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Indiana Firefighter Foam Lawsuit: Get the Right Attorney

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

If you’re a firefighter in Indiana, you might be at risk for cancer linked to AFFF exposure. The Indiana firefighter foam lawsuit seeks to address this alarming connection.

This article outlines the legal actions taken, who qualifies for the lawsuits, and the compensation that might be expected, providing essential insights for affected firefighters and their families.

If you or a loved one has been adversely affected by firefighting foam exposure, Schmidt & Clark, LLP, stands by to offer support.

Recognized for our proficiency in championing plaintiffs’ rights, we are dedicated to ensuring that you receive the justice and compensation to which you are entitled.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits

Litigation has surged across the country, and Indiana is no exception. Firefighters, the very people who risk their lives to protect ours, are succumbing to a hidden danger – cancer caused by exposure to AFFF.

This toxic firefighting foam, also known as firefighter foam, has been linked to kidney cancer, testicular cancer, and hypothyroidism, among other health issues. The number of victims? We don’t have an exact figure, but the group is growing, and their voice is becoming louder.

The ongoing lawsuits against AFFF manufacturers have resulted in a significant increase in firefighting foam lawsuits. Firefighters, airport and military personnel, and even residents living near training sites where the foam was frequently used are filing lawsuits.

They are demanding justice, accountability, and compensation for the harm they’ve suffered due to exposure to this dangerous chemical cocktail.

Key Points from Lawsuits

The legal proceedings shine an unfavorable spotlight on AFFF producers, raising serious concerns about their awareness of the health hazards linked to their products.

Documents revealed in court show that the industry has long been aware of the risks posed by PFAS compounds, which are a key ingredient in AFFF. Despite mounting evidence, warnings about the potential health implications of PFAS exposure, such as:

  • DNA damage
  • Reduced response to vaccines
  • Kidney cancer
  • Low birth weight

The lawsuits further underscore the environmental damage caused by AFFF. PFAS has repeatedly been released into the environment, leading to water contamination.

Amidst these revelations, the plaintiffs have argued that the defendants failed to properly warn users about the health risks, making them liable under the failure to warn doctrine.

The stakes are high, and the potential for significant settlements is a beacon of hope for the affected individuals.

What Is AFFF?

According to the Division of Spill Prevention and Response, AFFF – known as aqueous film-forming foam, and it is a specialized substance used to quell fires involving flammable liquids like fuel [1]. It works by creating a barrier that suffocates the fire, cutting off the oxygen it needs to burn.

However, the effectiveness of AFFF in firefighting comes with a significant downside – the presence of PFAS chemicals. These surfactant chemicals are key to the foam’s fire-suppressing capabilities, yet they pose serious health risks.

Nonetheless, the inclusion of PFAS in AFFF comes with severe environmental and health consequences. PFAS chemicals are notoriously persistent, earning the nickname ‘forever chemicals,’ as they do not break down in the environment or the human body.

Who Are The Defendants In AFFF Lawsuits in Indiana?

The defendants in AFFF lawsuits in Indiana are primarily major manufacturers like 3M, Tyco, DuPont, and Chemguard, who are accused of negligence for not providing adequate warnings about the health risks of their products.

Additionally, local sellers of firefighting foam, such as Foam Fire Extinguisher Service in Greenwood and Ray Poland & Sons, Inc., are also under legal scrutiny.

The legal fallout has been significant. In 2020, 3M, a major manufacturer of AFFF, agreed to pay $55 million in one of the high-profile AFFF lawsuits in Indiana.

As the legal battles rage on, the defendants are held accountable for the harm caused by their products, and they are obligated to ensure that their products do not pose health risks.

As stated by the National Cancer Institute, the core issue of the AFFF lawsuits lies in the connection between firefighting foam and cancer. The PFAS chemicals present in firefighting foam have been associated with an increased risk of various types of cancers [2].

Types of cancers associated with PFAS exposure include:

It is important for individuals who have been exposed to firefighting foam to monitor their health and consult with a healthcare professional if they experience any symptoms or concerns.

Research and studies over the years have established a connection between firefighting foam, specifically PFAS exposure, and negative health outcomes, including:

  • Cancer
  • Thyroid disease
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney disease
  • Reproductive issues

These discoveries serve as a strong foundation for the lawsuits against AFFF manufacturers and sellers, attributing the health crises of numerous individuals to them.

Does Firefighting Foam Contain PFAS?

According to the National Center for Biotechnology and Information, firefighting foam does contain PFAS chemicals [3]. These chemicals, such as PFOA, PFOS, Gen X, and other fluorinated chemicals, are key components of Class B firefighting foams like AFFF. PFAS chemicals are used as surfactants, helping the foam spread and effectively extinguish flammable liquid fires.

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the most well-studied PFAS, was first classified in 2014 as a possible human carcinogen, and in 2023, the working group upgraded PFOA to a human carcinogen. The working group classified perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) for the first time in 2023 as a possible human carcinogen. – National Cancer Institute.

These chemicals persist in the environment, contaminating water, food, and various products, making them harmful in the long run.

Despite these issues, safer alternatives such as fluorine-free foams and dry chemical agents are available and should be considered by firefighting entities.

Common Injuries Linked To Firefighting Foam PFAS

Exposure to PFAS in firefighting foam is linked to a range of health issues. The most common types of cancer associated with PFAS exposure are kidney and testicular cancer. Studies have found a statistical link between PFAS exposure, particularly perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) exposure, and a higher risk of kidney cancer.

Despite these findings, the exact mechanism of how PFAS in firefighting foam leads to testicular cancer is not yet clear. There is a need for more research to fully understand the connection between PFAS exposure and the development of cancer.

This uncertainty, however, does not negate the fact that countless individuals have developed cancer and other health conditions after being exposed to PFAS in firefighting foam.

Who Qualifies for the AFFF Lawsuit in Indiana?

Individuals such as firefighters, military personnel, and residents near training sites where AFFF was used may qualify for the AFFF lawsuits in Indiana. However, they must provide evidence of exposure and have been diagnosed with specific types of cancer, including kidney, testicular, or pancreatic cancer.

Demonstrating the extent and intensity of exposure to AFFF is crucial, which can be supported by employment records and medical documentation. Consulting a legal expert is essential for understanding one’s rights and potential legal actions, such as AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits.

How Do AFFF Lawsuits Work?

AFFF lawsuits work by first consulting with a firefighting foam attorney, who can help you navigate the legal process and gather the necessary evidence for your case.

The attorney will assess your medical and work history to confirm exposure to PFAS, a crucial component in building a strong case.

Once the legal team has assembled enough evidence, they will work out the details through negotiation.

If a settlement cannot be reached, the lawsuit will proceed to trial, where the team will represent you, fighting for your rights and seeking compensation for the damage caused by PFAS exposure. The process may seem complicated, but with the right legal representation, victims of PFAS exposure can seek justice and compensation.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits Settlement Amounts in Indiana

The financial compensation in firefighting foam cancer lawsuits can fluctuate significantly. Individual lawsuits may settle for anywhere between $40,000 to $300,000. The settlement amount is contingent on various factors, such as:

  • the extent of the damage
  • the strength of the evidence
  • the number of plaintiffs
  • the defendant’s level of culpability
  • the cost of medical bills.

There have been several high-profile settlements in Indiana, including:

  • 3M agreed to pay $55 million in a lawsuit
  • A class action lawsuit resulted in a $17.5 million settlement
  • The highest settlement ever awarded in the state was $1.185 billion

These figures indicate the potential settlements victims can expect, though final amounts will depend on the specifics of each case.

Potential Compensation for Victims of Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits in Indiana

Plaintiffs in a firefighting foam lawsuit concerning firefighting foam cancer can pursue compensation for an array of damages, including:

Compensation for medical expenses can cover costs from being exposed to AFFF firefighting foam, providing financial relief to those battling health issues as a result of PFAS exposure.

Lost income and disability compensation are calculated based on how the individual’s illness has affected their ability to work. For disability compensation, amounts can range from $40,000 to $300,000 per person, plus the cost of cancer treatments, which can be about $10,000 a month.

Pain and suffering compensation is determined using a multiplier between 1 and 5, depending on the severity of the injury. Overall, the potential compensation aims to alleviate the financial burden and provide some form of justice to the victims.

Filing an Indiana Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit

If AFFF has impacted you and you’re contemplating filing a lawsuit, it’s crucial to comprehend the process. The journey to seek justice begins with a consultation with a law firm experienced in handling AFFF lawsuits.

After submitting your claim and providing all necessary information, the firm will help guide you through the process, ensuring you understand each step along the way.

Assembling the evidence is a crucial part of this process. You’ll need medical records, employment history, and any other relevant documentation that can substantiate your claim of PFAS exposure and the resulting health issues.

It’s a challenging journey, but with the right help, you can navigate the complexities of the legal process and seek the justice you deserve.

Types of Evidence To Present

Presenting the correct evidence is vital when filing an AFFF lawsuit. This includes medical records covering exposure records, cancer diagnosis information, and employment records.

Proof of AFFF exposure in the workplace can be documented through employment records and detailing instances where AFFF release occurred.

Additionally, you’ll need to gather medical documentation of any health issues related to AFFF, expert opinions, and witness statements to prove the damages in the AFFF cancer lawsuit. The process may seem overwhelming, but an experienced legal team can guide you through it, ensuring you have the necessary evidence to build a strong case.

Indiana Statute of Limitation

When contemplating filing an AFFF lawsuit, time is of the essence. Indiana’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of injury.

However, for cancer cases linked to firefighting foam exposure, the timeframe is usually 2-3 years. This may seem like a generous window, but it’s important to act swiftly, considering the complexities of the legal process.

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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 Indiana Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawyers

Schmidt & Clark, LLP stands ready to assist in these challenging times. If you or a loved one have suffered due to firefighting foam exposure, reach out to us without delay. Our experienced team of firefighting foam lawyers is adept at handling such cases and will support you at every step.

It’s crucial to comprehend your legal options and determine your eligibility for an AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit. We offer complimentary consultations, and our no-win, no-fee promise means you incur no costs unless we secure a favorable outcome for your case.

Reach out to Schmidt & Clark for a comprehensive case review concerning firefighting foam exposure. Allow us to be your trusted guide through this complex ordeal.

Reference:

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

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