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Kansas Firefighter Foam Lawsuit: Get the Right Attorney

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Collen Clark Published by Collen Clark

As a Kansas firefighter, exposure to PFAS through AFFF may have serious health implications. This article provides essential information on the Kansas firefighter foam lawsuit, including eligibility criteria, necessary evidence, and potential compensation, guiding you through the process of seeking justice and relief.

If you or someone close to you has suffered from exposure to firefighting foam, Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is ready to assist. Renowned for our expertise in representing plaintiffs, our foremost priority is to ensure that you obtain the justice and rightful compensation you deserve.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits

AFFF, laden with PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) chemicals, has been the go-to solution for Kansas firefighters since the 1970s.

The foam’s unique properties allow it to smother fires, particularly those involving flammable liquids, making it indispensable for extinguishing jet fuel and chemical fires. Unfortunately, these benefits come at a steep cost.

Direct contact with AF, such as through skin absorption or inhalation, exposes firefighters to the toxic chemicals within. As a result, firefighters and military personnel who have routinely used AFFF face a heightened risk of developing several types of cancer.

Key Points from Lawsuits

The last few years have seen numerous firefighting foam lawsuits that highlight the dangers of AFFF. In 2017, DuPont settled for a staggering $671 million for PFAS contamination in West Virginia waterways. This was followed by a $50 million payout to a person living with testicular cancer attributed to PFAS-contaminated drinking water.

These substantial settlements have set a precedent, leading to more successful AFFF lawsuits. These cases have been consolidated into Multi-District Litigation (MDL), where each plaintiff receives a settlement based on their injuries and damages.

While the compensation amounts vary, they often result in quicker resolutions and lower legal fees compared to trials.

What Is AFFF?

According to the Division of Spill Prevention and Response, AFF is also known as Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) and is a specialized firefighting foam renowned for its ability to combat fuel fires [1]. Containing PFAS chemicals, AFFF has been widely used by Kansas airport and military firefighters since the 1970s.

This widespread use has significantly increased the risk of exposure among Kansas firefighters, making them more susceptible to developing harmful health conditions linked to PFAS. Some of the health conditions associated with PFAS exposure include:

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

It is important for firefighters and other individuals who may come into contact with AFFF to take necessary precautions to minimize exposure and protect their health.

Who Are The Defendants In AFFF Lawsuits in Kansas?

The defendants in AFFF lawsuits in Kansas include several manufacturers known for their production and distribution of hazardous foam. Prominent among these are 3M and its affiliated entities, which have been subject to significant legal liabilities.

Other companies embroiled in these lawsuits are Chemours, Tyco Fire Products, Chemguard Inc., and ChemDesign Inc., all of which have been compelled to address their involvement in the creation and sale of AFFF.

This has led to major settlements, including 3 M’s $850 million agreement in Minnesota and a combined $50 million settlement that involved DuPont, Chemours, and Corteva in Delaware.

As stated in the 2022 study conducted by the National Cancer Institute, the damaging effects of AFFF are due to its PFAS content. PFAS, better known as ‘forever chemicals,’ are persistent in the environment and can accumulate in the human body over time, leading to long-term health effects such as cancer and thyroid disease [2].

PFAS is one of the major classes of carcinogenic chemicals that firefighters are exposed to as occupational hazards. Elevated levels of PFAS have been observed in firefighters’ blood serum in recent studies. – National Library of Medicine.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), one of the PFAS chemicals found in AFFF, as a 2B carcinogen, indicating it is possibly carcinogenic to humans. This classification underscores the severe health risks associated with AFFF exposure.

Does Firefighting Foam Contain PFAS?

According to a 2023 study by the National Institute of Health, firefighting foam does contain PFAS chemicals. These harmful substances are known to persist in the environment and within the human body over time. This persistence, combined with their potential to cause harmful health effects, has led to growing concerns about their extensive use in firefighting foam [3].

The use of firefighting foam containing PFAS is particularly troubling because it is not just a one-time exposure; firefighters may come into contact with these chemicals multiple times throughout their careers, increasing the risk of developing health issues over time.

Common Injuries Linked To Firefighting Foam PFAS

Long-term exposure to AFFF can lead to grave health consequences. Studies have linked AFFF to increased rates of various cancers, including pancreatic cancer, as well as:

Diseases like thyroid disease and ulcerative colitis have also been associated with AFFF exposure.

The risk of developing these health problems from PFAS exposure is dependent on variables such as frequency and duration of exposure, as well as the concentration level of the chemicals involved. Given the widespread use of AFFF in Kansas firefighting practices, the potential for significant health impacts is alarmingly high.

Who Qualifies for the AFFF Lawsuit in Kansas?

Kansas firefighters and military personnel with a history of AFFF exposure and diagnosed with any of the qualifying cancers qualify for the AFFF lawsuit in Kansas. Given the significant health risks associated with AFFF exposure, those affected must seek legal advice promptly.

The process of filing a lawsuit can be complex and requires a detailed understanding of the law. Therefore, it is recommended that individuals seeking to file an AFFF lawsuit consult with firefighting foam attorneys who can guide qualification criteria and legal options.

How Do AFFF Lawsuits Work?

AFFF lawsuits work by initiating a meeting with an attorney. This consultation provides the opportunity to assess the case’s merit and determine the best course of action.

Once the decision to file a lawsuit has been made, the process involves:

  1. Gathering crucial evidence such as medical records, expert opinions, and environmental testing results.
  2. Filing the lawsuit.
  3. Properly serving the lawsuit to the defendants to officially notify them of the legal action.

This legal journey can be complex, underscoring the importance of having experienced legal counsel on your side.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits Settlement Amounts in Kansas

Settlement amounts in AFFF lawsuits can greatly differ according to the particulars of each case, with estimates ranging from $50,000 to millions of dollars.

Factors such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering are all considered when determining the settlement amount.

While it’s difficult to provide an average settlement amount, it’s worth noting that there have been substantial settlements in AFFF lawsuits across the country.

These past settlements can provide some insight into potential compensation amounts for Kansas firefighters and military personnel affected by AFFF exposure.

Potential Compensation for Victims of Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits in Kansas

Victims of AFFF lawsuits stand to receive significant compensation. Damages in AFFF lawsuits may include:

  • Compensation for medical expenses
  • Compensation for pain and suffering
  • Compensation for lost wages and income
  • Compensation for property damage
  • Possibly punitive damages for extreme negligence or intentional misconduct.

In addition to these wrongful death claims damages, claimants may also seek compensation for:

  • Emotional distress
  • Impact on their quality of life due to the illnesses caused by exposure to the foam
  • Future damages, such as ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation costs, and anticipated future lost wages

Suppose you or a loved one has been exposed to AF firefighting foam and experienced health issues. As a result, you may be eligible to file an afff firefighting foam lawsuit to seek compensation for your damages.

Filing a Kansas Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit

The process of filing an AFFF lawsuit in Kansas commences with a consultation session with a seasoned attorney. Thorough evidence, including medical records and expert testimony, is necessary to build a strong case.

Moreover, it’s crucial to file the lawsuit promptly due to the statute of limitations in Kansas, which imposes deadlines for submitting legal claims. Once the lawsuit is filed, Kansas legal procedures require proper service of the lawsuit to the defendants to officially notify them of the legal action.

Types of Evidence To Present

Creating a compelling AFFF lawsuit necessitates substantial evidence. This evidence can include:

  • Medical records showing the diagnosis and treatment of related health conditions
  • Expert testimony linking these health conditions to AFFF exposure
  • Environmental testing results demonstrate high levels of PFAS chemicals in the vicinity of the claimant’s exposure.

Kansas Statute of Limitation

Kansas law stipulates a strict deadline for filing AFFF lawsuits under its statute of limitations, which is typically two years.

This means that potential claimants must file their lawsuit within two years after their cancer diagnosis or discovery of the link between their illness and AFFF exposure. Failure to file within this two-year time frame could result in the loss of the right to seek compensation.

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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 Kansas Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawyers

Schmidt & Clark, LLP stands ready to assist during these challenging times. Should you or a loved one suffer from injuries linked to firefighting foam exposure, reach out to us without delay. Our team of AFFF lawyers possesses the necessary expertise to handle such cases and will support you at every step.

It’s crucial to be aware of your legal entitlements and determine your eligibility for a firefighting foam lawsuit. We offer complimentary consultations, and you incur no fees unless we secure a favorable verdict or settlement in your case.

Consider consulting with Schmidt & Clark to evaluate your case related to firefighting foam exposure. Our experience can be valuable in navigating the complexities of such legal matters.

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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