadline of November 14th to share a bellwether candidate list. This list could have been used for any discovery related to a specific case, which can lead to a minimal quantity of personal injury trials.
TorHoerman Law states that if you or anyone you know has suffered from AFFF exposure and has developed chronic ailments, it is necessary to file a lawsuit. But to get started joining hands with a lawyer is crucial, as they can guide you effectively and also ensure that you get the justice you deserve. The lawyers ensure they use substantial evidence that can make your case stronger, which will help in drawing compensation for victims to cover their sufferings.
Filing the Lawsuit: Are You Eligible?
People eligible to file an AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit are police, military personnel, and firefighters. They have been subjected to this hazardous foam daily for several years to cater to work protocols and have developed cancer or any other fatal ailment.
To file a legal complaint, it is necessary to have medical records that will support the claim. The medical proof should establish that you suffered mental, physical, and financial damages due to your ailment.
Some types of cancer that people exposed to AFFF suffer from include:
- Prostate cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Liver cancer
- Breast cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
A study conducted in May 2012 pointed out that the PFAS molecules resulted in reduced bone density, which can lead to orthopedic problems and bone fractures. For male firefighters, testicular cancer is one of the major health threats. There have been statistics that reveal that almost one in six firefighters has cancer. Female firefighters often develop bladder, kidney, and liver cancer. Even though rare, there have been a few instances of both genders suffering from two or more types of cancers.
Therefore, to qualify for filing a lawsuit, you must:
- Have records of using AFFF daily on job premises after 1960
- Get a medical diagnosis linked with PFAS exposure
- Have been moved away from a military unit rather shamefully
You need to ensure that no family history links to the disease you are suffering from. Also, minors aren’t eligible for the compensation. However, it is always best for victims to check with a lawyer about their eligibility to file a legal complaint and take steps accordingly.
To wrap up, AFFF exposure is one of the leading causes of cancer amongst men and women in the firefighting industry, military, and Air Force domain. Hence, these professionals must keep a tab on their health status to determine if they are affected by the toxic foam. If they have medical evidence to prove that their ailment results from exposure to AFFF, seeking legal recourse is a must.