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Hawaii Firefighter Foam Lawsuit: Get the Right Attorney

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Collen Clark Published by Collen Clark

Suppose you’re involved in a Hawaii firefighter foam lawsuit. In that case, you should be aware that this significant legal battle centers around claims that toxic chemicals in AFFF foam are leading to severe health problems, including cancer, in firefighters and residents.

The lawsuit aims to hold foam manufacturers accountable for allegedly disregarding the health risks associated with their products.

If you or a loved one has been affected by exposure to firefighting foam, Schmidt & Clark, LLP, stands by to offer support. Recognized for our proficiency in championing plaintiff’s rights, we are dedicated to ensuring that you receive the compensation and justice you are rightfully due.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits

In 2012, a group of firefighters initiated the first firefighting foam lawsuit, alleging that their cancer was caused by exposure to the foam. They argued that the manufacturers, despite being aware of the risks, continued to sell their products.

This pivotal lawsuit concluded in 2017 with a landmark settlement of $119 million, and since then, many more afflicted individuals have stepped forward, igniting a cascade of afff cancer lawsuit cases.

Litigants in these lawsuits allege they developed cancers such as kidney and testicular cancer and direct their accusations at firefighting foam manufacturers.

According to the Consumer Notice Organization, these aren’t just mere accusations; they’re backed by solid evidence. Aqueous Film-Forming Foam has been reported to contain toxic chemicals that have been associated with various types of cancer [1].

This has raised concerns about the potential health risks for firefighters and those exposed to the foam. Individuals exposed to AFFF have come forward, claiming their cancer is a direct consequence of this exposure.

Firefighting foam lawyers represent the litigants and strengthen their claims, fighting to bring justice to those wronged.

Key Points from Lawsuits

At the heart of the AFFF lawsuits, plaintiffs argue a connection between firefighting foam (AFFF) and serious medical conditions, asserting that the manufacturers were aware of the health risks associated with their products but continued production regardless. The allegations against manufacturers aren’t just about the harm caused but also the deceit perpetrated.

The crux of these claims isn’t merely about financial compensation but justice for the pain endured. It’s about holding those accountable who, despite knowing the risks, chose profit over people’s health.

What Is AFFF?

AFFF is a substance used by firefighters to extinguish intense fires involving flammable liquids. AFFF, also known as fire fighting foam, works by suffocating the flammable liquid vapor and creating a foam blanket that isolates the fuel from oxygen, effectively extinguishing the fire.

This foam comprises fluorinated and hydrocarbon-based surfactants and foaming agents, which aid in spreading the aqueous film and smothering the fire effectively.

AFFF was first introduced in the 1970s by the Department of Defense to combat fuel fires at military facilities. It was extremely effective against flammable liquid fires, a feature that led to its widespread use.

However, its effectiveness is overshadowed by its toxicity, which has led to a surge of AFFF foam lawsuits due to the presence of harmful chemicals in the foam.

Who Are The Defendants In AFFF Lawsuits in Hawaii?

The defendants in AFFF lawsuits in Hawaii include prominent manufacturers of AFFF firefighting foam, such as 3M and DuPont. These companies have been brought to the forefront of legal scrutiny, with many of the lawsuits being consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) to improve the efficiency of the legal proceedings.

Accusations against these AFFF manufacturers are not trivial. Take 3M, for example, which is accused of polluting communities’ water supplies with their AFFF firefighting foam. In response to these accusations, 3M has agreed to settle the legal claims as part of the ongoing AFFF litigation.

However, the settlement of claims does not undo the damage inflicted. Manufacturers like 3M and DuPont have opted to address the claims by reaching settlement agreements, with 3M even going for a 12.5 billion dollar settlement to resolve concerns about PFAS in their AFFF products. But despite these settlements, numerous AFFF cancer lawsuits continue to pile up.

According to the National Cancer Institute, the foundation of these lawsuits is the alleged link between AFFF and cancer. Prolonged or regular exposure to PFAS in AFFF firefighting foams is associated with an increased risk of developing different types of cancer [2].

The types of cancer most commonly linked to exposure to firefighting foam include:

The manifestation of these cancers can take anywhere from 5 to 12 years after exposure, depending on the type of cancer.

Does Firefighting Foam Contain PFAS?

Firefighting foam does contain PFAS. PFAS is used in firefighting foam, particularly in Class B firefighting foam, due to its effectiveness in extinguishing fires. You can get exposed to PFAS chemicals by:

  • Using the foam repeatedly in one spot for a long time, allowing the PFAS to move from the foam
  • Swallowing
  • Skin absorption
  • Breathing in the air during firefighting

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

Common Injuries Linked To Firefighting Foam PFAS

As stated by the U.S. Fire Administration, the health risks associated with PFAS exposure are numerous. Exposure to firefighting foam PFAS has been linked to serious health issues, including [3]:

  • Kidney and testicular cancer
  • Thyroid disease
  • Liver damage
  • Immune system deficiencies

PFAS from firefighting foam can get into our bodies and cause harm by building up in the body over time. This buildup can lead to:

  • Damage to the immune system
  • Damage to the liver
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Scarring

All of these factors can contribute to the development of cancer.

Who Qualifies for the AFFF Lawsuit in Hawaii?

A resident of Hawaii who has experienced prolonged exposure to AFFF and has been diagnosed with cancer linked to PFAS chemicals qualifies for the AFFF lawsuit in Hawaii. The types of cancer that have been connected to PFAS exposure include, but are not limited to:

  • kidney cancer
  • testicular cancer
  • prostate cancer
  • pancreatic cancer
  • liver cancer
  • bladder cancer
  • ovarian cancer

It’s also important to note that the duration and intensity of exposure to AFFF can affect the strength of your case. If you’ve used AFFF for a longer time and more frequently, you may have a stronger case when filing a lawsuit.

The process is complex, and it’s understandable if you feel overwhelmed. However, understanding the process can help alleviate some of the uncertainty.

How Do AFFF Lawsuits Work?

The AFFF lawsuits work under a special legal procedure known as multidistrict litigation (MDL). MDL brings together similar lawsuits into one federal court, streamlining the proceedings and making them more efficient by consolidating them into a single MDL. To be a part of this process, one must file an AFFF lawsuit.

The transferee judge in an AFFF firefighting foam MDL has several responsibilities, including:

  • Overseeing and managing the consolidated litigation
  • Making decisions on procedural matters
  • Coordinating discovery processes

To maintain consistency, all the lawsuits are brought to one court so that one judge can handle all related cases. This judge uses Case Management Orders (CMOs) to keep things consistent and make the litigation process smoother.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits Settlement Amounts in Hawaii

A critical part of the lawsuit process is the potential for financial compensation. In Hawaii, the settlement amounts for AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits can vary, depending on the strength of the claim. Some potential settlement amounts include:

  • $10,000
  • $50,000
  • $100,000
  • $300,000 or more

On average, each lawsuit could end up settling for anywhere from $40,000 to $300,000. However, some settlements have reached staggering amounts, with the highest reported settlement in an AFFF lawsuit in Hawaii totaling over $10.3 billion.

The settlement amounts for AFFF lawsuits in Hawaii have varied quite a bit, from $10,000 to over $300,000, depending on how strong the claim is. The settlement deal involved 3M, DuPont, and other defendants agreeing to pay $10.3 billion to resolve these claims, marking a significant development in the legal proceedings.

Potential Compensation for Victims of Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits in Hawaii

Potential compensation for victims of firefighting foam cancer lawsuits in Hawaii can range anywhere from $10,000 to over $300,000, depending on the strength of their claim. For AFFF kidney cancer cases, the average payout values might range from $275,000 to $650,000.

These amounts are often determined by looking at the payouts from previous mass tort cases with cancer claims.

Despite the potential for significant financial compensation, it’s important to note that there are limits on how much can be claimed for pain and suffering in personal injury cases in Hawaii, with the law setting the limit at $375,000 for most cases.

The extent of these damages is often substantiated by medical expenses such as hospital visits, doctor appointments, cancer treatments, and other medical treatments resulting from AFFF exposure.

Filing a Hawaii Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit

If you’re considering filing a Hawaii Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit, it’s crucial to gather the relevant evidence and consult with an attorney. This can help you to understand your legal rights and options, evaluate the strength of your case, and guide you through the legal process.

The evidence required for these cases includes medical records to prove your cancer diagnosis and any documentation showing your exposure to firefighting foam. An attorney can assist you in collecting this evidence to build a strong case.

Types of Evidence To Present

The evidence you present is pivotal in building a strong case. Medical records that detail cancer treatments and employment records that show a history of using firefighting foams are important in proving personal injury claims in AFFF lawsuits in Hawaii.

Medical bills also play a significant role in firefighting foam cancer lawsuits, as they showcase the financial burden the victim has had to bear. They highlight the financial strain caused by exposure to harmful chemicals like PFAS in firefighting foam.

Hawaii Statute of Limitation

Understanding the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in Hawaii is crucial. Generally, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Hawaii is typically 2 years.

However, thanks to the discovery rule, there could be some leeway for medical malpractice cases if the injury isn’t immediately discovered.

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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 Hawaii Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawyers

Schmidt & Clark, LLP stands ready to assist during these pivotal moments. Should you or a loved one suffer from injuries linked to firefighting foam exposure, we encourage you to reach out. Our skilled team specializes in these cases and will support you at each step.

It’s crucial to comprehend your legal entitlements and determine your qualification for a firefighting foam lawsuit. We offer complimentary consultations, and our policy ensures you incur no fees unless we secure a favorable verdict or settlement in your case.

For a comprehensive case review regarding firefighting foam exposure, connect with Schmidt & Clark. Allow us to be your steadfast partner through this complex journey.

Reference:

  1. https://www.consumernotice.org/environmental/afff/
  2. https://dceg.cancer.gov/research/what-we-study/pfas
  3. https://www.usfa.fema.gov/blog/cb-021120.html

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