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Alaska Firefighter Foam Lawsuit: Get the Right Attorney

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

The Alaska firefighter foam lawsuit is part of a broader legal landscape that addresses the serious health implications associated with AFFF exposure among firefighters and military personnel.

This litigation explores the progression of the lawsuit, the stakeholders involved, and the potential consequences for those exposed to the carcinogenic PFAS chemicals.

If you or a loved one have suffered due to exposure to firefighting foam, the law firm of Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is prepared to assist. Known for our proficiency in representing plaintiffs, our main concern is to make sure that you secure the justice and rightful compensation to which you are entitled.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits

Firefighting foam, previously considered a trusted tool among firefighters, has become the target of thousands of lawsuits nationwide. The firefighting foam lawsuits are a significant part of multi-district litigation (MDL) with 6,715 pending cases as of January 15, 2024, according to Consumer Notice Organization [1].

The progression of litigation is dynamic, adding 227 new cases in December 2023 and an astonishing 111 lawsuits in the past 30 days.

Among these is the Fort Wainwright toxic exposure lawsuit, a recent legal action that underscores the involvement of local communities in the broader litigation.

Key Points from Lawsuits

Despite each lawsuit having its unique narrative, certain key points surface, helping to outline the broader litigation landscape. One such case is the City of Stuart v. 3M Company et al., an individual AF lawsuit concerning municipal water contamination.

In light of the recent Senate Bill, the trial is scheduled to start on June 5, 2023, marking a significant milestone in the ongoing litigation.

As a collective, the lawsuits insist that manufacturers, such as 3M and DuPont, compensate for damages and address the PFAS contamination linked to AFFF.

Moreover, evidence suggests that these manufacturers, including 3M and DuPont, were aware of the potential toxicity of PFAS chemicals as early as the 1970s but failed to warn the public or take preventative action.

What Is AFFF?

AFFF is also known as Aqueous Film Forming Foam, more is a Class B firefighting foam. It’s specifically used for battling Class B fires, which involve flammable liquids [2]. In Alaska, military entities extensively use AFFF, exposing firefighters and servicemembers to harmful PFAS chemicals associated with cancer.

While Class A firefighting foams are significantly less toxic, AF contains dangerous chemicals that can have serious health implications. There are multiple varieties of AF produced and sold by both domestic and international companies, which points to its broad presence in the market.

Who Are The Defendants In AFFF Lawsuits in Alaska?

The defendants in AFFF lawsuits in Alaska are major AFFF manufacturers like DuPont and 3M. They are currently under intense legal scrutiny.

These entities are accused of possessing knowledge about the health risks associated with polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in firefighting foams. Still, despite this, they continued to market these products without issuing sufficient warnings.

These entities are accused of knowing about the health risks associated with polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in firefighting foams, but they continued to sell these products without providing adequate warnings.

By producing and selling AFFF with harmful PFAS, these manufacturers are potentially liable for endangering the health of military personnel, firefighters, and industrial workers through exposure to these chemicals. The list of manufacturers named in lawsuits includes:

  • Chemguard
  • Tyco Fire Products
  • Corteva Inc.
  • Several others

This highlights the number of entities involved in the distribution of toxic AFFF products.

The link between firefighting foam and cancer poses a bleak reality for many firefighters and military staff, according to a 2024 study by VFW [3]. The culprits are PFAS chemicals present in AF, which have been linked to various types of cancers.

Medical literature dating back to the early 1990s indicates that PFAS-containing firefighting foam can be extremely harmful to human health, contributing to over a dozen types of cancers.

Firefighters, particularly those stationed at airports and military bases, are at an increased risk. Their exposure to AF can lead to a higher likelihood of developing cancer, necessitating close health monitoring.

The risk of developing cancer from PFAS exposure is influenced by the amount and duration of exposure, with occupational exposure posing a higher risk than environmental exposure.

Does Firefighting Foam Contain PFAS?

Firefighting foam does contain PFAS, which is harmful to human health and has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. While the use of PFAS in AF is being phased out, it is still used in many parts of the U.S. and around the world.

PFAS chemicals in AF, such as PFOS and PFOA, have been found to primarily settle in the blood, kidney, and liver, which can contribute to the development of cancers and other diseases. Although PFAS-containing AF is no longer manufactured in the United States, the health risks associated with past exposure to these chemicals linger.

Common Injuries Linked To Firefighting Foam PFAS

PFAS in AF is associated with a wide array of health issues, including various types of cancers like:

Firefighters, especially those who work in airports and military bases, are particularly at risk due to their frequent use of AF and the high-intensity fires they battle. It is important to minimize exposure to these forever chemicals to protect your health.

ADEC has identified PFOS and PFOA and several other PFAS found in AFFF as hazardous substances. – Department of Environmental Conservation.

Who Qualifies for the AFFF Lawsuit in Alaska?

Firefighters, military personnel, and residents living near contaminated sites, who can demonstrate illness due to extended exposure to AFFF, may qualify to file the AFFF lawsuit in Alaska.

Individuals harmed by AF cancer, including military veterans eligible for VA disability benefits, can seek compensation for medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

How Do AFFF Lawsuits Work?

AFFF lawsuits work by falling under multi-district litigation (MDL) in Alaska. This process allows for the consolidation of individual claims, such as cancer and water contamination, during pretrial processes while still preserving their individuality.

In MDL, plaintiffs can achieve significant compensation tailored to their circumstances rather than receiving a smaller, standardized settlement common in class action lawsuits.

Attorneys handling AFFF lawsuits may advance costs for litigation expenses such as medical records acquisition and expert testimony. These costs are usually reimbursed from the awarded settlement or judgment if the case is successful.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits Settlement Amounts in Alaska

Successful plaintiffs in AFFF lawsuits could secure compensation for a variety of damages, including medical expenses, pain, suffering, and lost earnings as a result of AFFF-associated cancers.

The average settlement amounts for plaintiffs with strong AFFF cases in the top settlement tier are anticipated to be in the range of $300,000 to $600,000.

Settlement announcements for some individual AFFF plaintiffs are speculated to occur in the first half of 2023. Attorneys representing clients in AFFF lawsuits typically work on a contingency fee basis and will receive a percentage of the settlement or judgment as their payment.

Potential Compensation for Victims of Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits in Alaska

Victims of firefighting foam cancer in Alaska may be entitled to financial compensation for cancers linked to AF/PFAS chemicals.

Firefighting foam lawyers in Alaska assert the rights of victims and seek compensation on their behalf, with the scientific linkage between fire foam chemicals and cancer potentially being proven in firefighting foam lawsuit cases to obtain judgment for compensation.

Qualified claims for compensation may be filed in court or submitted to the defendants for settlement, including claims against the 3M company and affiliated entities that manufacture or facilitate the sale of AFFF/PFAS firefighting foam.

Filing an Alaska Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit

Submitting an AF lawsuit in Alaska requires the provision of evidence relating to exposure and illness. Occupational exposure to PFAS in AF firefighting foam has been scientifically linked to certain types of cancer, including kidney cancer. The causation evidence connecting kidney cancer to AFFF exposure is solid, making kidney cancer cases strong in AFFF lawsuits.

AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits involving kidney cancer can be filed by individuals diagnosed after years of regular exposure to firefighting foam. Settlements of AF firefighting foam lawsuits are typically resolved in a global settlement with tiered compensation based on the severity of exposure and type of cancer.

Types of Evidence To Present

In an AFFF lawsuit, various pieces of evidence might bolster your case. AFFF manufacturers like DuPont and 3M knew for decades about the dangers of PFAS to human health and the environment but continued to profit from their products. Evidence in AFFF lawsuits may include:

  • Medical records
  • Cancer diagnosis information
  • Employment records
  • Personal and witness testimony
  • Any other information validating exposure to firefighting foam.

Studies published in reputable journals like the Journal of the American Medical Association and the International Journal of Cancer can be used as evidence, as they establish associations between PFAS exposure and various cancers.

The classification of certain PFAS chemicals as possible carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and health advisories by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can support the causation argument in AFFF lawsuits.

Alaska Statute of Limitations

Time is of the essence when filing a lawsuit. Typically, the statute of limitations for lodging an AFFF lawsuit spans 2-3 years from the date of the injury.

Potential claimants need to contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure they meet the applicable time limits for filing an AFFF lawsuit.

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Have you or a loved one been injured or exposed to a toxic chemical at work or in the home that has caused a severe life-threatening side effect, illness, disease, or death?

Get Your Free Consultation From Alaska Firefighter Foam Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been affected by the health implications of firefighting foam exposure, Schmidt & Clark, LLP stands ready to assist. Our team, seasoned in handling such cases, will walk you through each step of the process.

It’s crucial to understand your legal rights and determine if you qualify for a firefighting foam lawsuit. Rest assured, our consultations are always complimentary, and you will not incur any fees unless we secure a favorable outcome for your case. Our commitment to your case is as steadfast as if we were representing our own family.

Reach out to Schmidt & Clark today for a comprehensive review of your firefighting foam-related case. Let us be your trusted partner in navigating this complex situation.

Reference:

  1. https://www.consumernotice.org/legal/afff-lawsuits/
  2. https://dec.alaska.gov/spar/csp/pfas/firefighting-foam
  3. https://vfw.org/media-and-events/latest-releases/archives/2024/1/study-finds-firefighting-foam-linked-to-testicular-cancer

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