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Arkansas Firefighter Foam Lawsuit: Get the Right Attorney

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

Recent developments in the Arkansas firefighter foam lawsuit have impacted those exposed to AFFF’s harmful PFAS chemicals. This legal action targets manufacturers for neglecting to warn firefighters of the associated cancer risks.

Whether you’re seeking to understand if you’re eligible, how the lawsuit works, or what compensation might be involved, this article provides a comprehensive overview of the current situation and what it could mean for Arkansas firefighters.

If you or a loved one have experienced harm due to exposure to firefighting foam, Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is here to provide support.

With a reputation for effectively representing plaintiffs, our primary commitment is to help you achieve the justice you deserve and secure the rightful compensation you are entitled to.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits

AFFF lawsuits in Arkansas primarily target manufacturers like 3M, DuPont, and other producers of firefighting foam. These companies are under fire for alleged negligence and failure to warn about the cancer risks associated with PFAS chemicals in their AFFF products.

Central to these claims is the belief that these manufacturers were aware of the potential toxicity of PFAS as early as the 1970s, yet they failed to provide adequate warnings or necessary personal protective gear recommendations.

Plaintiffs allege that exposure to PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam is linked to a variety of cancers, including kidney, testicular, and pancreatic cancer, among others. With such grave accusations at their doorstep, these manufacturers face a mounting number of personal injury cases.

Key Points from Lawsuits

The crux of AFFF lawsuits lies in the claim that manufacturers like 3M and DuPont have been aware of PFAS toxicity since the 1970s but haven’t taken appropriate actions to mitigate the risks.

Instead, they continued to manufacture and sell AFFF products, exposing countless firefighters and military personnel to dangerous chemicals. These allegations of negligence form the backbone of the filed AFFF lawsuits, stirring up a storm of legal battles across the nation.

While these lawsuits are filed across various states, a significant number have been consolidated under a multi-district litigation (MDL) in South Carolina federal court. This process streamlines complex litigation by consolidating cases that share common factual questions.

What Is AFFF?

AFFF is a type of firefighting foam used primarily by airport and military firefighters to extinguish fires effectively [1]. It’s known for its effectiveness in fighting oil and fuel fires, which are common in aviation accidents. But it’s not the fire-fighting properties that are under scrutiny; it’s the toxic chemicals within.

AFFF contains a group of artificial chemicals known as PFAS (Polyfluoroalkyl Substances), including PFOA and PFOS, which have been linked to various health issues.

Who Are The Defendants In AFFF Lawsuits in Arkansas?

The defendants in AFFF lawsuits in Arkansas include prominent AFFF manufacturers such as 3M, DuPont, Buckeye Fire Protection, and Tyco Fire Products. These companies are being sued for their alleged negligence and failure to warn about the health risks associated with their firefighting foam products.

The AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits allege that these manufacturers were negligent in the design, manufacture, and sale of AFFF, failing to inform consumers about the serious health risks of exposure properly.

One of the pivotal aspects of these firefighting foam lawsuit cases is the alleged link between firefighting foam and various types of cancer, according to a 2023 study by the Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics [2]. Research indicates firefighters face an elevated risk for multiple types of cancer, including:

These findings have been consistent since the early 1990s, with medical studies recognizing PFAS chemicals in AFFF as carcinogenic.

This link between PFAS-laced AFFF exposure and heightened cancer risk in firefighters emphasizes the pressing need for additional research on these health effects.

Does Firefighting Foam Contain PFAS?

Firefighting foam does contain PFAS chemicals, which are known for their resistance to breaking down in the environment, leading to their nickname ‘forever chemicals’ [3]. These chemicals, including PFOA and PFOS, have been classified as potential human carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Exposure to PFAS is associated with a range of adverse health effects, including reproductive and developmental harm, hormonal disruption, and various forms of cancer.

Current studies are underway to more directly assess the health risks associated with PFAS, including their potential links to cancers, thyroid disease, and pregnancy-induced conditions.

Common Injuries Linked To Firefighting Foam PFAS

Given that AFFF contains potentially carcinogenic PFAS chemicals, understanding the common injuries associated with this exposure becomes vital. A variety of cancers, including kidney, testicular, and pancreatic cancers, are often associated with prolonged exposure to PFAS in firefighting foam [4].

Apart from these cancers, PFAS exposure can lead to:

  • liver damage
  • kidney damage
  • immune system dysfunction
  • reproductive issues, such as adverse effects on fetal development and fertility

These wide-ranging health issues paint a grim picture of the potential harm caused by PFAS-based firefighting foams, such as aqueous film-forming foam.

Occupational exposure of firefighters to carcinogenic chemicals may increase their risk of developing different types of cancer. – National Library of Medicine.

Who Qualifies for the AFFF Lawsuit in Arkansas?

Individuals who have proof of extended exposure to the toxic fire-fighting foam and a diagnosis of cancer-related illness to PFAS chemical exposure qualify for the AFFF lawsuit in Arkansas.

This means that Arkansas residents who have developed cancer such as kidney cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, bladder cancer, or liver cancer after exposure to AFFF foam may qualify for a lawsuit.

Individuals who have a history of using AFFF foam, particularly firefighters or military personnel, and have been diagnosed with a qualifying type of cancer are eligible to file an AFFF cancer lawsuit.

Family members of persons who have been diagnosed with cancer due to AFFF exposure and meet the criteria can also be entitled to compensation through filing AFFF lawsuits.

How Do AFFF Lawsuits Work?

AFFF lawsuits work by generally gathering evidence, filing a complaint, and seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The strength of the evidence and the extent of the damage directly impact the lawsuit’s outcome and potential compensation.

Once the lawsuit is filed and served to the defendants, the discovery phase follows, where both sides exchange information and evidence related to the case. Negotiations may take place to settle to compensate the plaintiff without going to trial. However, if a settlement is not reached, the case may go to trial.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits Settlement Amounts in Arkansas

While the process may seem complex, the potential compensation for a firefighter foam lawsuit could be substantial. Previous mass tort cases involving cancer settlements suggest that top-tier AFFF firefighting foam cases may see average settlement amounts ranging from $300,000 to $600,000.

These figures are not guaranteed, and actual settlement ranges for individual claims can vary based on the specifics of each case.

Lower-tier cases, with less occupational exposure or a diagnosis of less severe types of cancer, are estimated to have a potential settlement value of $150,000 to $280,000. The extent of the plaintiff’s AFFF exposure, such as the frequency and duration of use, will be a critical factor in determining the potential settlement payout.

Potential Compensation for Victims of Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits in Arkansas

Although the settlement amounts can offer some relief, it’s important to comprehend the scope of these compensations. Damages claimed in AFFF lawsuits can cover the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost earning ability
  • Other compensatory and punitive damages.

Moreover, punitive damages are potentially recoverable in these lawsuits if evidence shows that the defendant’s actions were willfully negligent or deliberately harmful. This means that the compensation could not only cover the financial burdens associated with the health conditions but also serve as a form of justice for the victims.

Filing an Arkansas Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit

The initial step involves reaching out to an attorney promptly to guarantee that the claim falls within the state-specified time constraints for an AFFF lawsuit. Victims of AFFF exposure can have their employment history evaluated for free to verify the use of firefighting foam.

Upon initiating the AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit, it’s crucial to include all pertinent details, such as exposure dates, symptoms, and incurred costs, in the complaint. An AFFF lawsuit could secure compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and losses that resulted from firefighting foam-related cancer.

Types of Evidence To Present

In lawsuit filing, the evidence submitted significantly influences the result. Critical evidence for AFFF lawsuits includes:

  • Medical records
  • Cancer diagnosis information
  • Employment records
  • History of AFFF exposure
  • Personal and witness testimonies

Arkansas Statute of Limitation

It should be noted that legal time constraints exist within which victims are required to file their AFFF lawsuits. In most states, the statute of limitations for filing an AFFF lawsuit is typically 2-3 years from the date of injury.

However, Arkansas has a “discovery rule” that may extend the statute of limitations to allow the filing of a lawsuit until the plaintiff becomes aware of the injury and its connection to the defendant’s negligence.

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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 Arkansas Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawyers

If you or a loved one have suffered due to exposure to toxic firefighting foam, Schmidt & Clark, LLP is ready to assist. We specialize in handling such cases and are committed to guiding you at every step.

It’s crucial to know your legal rights and determine your eligibility for a firefighting foam lawsuit. We offer free consultations, and we won’t charge you unless we secure a favorable result for your case.

Reach out to Schmidt & Clark today for a comprehensive review of your firefighting foam-related case. Allow us to be your dependable partner in this challenging journey.

Reference:

  1. https://dec.alaska.gov/spar/csp/pfas/firefighting-foam
  2. https://dceg.cancer.gov/research/what-we-study/pfas
  3. https://cleanwater.org/pfas-containing-firefighting-foams
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10698640/

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