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Maryland Firefighter Foam Lawsuit: Get the Right Attorney

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

January 2024 marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing legal discourse surrounding the Maryland firefighter foam lawsuit. This comprehensive article aims to shed light on the broader context of the litigation, highlighting the collective efforts of plaintiffs seeking redress for the harm caused by Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF).

If you or a loved one have been affected by exposure to firefighting foam, the legal team at Schmidt & Clark, LLP is on hand to provide support. We pride ourselves on our extensive experience in championing the rights of plaintiffs and are dedicated to securing the compensation and justice you rightly deserve.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits

Fires are unpredictable. Over the years, Maryland firefighters have depended on a powerful tool to combat them – firefighting foam, specifically Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) or fire fighting foam. But behind its seemingly benign facade lies a sinister reality. Exposure to AFFF foam has been linked to serious health risks, including:

  • kidney cancer
  • testicular cancer
  • thyroid disease
  • other forms of cancer
  • illnesses such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, and male breast cancer.

When the alarm bell rings, firefighters, military personnel, and other individuals potentially exposed to PFAS through AFFF foam in Maryland rush into the heart of the blaze, oblivious to the unseen danger they are inviting.

The heightened risk of overlapping symptoms leads to misdiagnoses and improper treatment, leaving these brave souls grappling with the consequences of such exposure.

The dangerous repercussions of AFFF foam have triggered a wave of lawsuits. Plaintiffs in these cases demand accountability and compensation. Known as firefighting foam lawsuits, these legal battles have been gaining momentum as more and more individuals come forward to share their stories and seek justice.

The public outcry and the mounting AF foam lawsuits have prompted a closer look at AFFF firefighting foam cases, transforming them into a battleground where plaintiffs fight not just for themselves but on behalf of all those silently suffering.

AFFF firefighting foam class action lawsuits are now a beacon of hope for victims, their families, and future generations.

Key Points from Lawsuits

The AFFF lawsuit landscape is constantly evolving, with each new development bringing hope to the victims and their families. A pivotal moment came when the MDL judge rejected 3 M’s government contractor defense.

This decision marked a significant victory for the plaintiffs, as it stripped the defendants of a potential shield against liability.

The wave of AFFF lawsuits, however, shows no signs of subsiding. As of January 15, 2024, the pending case count in the AFFF class action MDL reached 6,715.

The numbers are distressing, reflecting the growing impact of AFFF exposure. The grim reality is underscored by the notices of death filed for three plaintiffs in the MDL, highlighting the urgency of these proceedings.

What Is AFFF?

According to the Division of Spill Prevention and Response, AFFF is an acronym for Aqueous Film-Forming Foam, a firefighting agent used for decades by firefighters and military personnel to extinguish flammable liquid fires effectively [1].

This foam forms a barrier between the fire and the air, cutting off the supply of oxygen and containing the hazardous vapors, thus preventing the fire from reigniting.

While AFFF has been a critical tool in fire suppression efforts, ensuring the safety of countless lives and properties, it is also at the center of health-related controversies due to its composition, which includes per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Who Are The Defendants In AFFF Lawsuits in Maryland?

The defendants in AFFF lawsuits in Maryland are companies implicated in the health crisis stemming from AFFF exposure. These include 3M, DuPont, Chemours, Buckeye Fire Production, Tyco Fire Products, Kidde-Fenwal Inc., National Foam Inc., and Dynax Corporation.

The litigation targets these entities for their alleged role in manufacturing and distributing AFFF products despite knowing the potential health risks associated with their use.

These companies are accused of concealing information about the harmful properties of AFFF and knowingly exposing individuals to significant health risks.

Plaintiffs claim that these companies were aware of the dangers associated with their products, yet they failed to provide adequate warnings, potentially attracting the attention of the Environmental Protection Agency.

In addition to these allegations, the defendant companies are also accused of:

  • selling defective products
  • creating a public nuisance
  • trespass
  • negligence

The AFFF litigation further extends to other defendants like Kidde-Fenwal Inc., National Foam Inc., and Dynax Corporation, facing allegations similar to those of the previously mentioned companies.

As stated in a 2023 study by the National Cancer Institute, the connection of AFFF exposure to various forms of cancer is among the most distressing aspects. Health risks associated with AFFF exposure include [2]:

According to Lezdo, the human face to these health risks is seen in specific Maryland cases. Take firefighter James Keelan, for instance, who developed prostate cancer, or Michael Sloane, who was diagnosed with kidney and testicular cancer – both cases linked to AFFF exposure [3].

The link between AFFF exposure and cancer isn’t just anecdotal. Scientific research supports these claims. The CDC and the American Cancer Society have classified AFFF foam chemicals as human carcinogens.

Does Firefighting Foam Contain PFAS?

Firefighting foam does contain PFAS. These chemicals, often termed ‘forever chemicals’ due to their persistence in the environment, have been linked to a host of adverse health effects.

Firefighting foam contains up to 98% PFAS, a group of highly toxic substances, exposure to which has a significant association with the disease. Exposure to PFOS, one of the most common chemicals from this group, increases the risk of thyroid cancer in firefighters by 56%. – National Institutes of Health.

Their presence in AFFF has sounded alarm bells due to their potential to contaminate drinking water sources and cause harmful health impacts.

Common Injuries Linked To Firefighting Foam PFAS

PFAS exposure can have profound and potentially devastating health consequences. The injuries linked to firefighting foam PFAS exposure include:

  • Testicular cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Thyroid disease
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer

These health issues can drastically alter the lives of victims and their families, causing physical and emotional distress. The most at-risk individuals for these cancers are those with significant period exposure, like military personnel and firefighters.

Who Qualifies for the AFFF Lawsuit in Maryland?

Any Maryland resident diagnosed with specific cancers following significant exposure to AFFF qualifies for the AFFF lawsuit in Maryland. The key is significant exposure to AFFF. This typically includes firefighters, military personnel, and other professionals who regularly used or were exposed to AFFF in their line of work.

If you or a loved one fall into this category and have been diagnosed with one of the specified cancers, you might be eligible for the AFFF lawsuit in Maryland.

How Do AFFF Lawsuits Work?

AFFF lawsuits work by guiding Maryland claimants through the complex legal process with the support of law firms specializing in firefighting foam cases.

Working with a specialized law firm on a contingency basis is a significant advantage for those seeking legal recourse. With this arrangement, legal representation is provided without upfront fees, and payment is only required if the client receives compensation.

This model democratizes access to legal services, allowing individuals from all walks of life to pursue justice without the burden of immediate financial strain.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits Settlement Amounts in Maryland

In settling AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits, it is critical to understand that each case is distinct, and settlement amounts can differ. Factors such as the severity of the injury, the impact on the victim’s life, the degree of negligence on the part of the defendant, and the number of plaintiffs involved all play a role in determining the AFFF settlement amount.

While individual settlements in similar cases have ranged anywhere from tens of thousands to millions of dollars, it’s important to note that these figures are not guaranteed and vary widely based on the specific circumstances of each case.

While it’s difficult to predict an exact amount, the goal of these settlements is to provide financial relief for the victims. Compensation can help cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages incurred as a result of exposure to AFFF.

Potential Compensation for Victims of Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits in Maryland

Potential compensation for victims of AFFF exposure may include:

Plaintiffs in Maryland AFFF cases may seek compensation for these damages and more.

In addition to these compensatory damages, punitive damages also play a significant role in Maryland AFFF cases. These are awarded when defendants acted with actual malice or willful disregard for safety, potentially increasing total compensation.

Regardless of the type of damages sought, the pursuit of compensation is driven by the need to cover medical care costs, to compensate for suffering, and to hold responsible parties accountable for their actions. The overwhelming goal is to ensure that victims and their families are not left to bear the financial burden of this exposure.

Filing a Maryland Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit

Submitting a Maryland firefighting foam cancer lawsuit represents a crucial step toward seeking justice and compensation for AFFF exposure. This legal action aims to provide justice and financial compensation for individuals who have developed cancer due to AFFF exposure, commonly used in firefighting.

The lawsuit process involves:

  • Gathering evidence of exposure and its link to cancer
  • Filing a claim
  • Potentially going through legal proceedings

It’s a path towards acknowledging the health risks associated with AFFF and holding responsible parties accountable for the harm caused.

Types of Evidence To Present

When filing an AFFF lawsuit, the types of evidence presented can significantly impact the outcome of the case. Key evidence in these lawsuits typically includes:

  • Medical records that confirm the plaintiff’s cancer diagnosis
  • Employment history showing the plaintiff’s exposure to AFFF
  • Any documentation of the plaintiff’s contact with the AFFF products

In addition to these, any evidence that can establish the link between the plaintiff’s cancer and their AFFF exposure can be beneficial. This might include scientific studies, expert testimonies, or even company documents showing the defendant’s knowledge of the risks associated with their products.

Maryland Statute of Limitations

In Maryland, the general rule is that a personal injury lawsuit, including AFFF cancer lawsuits, must be filed within three years from the date of the alleged injury. However, the clock may not start ticking right away in all cases.

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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 Maryland 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, reach out to our team. We specialize in handling AFFF personal injury cases and promise to walk you through each step of the legal journey.

It’s crucial to comprehend your legal entitlements and determine your eligibility for a firefighting foam lawsuit. With Schmidt & Clark, initial consultations are complimentary, and we operate on a no-win, no-fee basis.

For a comprehensive case review concerning firefighting foam exposure, look no further than Schmidt & Clark. Allow us to be your steadfast partner in 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.lezdotechmed.com/blog/afff-lawsuit-update/

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