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Massachusetts Firefighter Foam Lawsuit: Get the Right Attorney

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

If you’re considering legal action due to AFFF exposure in Massachusetts, it’s important to understand the scope of the Massachusetts firefighter foam lawsuit. This lawsuit challenges manufacturers like 3M and Dupont regarding the cancer risks associated with toxic chemicals in the foam.

This article will clarify the critical aspects: eligibility for suing, the legal process of these cases, and the types of compensation victims are pursuing.

If you or someone you know has been affected by exposure to firefighting foam, the team at Schmidt & Clark, LLP, stands ready to support you. Recognized for our proficiency in championing the rights of plaintiffs, our topmost concern is to ensure that you receive the fair compensation and justice you are owed.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits

Firefighters, military personnel, and airport workers frequently face the most significant exposure to AFFF. They’ve been on the front lines, battling not only flames but also an invisible enemy – the toxic chemicals contained in the firefighting foam.

These professionals are now standing up for their rights and health, filing AFFF lawsuits in Massachusetts to seek justice and compensation for their suffering.

A broad array of devastating cancers, including prostate cancer, have been linked to AFFF exposure. Firefighting foam lawsuits serve as a strong call for justice and accountability, targeting manufacturers accused of prioritizing profit over people’s health.

In the wake of an AFFF lawsuit, these legal actions are a beacon of hope, illuminating the path for others who have been similarly affected to seek restitution.

Key Points from Lawsuits

The AFFF lawsuits paint a grim picture of alleged corporate negligence. Plaintiffs claim that the manufacturers knew about the health risks associated with the toxic firefighting foam for years.

The companies are accused of causing a wide range of health issues, from cancers to thyroid problems and fertility issues, in individuals exposed to the foam. Firefighters, in particular, are said to be at a higher risk of developing kidney, testicular, and prostate cancers due to AFFF exposure.

PFAS contamination forms the core issue in these lawsuits. In these legal battles, PFAS contamination refers to cases where plaintiffs allege that AF has caused water sources to be contaminated with per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), leading to significant settlements from manufacturers like 3M and Dupont.

The lawsuits argue that manufacturers knew about the cancer risks associated with AFFF exposure many years ago. The lawsuits emphasize the heightened risk of various cancers among firefighters and others regularly exposed to AFFF foam over long periods.

What Is AFFF?

According to the Division of Spill Prevention and Response, Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), is used to combat fires fueled by flammable liquids. It is designed to extinguish such fires rapidly. While it’s effective at its job, it’s also a significant health concern due to its toxic PFAS chemicals [1].

AFFF firefighting foam operates by smothering the flammable liquid vapor, suffocating the fire, and putting it out. The foam contains PFAS chemicals, also known as “forever chemicals,” due to their persistence in the environment and the human body.

Peeling back the layers of film-forming foam AFFF, we find a concoction of water, foam concentrate, and air. Some older stocks of AFFF may contain breakdown products such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). These chemicals are the main culprits behind AFFF cancer lawsuits.

Who Are The Defendants In AFFF Lawsuits in Massachusetts?

The defendants in AFFF lawsuits in Massachusetts include DuPont de Nemours, the Chemours Company, and 3M. These companies have been named in numerous AFFF lawsuits in Massachusetts, accused of manufacturing and distributing a product that has allegedly resulted in severe health issues for many.

3M, for instance, has been sued for allegedly contaminating drinking water with PFAS chemicals from their firefighting foam. It’s a serious allegation, considering the potential health risks associated with these chemicals.

Similarly, DuPont is facing accusations for its role in the manufacturing of AFFF. Like 3M, DuPont is at the center of the storm, with plaintiffs alleging that the company’s product has led to significant health issues.

As stated by the National Cancer Institute, the link between AFFF exposure and cancer is a crucial point of contention in these lawsuits. The toxic chemicals in AFFF, particularly PFAS, have been connected to various types of cancer, including kidney cancer, testicular cancer, and thyroid disease [2].

Certain PFAS chemicals, like perfluorooctane acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), are linked to increased cancer risk. Firefighters are particularly vulnerable to PFAS exposure due to their frequent contact with firefighting foam during training and real fire incidents.

Several years can pass between exposure to AFFF and the onset of cancer symptoms – a period known as the latency period. This delay can make it challenging to connect the dots between AFFF exposure and the resulting health issues.

However, the mounting evidence against PFAS chemicals and the growing number of lawsuits underscore the gravity of the situation.

Does Firefighting Foam Contain PFAS?

Firefighting foam does contain PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which are a group of chemicals found in certain synthetic Class B firefighting foams, including AFFF. While there are fluorine-free foams that are PFAS-free, many of the firefighting foams currently in use still contain these harmful chemicals.

According to the Science Direct, PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam have been linked to various health problems, including cancer. Research has shown that firefighting foams contain a mix of at least two classes of PFASs, which suggests their negative impact on health [3].

Occupational exposure of firefighters to carcinogenic chemicals may increase their risk of developing different types of cancer. PFAS is one of the major classes of carcinogenic chemicals that firefighters are exposed to as occupational hazards. – National Library of Medicine.

Despite the risks, there is hope. The push for safer alternatives is gaining momentum, and fluorine-free foams that do not contain PFAS are now available. This development is a testament to the efforts to protect the health of those who protect us.

Common Injuries Linked To Firefighting Foam PFAS

Exposure to PFAS in firefighting foam can result in a host of health issues, including:

Health problems following PFAS exposure don’t occur immediately. It can take several years for symptoms to manifest, particularly in the case of chronic conditions like cancer.

This latency period makes it all the more critical to monitor the health of those exposed to AFFF and provide them with the necessary support and care.

Who Qualifies for the AFFF Lawsuit in Massachusetts?

Individuals who have been exposed to AFFF and have subsequently developed health issues qualify for the AFFF lawsuit in Massachusetts. Family members of those exposed to AFFF can also qualify for the lawsuit.

This is particularly relevant for individuals who may have been exposed to the chemicals secondarily, such as through contaminated clothing or equipment.

Understanding whether you qualify for an AFFF lawsuit can be complex. Consulting with firefighting foam lawyers who can navigate you through the process and clarify your rights and options is imperative.

How Do AFFF Lawsuits Work?

AFFF lawsuits work through a complex legal process, often being consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL). This consolidation brings together all AFFF-related lawsuits from various federal courts, placing them under the supervision of one federal judge to streamline the proceedings and handle the cases more efficiently.

Consolidating AFFF lawsuits into an MDL offers several benefits:

  • Streamlines the legal process for efficiency
  • Enables consistent handling of pretrial proceedings like discovery and motions
  • Prevents the repetition of the same steps in different courts

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits Settlement Amounts in Massachusetts

Settlement amounts in AFFF lawsuits differ, hinging on factors like the severity of the injury and the case’s strength. Generally, the more severe the injury, the higher the potential settlement amount. Similarly, strong cases usually lead to higher settlements, while weaker ones might result in lower compensation.

In Massachusetts, the average settlement amounts for AFFF cancer lawsuit cases generally fall between $200,000 and $500,000. However, these amounts can vary depending on the specifics of each case.

There have been instances of significant payouts in AFFF cancer lawsuits. One notable case involved 3M Company and other firefighting foam manufacturers agreeing to an $850 million settlement. This case demonstrates the substantial compensation that can be achieved in prominent cases.

Potential Compensation for Victims of Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits in Massachusetts

Those suffering from firefighting foam-related cancers can secure financial compensation for injuries and damages tied to AFFF/PFAS exposure. This compensation is meant to alleviate the financial burden brought on by medical expenses, loss of income, and other related costs.

In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. These are additional damages meant to punish the defendant for their alleged misconduct or negligence. The awarding of punitive damages depends on the specific details of each case.

The pursuit of compensation in AFFF lawsuits is not just about financial restitution. It’s also about holding accountable those who allegedly knew about the risks associated with AFFF but failed to take adequate measures to protect those who were exposed to it.

Filing a Massachusetts Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit

While filing an AFFF lawsuit may seem complex, it becomes manageable with the right guidance and preparation. The first step is to gather evidence, such as medical records and employment history, that demonstrate exposure to AFFF and the resulting health issues.

Then, seek advice from a lawyer. Firms like Schmidt & Clark, LLP, which specialize in AFFF cases, provide free consultations. They can provide the expertise and guidance you need throughout the entire legal process.

After gathering evidence and consulting with a lawyer, the next step is to file the lawsuit. It’s crucial to do this within the state’s statute of limitations, which is typically between 2-3 years for AFFF lawsuits in Massachusetts.

Types of Evidence To Present

Gathering relevant evidence is crucial to presenting a robust case. This includes medical records such as the date of diagnosis, physician’s notes on the severity of symptoms, and the impact of the disease on daily life.

Employment records that show a history of exposure to AFFF during relevant work experiences can also be valuable pieces of evidence. These records can help establish a clear link between your work and your exposure to AFFF.

In addition to medical and employment records, expert opinions and witness statements that confirm exposure to PFAS chemicals in AFFF firefighting foam can strengthen your case.

Massachusetts Statute of Limitation

Typically, the statute of limitations to file an AFFF lawsuit in Massachusetts spans 2-3 years. However, this period can vary based on the type of claim and when the harm was discovered.

The discovery rule is relevant to AFFF lawsuits in Massachusetts. This rule means that the statute of limitations could start from the date the injury, like cancer, is found rather than the date of exposure.

It’s essential to adhere to the statute of limitations. If you miss the deadline, the court usually dismisses the case, and you lose the chance to pursue compensation for your damages.

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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 Massachusetts Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawyers

At Schmidt & Clark, LLP we stand ready to assist you during these pivotal moments. Should you or your loved ones have suffered due to firefighting foam exposure, reach out to us without delay. Our seasoned professionals are well-versed in handling such cases and will shepherd you through each step of the legal journey.

It’s crucial to comprehend your legal entitlements and determine your qualification for a firefighting foam litigation. We offer complimentary consultations, ensuring that you incur no fees unless we secure a favorable verdict or settlement in your case.

Enlist the aid of Schmidt & Clark for a comprehensive assessment of your firefighting foam-related legal matter. Allow us to be your steadfast partner as you tackle these complex 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.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0045653517307580

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