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Maine Firefighter Foam Lawsuit: Get the Right Attorney

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

If you’ve been tracking the Maine firefighter foam lawsuit, you’re aware of the high stakes involved for both firefighters exposed to AFFF and the manufacturers like Dupont and 3M.

This article delves into the pressing developments in the lawsuits over AFFF, a firefighting foam linked to severe health risks due to the presence of PFAS chemicals.

If you or a loved one has been affected by exposure to firefighting foam, Schmidt & Clark, LLP, stands by to provide support. Recognized for our proficiency in championing plaintiff rights, our primary commitment is to ensure that you achieve the justice and compensation you are rightfully owed.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits

In Maine, fire stations, military sites, airports, and chemical manufacturing plants commonly use this tool, also known as AFFF foam.

But these life-saving bubbles also contain PFAS, harmful chemicals that have become the center of environmental and health safety concerns, leading to the emergence of the firefighting foam AFFF MDL, specifically the AFFF firefighting foam MDL.

The link between AFFF firefighting foam and severe health issues has catalyzed a wave of legal challenges. The Maine Attorneys have initiated legal proceedings against PFAS producers, including DuPont and 3M, alleging their significant contribution to environmental pollution.

The aim is to ensure these AFFF manufacturers are held responsible for their role in PFAS contamination and the health dangers stemming from AFFF exposure.

These firefighting foam lawsuits in Maine have brought the issue into the spotlight, raising critical questions about the safety of firefighting foam products. The legal landscape is complex and evolving, with high stakes for plaintiffs and defendants alike in AFFF foam lawsuits.

Key Points from Lawsuits

The AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits have seen significant developments in recent times. One major milestone was the global settlement agreement reached in October 2023, providing some resolution to the pending lawsuits.

The litigation alleges that PFAS manufacturers, including DuPont, were aware of the dangers of PFAS but chose to keep mum, continuing to profit from their sales.

The State of Maine has not backed down, pursuing further legal action to nullify corporate transactions by DuPont, which were seen as an attempt to shield the company from PFAS-related liabilities.

Meanwhile, the harsh reality of the health risks associated with AFFF exposure was underscored when Suggestion of Death notices was filed for three plaintiffs who passed away during the progression of these lawsuits.

As we moved into 2024, the multi-district litigation (MDL) saw an addition of 315 new cases. To accommodate the growing caseload, procedures were adapted to allow for extended deadlines.

All eyes are now on the upcoming Telomer bellwether trial set for August 2024, which is expected to set a precedent for future cases.

What Is AFFF?

According to the Division of Spill Prevention and Response, AFFF is an Aqueous Film Forming Foam and it is a fire suppression tool used for fuel fires [1].

It creates a layer of foam that smothers the flames and restricts oxygen access, effectively putting out the fire. It’s particularly effective for combating fires in flammable liquids and gases, making it an essential tool for fire emergencies.

However, the efficiency of film-forming foam AFFF comes at a cost. The foam contains PFAS, highly toxic and persistent chemicals that have led to severe contamination and health concerns.

In the state of Maine, the widespread application of AFFF has heightened the potential for contact with the foam, thrusting the matter into the public eye. Specifically, this elevated risk is noted:

  • fire stations
  • military sites
  • airports
  • chemical manufacturing plants

Who Are The Defendants In AFFF Lawsuits in Maine?

The defendants in AFFF lawsuits in Maine include PFAS manufacturers like DuPont and 3M. These manufacturers are accused of knowingly contributing to environmental contamination and health risks associated with PFAS.

The accusations are significant, alleging that these companies were aware of the dangers posed by PFAS but chose to withhold this information, continuing to profit from the sales of these harmful chemicals.

This doesn’t just implicate the manufacturers but also raises questions about the ethical responsibilities of corporations. When profit is prioritized over people, the consequences can be devastating, as shown by the AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits.

The legal actions taken by the State of Maine are aimed at holding these corporations accountable for their actions and seeking justice for the victims of PFAS pollution.

Exposure to film-forming foam AF has been linked to an increased risk of several types of cancers, including kidney, bladder, testicular, prostate, leukemia, rectal, and lymphoma, as well as non-cancerous conditions like thyroid issues, fertility problems, and ulcerative colitis.

A 2024 study conducted by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, recognizes that exposure to PFAS, a chemical present in AFFF, can result in adverse health outcomes like liver damage, thyroid disease, decreased fertility, high cholesterol, obesity, hormone suppression, and various cancers [2].

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.

Exposure to AFFF and PFAS can increase the likelihood of developing health problems, with factors like the frequency and duration of exposure playing a significant role in this risk. This highlights the complex nature of the issue and the urgent need for further research into the health impacts of AFFF.

Does Firefighting Foam Contain PFAS?

According to the Department of Natural Resources, firefighting foam does contain PFAS. This can contribute to environmental contamination [3].

These are highly toxic and persistent chemicals that have led to severe contamination of Maine’s water sources. PFAS chemicals can remain in the environment for thousands of years, contributing to long-term contamination of soil and aquifers.

In Maine, PFAS exposure can escalate the risk of cancers and various health issues as these toxic chemicals accumulate in the blood, kidneys, and liver.

In response to these health risks, Maine enacted a ban on PFAS, aiming to eliminate these substances by 2030, with specific product reporting requirements by 2023. This underlines the gravity of the problem and the urgent need for measures to mitigate the risks associated with PFAS.

Common Injuries Linked To Firefighting Foam PFAS

PFAS, found in AFFF, are highly toxic chemicals associated with an increased risk of various forms of cancer, thyroid disruption, and developmental disorders. Firefighters exposed to AFFF have an elevated risk of developing specific types of cancer, including:

Recent studies, including one concerning U.S. Air Force members, have bolstered the body of evidence causally linking PFAS exposure to specific cancers such as testicular cancer, providing critical evidence in ongoing AFFF lawsuits.

This highlights the dire health consequences of PFAS exposure and the urgent need for justice for the victims.

Who Qualifies for the AFFF Lawsuit in Maine?

Individuals who have been exposed to firefighting foam and subsequently diagnosed with cancer or other serious health conditions qualify for the AFFF cancer lawsuit in Maine.

Firefighters, military personnel, chemical plant workers, and others in occupations involving the use of AF are at a higher risk of exposure and, therefore, potentially eligible for compensation.

Hence, Maine firefighters who have been regularly exposed to AFFF and diagnosed with a serious health condition could potentially qualify for an AFFF lawsuit. It’s a chance to seek justice and compensation for the suffering caused by this harmful substance.

How Do AFFF Lawsuits Work?

AFFF lawsuits work by requiring skilled legal representation, thorough evidence gathering, and adherence to the strict timelines set by statutes of limitations.

To file an AFFF lawsuit, individuals should obtain a complimentary case evaluation from a lawyer with expertise in AFFF-related personal injury and class action lawsuits. This helps to understand the available legal avenues without any initial financial burden.

Legal firms in Maine provide no-obligation case reviews, which allow individuals affected by AF to explore legal options without any upfront expense. Contingency-based legal services ensure that Maine clients only pay legal fees if compensation is won, alleviating financial concerns during the lawsuit process.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits Settlement Amounts in Maine

Settlement amounts in AFFF lawsuits are derived from the claimant’s total economic and non-economic losses incurred due to AFFF exposure, including:

The severity of the claimant’s condition, the extent of AF exposure, and the type of cancer diagnosed play a critical role in influencing settlement amounts, and compensation is structured on a tiered ranking system.

In October 2023, a significant development took place in the AFFF litigation with a global settlement agreement. This agreement saw significant contributions from major manufacturers like 3M and DuPont.

Despite the progress, the settlement amounts for AFFF firefighting foam cases are projected to vary greatly, with top-tier cases potentially receiving $300,000 to $600,000. In contrast, lower-tier cases may receive lesser amounts.

The first AFFF lawsuit in Stuart, Florida, was indefinitely delayed, signaling the possibility of manufacturers nearing a global settlement.

A fairness hearing for the $1.18 billion DuPont settlement in the AFFF multidistrict litigation is scheduled for December 14, 2023, indicating that significant progress is being made in these lawsuits.

Potential Compensation for Victims of Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits in Maine

To be eligible for compensation in an AFFF lawsuit, individuals must meet the following criteria:

  • Have developed cancer or other adverse health outcomes after exposure to firefighting foam
  • Have been exposed to PFAS
  • Have been diagnosed with related injuries or complications

If you meet these criteria, you may be eligible for compensation in AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits.

It is not solely about securing compensation but also about pursuing justice for the harm wrought by these toxic substances. AFFF attorneys play a crucial role in the compensation process by engaging expert witnesses to provide testimony on the health effects of PFAS exposure, aiding plaintiffs’ cases.

Filing a Maine Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit

Individuals who have incurred injuries or complications from AFFF firefighting foams can undertake certain steps to file an AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit for compensation.

Success in such a lawsuit requires gathering substantial evidence, including medical records, proof of AFFF exposure, and documentation of related injuries or complications.

Filing a firefighter foam lawsuit within the appropriate time is crucial, which is governed by statutes of limitations; prospective changes could extend this period to six years in Maine.

To navigate the complexities of an AFFF lawsuit and improve the chances of success, hiring a specialized attorney experienced in similar toxic tort cases is recommended.

Types of Evidence To Present

When filing a lawsuit, evidence is key. The types of evidence required for a successful firefighter foam lawsuit include:

  • Medical records
  • Cancer Diagnosis
  • Employment records
  • Documented history of AFFF exposure
  • Personal and witness testimonies
  • Any additional information confirming exposure to toxic firefighting foam.

Claims made in a firefighter foam lawsuit can be significantly bolstered by proper documentation of injuries. Here are some steps to take:

  1. Take photos of your injuries.
  2. Maintain a health journal to record your symptoms and how they affect your daily life.
  3. Keep a record of all doctor visits, medical treatments, medications, and related expenses.

Choosing a law firm that is dedicated to an in-depth investigation of the claim and demonstrates a readiness to take the necessary steps to build a compelling case is crucial in a firefighter foam lawsuit.

Maine Statute of Limitation

Specific timeframes govern the statute of limitations for filing a firefighter foam lawsuit in Maine. Potential changes to these timeframes could extend the period to six years, giving victims a larger window to seek justice.

It’s important to note that these timeframes are subject to change and can be influenced by various factors. Therefore, if you’re considering filing a lawsuit, it’s crucial to stay updated on the current laws and regulations to ensure that your claim is filed within the appropriate time.

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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 Maine Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawyers

Schmidt & Clark, LLP stands ready to assist during these pivotal times. Should you or a loved one suffer from injuries linked to firefighting foam exposure, do not hesitate to reach out. Our team of firefighting foam lawyers possesses the specialized knowledge required to handle AFFF personal injury cases and will support you at each step.

It’s crucial to comprehend your legal entitlements and determine your eligibility to file an AFFF lawsuit. Our consultations are complimentary, and you incur no fees unless we secure a favorable verdict or settlement for you.

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

Reference:

  1. https://dec.alaska.gov/spar/csp/pfas/firefighting-foam/
  2. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/health-effects/index.html
  3. https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/PFAS/AFFF.html

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