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Louisiana Firefighter Foam Lawsuit: Get the Right Attorney

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Collen Clark Published by Collen Clark

The Louisiana firefighter foam lawsuit targets manufacturers for allegedly exposing firefighters to cancer-causing PFAS chemicals. This article outlines your legal options, updates on the lawsuit’s progress, and details on compensation for those harmed by these hazardous substances.

If you or a loved one has been adversely affected by exposure to firefighting foam, the legal expertise of Schmidt & Clark, LLP, stands at the ready to support you. Our reputation for representing plaintiffs is unmatched, and our primary goal is to ensure that you receive the justice and rightful compensation to which you are entitled.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits

The Louisiana firefighter foam lawsuit addresses the following issues:

  • Serious health risks posed by AFFF, a firefighting foam containing PFAS chemicals associated with several types of cancers
  • Bodily injury resulting from PFAS exposure
  • Environmental damage from PFOS chemicals
  • Increased awareness of the potential dangers associated with these substances.

The central concern of the litigation is demanding accountability for safety and transparency from chemical manufacturers, which has widespread implications for public health and industry standards.

The litigation has seen substantial progress, reflecting the legal dimensions of product liability and environmental law, creating a backdrop for future regulatory policies, and setting precedents for the industry.

Key Points from Lawsuits

The AFFF lawsuits pivot on the manufacturer’s alleged failure to disclose the risks of PFAS despite their purported knowledge of these dangers. It’s a failure that, if proven, could have serious legal repercussions.

If proper warnings about the dangers of PFAS had been provided, exposure and subsequent health issues amongst firefighters and others in Louisiana could have been mitigated or prevented.

The lawsuit alleges that the companies knowingly failed to issue appropriate warnings, a potentially negligent action in product liability cases.

What Is AFFF?

According to the Division of Spill Prevention and Response, AFFF is an aqueous film-forming foam, which is a type of firefighting foam primarily used to extinguish fires caused by flammable liquids such as jet fuel [1]. Developed in the 1960s, AFFF forms a layer over the fire, cutting off its oxygen supply and preventing the release of flammable vapors.

Yet, the issue under examination is not the fire-fighting abilities of AFFF, but the PFAS chemicals it harbors, which are associated with numerous health problems, notably cancer.

Who Are The Defendants In AFFF Lawsuits in Louisiana?

The defendants in AFFF lawsuits include industry giants such as Buckeye Fire Equipment Company, Tyco Fire Products, 3M Company, and Chemours. These corporations are currently confronting the repercussions of their purported actions—or inactions—in court.

One particular group at risk is military firefighters and U.S. Armed Forces members. Being major user groups of AFFF firefighting foam since the late 1960s, they are at significant risk of PFAS exposure.

Now, those same individuals who risked their lives to protect others are finding themselves at risk due to the very tools they used to fight fires.

AFFF manufacturers face serious allegations. Claims of negligence arise from their alleged failure to sufficiently alert consumers and regulatory bodies about the risks associated with PFAS.

As stated by the National Cancer Institute, prominent health organizations have identified a correlation between PFAS exposure and an elevated risk of diverse types of cancer, especially among military firefighters. Research has identified associations between PFAS exposure and cancers such as [2]:

Furthermore, studies have shown higher PFAS concentrations in firefighters compared to office workers and evidence of increased PFNA levels in the blood of firefighters using AF.

Science has deemed PFAS compounds like PFOA to be carcinogenic, as corroborated by animal lab tests, supporting the increased cancer risk for firefighters exposed to PFAS.

The Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2018 may help to establish further the connection between AFFF exposure and cancer rates among firefighters. This necessitates an urgent demand for accountability from AFFF manufacturers and compensation for the victims impacted by their products.

Does Firefighting Foam Contain PFAS?

According to a 2023 study by the National Center for Biotechnology and Information, firefighting foam does contain PFAS [3]. The Louisiana Department of Health is updating the public about PFAS advisories from the EPA, indicating concerns about PFAS contamination in drinking water.

Louisiana addresses PFAS in drinking water through federal funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, in-home water filters, and projects with principal forgiveness, despite advisories being nonbinding.

AFFF, specifically designed to combat jet fuel fires and Class B fires, represents a significant occupational hazard for firefighters and military personnel in Louisiana regarding PFAS exposure.

Although Class A firefighting foams, devoid of PFAS, are safer, Class B foams, including AFFF, pose environmental and human health risks due to their PFAS content.

Common Injuries Linked To Firefighting Foam PFAS

Kidney cancer, testicular, and pancreatic cancer are among the types linked to AFFF exposure. Prolonged exposure to PFAS chemicals in AFFF increases the risk of developing various cancers.

Firefighters and military personnel are particularly at risk of developing cancer from PFAS exposure through AFFF firefighting foam.

Elevated levels of PFAS have been observed in firefighters’ blood serum in recent studies. Possible sources of occupational exposure to PFAS include turnout gear, aqueous film-forming foam, and air and dust at both the fire scene and fire station. – National Library of Medicine.

Moreover, PFAS, chemicals included in AFFF, are environmentally persistent, bioaccumulative, and linked with numerous health hazards, such as thyroid disease and immune system dysfunction. The concern extends beyond the immediate impact of AFFF to its long-term effects on the body and the environment.

Who Qualifies for the AFFF Lawsuit in Louisiana?

Any resident of Louisiana who has been exposed to AFFF and diagnosed with a related illness such as kidney, testicular, or pancreatic cancer qualifies for the AFFF lawsuit in Louisiana.

This includes firefighters, both volunteer and professional, military personnel, airport workers, and any other individuals who have come into contact with AFFF in their line of work or residence.

If you or a loved one has been exposed to AFFF and subsequently developed cancer, it’s crucial to reach out to a legal professional as soon as possible. They can help you determine your eligibility and guide you through the legal process of filing a lawsuit.

Compensation for Victims of AFFF Exposure in Louisiana

Victims of AFFF exposure may be eligible for compensation that includes damages for personal injuries, pain, suffering, emotional distress, and other damages resulting from exposure to fluorochemical products.

Compensation amounts in AFFF lawsuits are determined using a tiered ranking system, considering factors like the duration of occupational exposure to AFFF and the type of cancer diagnosed.

How Do AFFF Lawsuits Work?

AFFF lawsuits work within the legal frameworks of product liability and environmental law, aiming to hold manufacturers responsible for the adverse consequences of their products, notably AFFF firefighting foam.

These legal actions assert that the companies involved failed to adequately inform consumers and regulatory agencies about the inherent risks of PFAS chemicals in their products, which has led to severe health issues, including cancer.

These AFFF foam lawsuit cases argue that the manufacturers knew about the potential health risks of their products but failed to adequately warn consumers, leading to severe and sometimes fatal health issues.

The cases are consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL), which helps streamline the pretrial proceedings.

This consolidation allows for the efficient handling of numerous cases and may influence the consistency of outcomes for the multiple plaintiffs against the film-forming foam AFFF manufacturers. While the process is complex, it’s a critical means to seek justice for victims of AFFF exposure.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits Settlement Amounts in Louisiana

Several factors are considered when determining settlement amounts in firefighting foam lawsuits. These include the severity of the cancer, the duration of AFFF exposure, and the level of evidence linking the cancer to AFFF exposure.

Companies like DuPont and 3M, having resolved municipal water contamination claims related to AFFF, set a precedent for resolving individual personal injury claims.

The motivation to settle individual AFFF cancer lawsuits for defendants like DuPont and 3M may be influenced by their desire to manage financial exposure and reduce litigation costs after settling municipal claims.

Settlement talks for firefighters are underway, signaling active strides toward settling AFFF-related claims. Historical settlements highlight the significant financial impact that PFAS-related litigation has had on AFFF manufacturers, such as:

  • $10.3 billion settlement with 3M
  • $4 billion settlement with DuPont
  • $850 million settlement with 3M for groundwater pollution
  • $17.5 million class action lawsuit settlement with the maker of Tyco Fire Products

Potential Compensation for Victims of Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits in Louisiana

Victims of AFFF lawsuits in Louisiana may be entitled to compensation that covers a vast array of damages. This includes:

  • Current medical expenses
  • Estimated costs of ongoing or future medical treatments resulting from PFAS exposure
  • Compensation for lost wages and income for victims whose ability to work has been compromised due to illness from AFFF exposure.

The lawsuit also allows for plaintiffs to receive compensation for non-economic damages. This includes pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of life enjoyment.

In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the manufacturers for their negligent actions and to serve as a deterrent for future misconduct.

The potential compensation for victims transcends mere medical costs – it’s about recognizing the comprehensive harm inflicted by AFFF.

Filing a Louisiana Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit

The process of filing a lawsuit can be intimidating, especially when grappling with the physical and emotional strain of a cancer diagnosis. But it’s an important step towards seeking justice and compensation.

Law firms involved in AFFF litigation are committed to financial redress and industry changes for public health protection. They’re here to guide you through the process, providing the support and expertise you need to build a strong case.

Several key elements must be considered when filing a Louisiana firefighting foam cancer lawsuit. These include the types of evidence to present and the state’s statute of limitations.

Securing legal representation is also essential to safeguard your rights and maximize your chances of a favorable outcome.

Types of Evidence To Present

In a lawsuit, the evidence you present can determine the success or failure of your case. In an AFFF lawsuit, the types of evidence you might present include medical records, employment history, and documentation of AFFF exposure. This evidence can help establish a clear link between your cancer diagnosis and your exposure to AFFF.

Medical records can provide proof of your diagnosis and the treatment you’ve undergone. Employment records can help establish your history of exposure to AFFF, particularly if you worked as a firefighter or in a related role.

Any documentation or evidence of AFFF exposure can further strengthen your case. Collectively, this evidence can contribute to building a compelling case for compensation.

Louisiana Statute of Limitation

Every state implements a statute of limitations that establishes a deadline for lawsuit filings. In Louisiana, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is one year from the date of the injury.

Failure to meet the statute of limitations deadline can hinder victims from seeking compensation. Hence, if you or a loved one has received a cancer diagnosis and suspect it might be linked to AFFF exposure, reaching out to a legal professional promptly is paramount.

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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 Louisiana Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawyers

The legal team at 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 AFFF lawyers specialize in these complex cases and will steer you through each stage of the legal journey.

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

For a comprehensive assessment of your firefighting foam case, connect with Schmidt & Clark. Allow us to be your steadfast partner in tackling the intricacies of your legal challenges.

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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