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California Firefighter Foam Lawsuit: Get the Right Attorney

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

Californian firefighters have been battling blazes and potentially life-threatening health risks from AFFF, leading to critical lawsuits in 2024.

This article cuts through the complexities of the California firefighter foam lawsuit, updating you on the status of these lawsuits, the allegations, and the compensations that have marked the justice journey for those exposed.

If you or a loved one have experienced harm due to exposure to firefighting foam, Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is prepared to lend a hand.

Known for our proficiency in advocating for plaintiffs, our primary concern is to ensure you secure the justice you are entitled to and the rightful compensation you deserve.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits

Firefighting foam, specifically AFFF firefighting foam, has been under scrutiny for its potential health risks. AFFF lawsuits are not a rarity in California, with over 3,300 AFFF cases filed to date, including those related to the firefighting foam lawsuit.

These AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits primarily aim to seek compensation for cancer and health issues caused by exposure to AFFF, which contains toxic PFAS chemicals.

The connection between AFFF and various types of cancers has sparked considerable concerns among both health and legal communities, leading to an increase in AFFF foam lawsuits.

These firefighting foam lawsuits, part of the AFFF firefighting foam MDL, play a crucial role in instigating change. They hold manufacturers accountable, aiming to limit further exposure to the toxic firefighting foam, thereby safeguarding the health of firefighters and others who may encounter AFFF.

Key Points from Lawsuits

The accusations brought forward in the AFFF lawsuits are serious, pointing fingers at well-known manufacturers such as DuPont, 3M, Chemours, Tyco Fire Products, and Corteva Inc. These companies are charged with negligence and irresponsibility.

The lawsuits allege that these corporations were aware of the hazardous effects of PFAS chemicals in AFFF but chose to continue their production and distribution, thus putting countless lives at risk.

Exposure to AFFF can lead to serious and multiple health issues, including hormonal disturbances, congenital disabilities, and an increased likelihood of various cancers. These severe health consequences form a critical component of AFFF lawsuits, with victims seeking justice and compensation for their extensive health challenges.

What Is AFFF?

AFFF is a type of firefighting foam specifically designed to extinguish flammable liquid fires. It is also known as aqueous film-forming foam [1]. Introduced in the 1960s, AFFF suppresses flammable liquid vapor, effectively suffocating the fire and preventing it from spreading.

Despite its effectiveness in firefighting, AFFF has become a significant subject of concern owing to the health risks associated with its use.

The main culprits behind these health risks are PFAS (Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances), toxic chemicals found in AFFF. PFAS are known to cause several health issues, including:

  • an increased risk of cancer
  • liver damage
  • immune system dysfunction
  • developmental delays in children

The unfortunate reality is that these chemicals have been present in firefighting foam for decades, exposing countless individuals to their harmful effects.

Despite the acknowledged risks, the usage of AFFF continues, resulting in continuous exposure and possible harm. The escalating AFFF lawsuits underscore the immediate requirement for awareness and measures to alleviate this public health concern.

Who Are The Defendants In AFFF Lawsuits in California?

The defendants in AFFF lawsuits in California are several companies, with DuPont and 3M being the most recurrent and notable among them.

It is claimed that 3M knew the harmful effects of PFAS and their link to cancer as far back as the 1990s. Despite this knowledge, they allegedly failed to inform the public or take necessary safety measures, thereby causing soil and water contamination in many communities.

But the list of defendants doesn’t end with DuPont and 3M. AFFF lawsuits in California have implicated a broader range of manufacturers and suppliers, suggesting that the problem of AFFF exposure extends beyond just a few companies.

The foundation of AFFF lawsuits rests on the apparent association between AFFF exposure and the onset of cancer. This relationship is linked to the presence of PFAS, detrimental chemicals found in AFFF.

Regular or long-term exposure to PFAS can significantly increase the risk of developing various types of cancers, attesting to the toxicity of these chemicals [2].

The very chemicals that make AFFF effective in firefighting are the ones that pose a serious health risk. This grim irony underscores the complexity and urgency of the situation. Firefighters, in the course of their duty, are unwittingly exposed to these harmful chemicals, placing them at an increased risk of:

Comprehending this correlation between AFFF exposure and health issues, such as prostate cancer, is essential to acknowledge the scale of the prevailing issue.

The health implications of AFFF exposure are not just a concern for those directly exposed to the foam but also for communities where the toxic chemicals have contaminated the water supply.

Does Firefighting Foam Contain PFAS?

Firefighting foam does contain PFAS. These chemicals are added to Class B firefighting foam because of their effectiveness in extinguishing fires. However, their use in firefighting training is now prohibited, given the known health risks according to a 2023 study by Clean Water Organization [3].

PFAS pose a threat to humans. Coming into contact with these chemicals can result in a host of health issues, such as:

  • immune system disruption
  • liver damage
  • low birth weight in infants
  • a heightened cancer risk

The presence of these chemicals in AFFF, therefore, makes the foam a significant health hazard, leading to the numerous lawsuits we see today.

Common Injuries Linked To Firefighting Foam PFAS

Exposure to PFAS in firefighting foam can lead to a range of health problems, including:

  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Liver damage
  • Immune system disruption
  • Increased risk of various cancers

The potent toxicity of PFAS chemicals makes even minor exposure a potential health risk.

PFAS is one of the major classes of carcinogenic chemicals that firefighters are exposed to as occupational hazard. – National Library of Medicine.

Furthermore, PFAS exposure can lead to reproductive issues and developmental problems in babies and children. This means that the harmful effects of these chemicals can extend beyond the individual exposed, impacting future generations. These wide-ranging health risks highlight the urgency of addressing the issue of PFAS in firefighting foam.

Who Qualifies for the AFFF Lawsuit in California?

A California resident who has been exposed to AFFF and subsequently developed cancer or other health problems qualifies for the AFFF lawsuit in California.

This includes U.S. military service members who have used standard 3M Combat Arms Earplugs or anyone who has been exposed to PFAS and developed specific conditions.

Health problems linked to AFFF exposure include:

  • Hormonal disturbances.
  • Serious diseases like kidney cancer.
  • An increased risk of various types of cancer due to the toxic chemicals in AFFF.

If you or a loved one have been exposed to AFFF and are suffering from any such health issues, it’s important to seek legal advice promptly.

Initiating an AFFF lawsuit can be a complex process. However, with the right legal guidance, victims can successfully navigate through the legal maze and secure the compensation they deserve for their pain and suffering.

How Do AFFF Lawsuits Work?

AFFF lawsuits work with the initiation of the lawsuit, followed by the collection of evidence and then the various steps of the legal proceedings. For a successful lawsuit, it’s crucial to understand each step of the process.

During the discovery phase of an AFFF lawsuit, evidence is collected, and both parties share information. All disputes regarding the discovery process must be settled by a predetermined deadline. After the lawsuit has been filed, the case proceeds through various stages, which may culminate in a settlement or a trial.

A majority of AFFF lawsuits are settled through a global agreement, where defendants allocate a substantial sum of money to a settlement fund. This fund is then disbursed among individual plaintiffs to settle their respective cases.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits Settlement Amounts in California

The settlement figures in AFFF lawsuits can greatly differ, influenced by several factors like the magnitude of damages, the solidity of the evidence presented, and the level of liability of the defendants.

On average, settlements for firefighting foam cancer lawsuits in California range between $40,000 and $300,000, although this can vary based on the specifics of each case.

There have been several large settlements in AFFF lawsuits, including a $17.5 million class action lawsuit settlement with Johnson Controls for its PFAS-containing foam and a substantial $1.185 billion settlement fund involving Chemours, DuPont, and Corteva.

These settlements highlight the magnitude of the issue and the potential for substantial compensation for victims of AFFF exposure.

The highest recorded settlement amount awarded in a California firefighting foam cancer lawsuit is $1.185 billion. These figures underscore the potential for substantial compensation in these lawsuits, providing hope and financial relief for victims of AFFF exposure.

Potential Compensation for Victims of Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits in California

Victims who have been exposed to AFFF and file lawsuits in California might qualify for compensation to cover assorted damages. This includes:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Other damages related to their health issues

The exact amount of compensation is determined based on the specifics of each case and the resulting negotiations.

Filing a California Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit

If you want to file an AFFF lawsuit in California, the initial step is to reach out to a law firm specializing in personal injury and toxic exposure cases. They can evaluate your case, determine your eligibility, and guide you through the legal procedures. It’s crucial to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to avoid missing any critical deadlines.

Types of Evidence To Present

In an AFFF lawsuit, it is paramount to present the appropriate evidence. This could include:

  • Medical records
  • Past firefighting history
  • Employment records from places where AFFF was used
  • Testimonies
  • Records specifically showing AFFF exposure
  • Medical documentation of health problems related to AFFF
  • Expert opinions linking the exposure to the harm
  • Witness statements backing up the victim’s claims.

California Statute of Limitation

When contemplating an AFFF lawsuit in California, it’s crucial to be mindful of the statute of limitations. This is a legal time limit for filing a lawsuit, which in California is typically two years from the date of the accident or injury or from when the victim first notices symptoms.

The ‘date of discovery’ of an injury is defined as the date when the victim becomes aware of the injury or when a reasonable person would have known about the injury.

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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 California Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawyers

At Schmidt & Clark, LLP we’re ready to stand by your side in challenging times. If you or a loved one have suffered due to firefighting foam exposure, we urge you to reach out to us. Our experienced team of firefighting foam lawyers is skilled in handling such cases and will guide you every step of the way.

It’s crucial to know your legal rights and determine if you qualify for a firefighting foam lawsuit. We offer free consultations, and you won’t incur any fees unless we secure a favorable result in your case.

Get in touch with Schmidt & Clark today for a comprehensive review of your firefighting foam-related case. Allow us to be your trusted partner in this difficult journey.

Reference:

  1. https://www.michigan.gov/pfasresponse/investigations/firefighting-foam
  2. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/health-effects/index.html
  3. https://cleanwater.org/pfas-containing-firefighting-foams

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