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Missouri Firefighter Foam Lawsuit: Get the Right Attorney

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Collen Clark Published by Collen Clark

If you’re a Missouri firefighter, military member, or resident grappling with the effects of PFAS exposure from firefighting foams, the Missouri firefighter foam lawsuit is critical for you.

This legal movement targets the accountability of foam manufacturers and offers a route to compensation for those affected. With new case developments and mounting lawsuits, understand your standing, how to participate, and the compensation you might expect.

If you or a loved one has been impacted by exposure to firefighting foam, the legal team at Schmidt & Clark, LLP, stands by to offer support. Recognized for our proficiency in championing the rights of plaintiffs, we are committed to ensuring that you receive the justice and fair compensation that you are entitled to.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits

In Missouri, firefighters, military personnel, and even some residents who have been diagnosed with a range of cancers are filing firefighting foam lawsuits related to AFFF exposure.

These AFFF cases aim to hold manufacturers accountable for knowingly placing people’s health at risk with their firefighting foam products.

Victims can pursue these complex legal matters on a contingency basis under the guidance of seasoned firefighting foam lawyers, ensuring no legal fees are paid unless compensation is won.

Key Points from Lawsuits

Firefighting foam, particularly aqueous film-forming foam, has been a standard tool in the fight against petroleum fires, especially in airports and military bases. But a dark cloud looms over this seemingly helpful substance, including firefighting foam.

Over the years, growing concerns have emerged as reports of PFAS contamination from AFFF have come to light, affecting both firefighter health and community water systems.

There’sThere’s been a marked rise in AFFF litigation in Missouri courts, with cases arguing exposure to harmful substances in firefighting foams. Several significant AFFF-related lawsuits, both individual and class actions, have shaped Missouri’sMissouri’s litigation landscape.

The Missouri courts, recognizing the negative health impacts of PFAS exposure, have come to regulate the use of AFFF and limit further PFAS contamination. Major manufacturers of these toxic firefighting foams have faced lawsuits for the purported health risks their products pose.

Recent Developments in Missouri AFFF Litigation

There have been several advancements in the litigation process as the fight against AFFF persists. The most recent Case Management Conference for AFFF litigation took place on March 1, 2024, marking significant progress in these cases.

Furthermore, the judge of the MDL granted a joint motion to extend the deadline for resolving discovery disputes in January 2024.

The number of pending cases in the AFFF class action MDL has escalated to 6,994 as of February 2024, with a significant increase of 279 new cases added in January 2024, indicating a growing litigation activity.

Meanwhile, a settlement mediator has been appointed to assist in global settlement discussions, signaling a potential progression toward case resolution.

What Is AFFF?

As claimed by the Division of Spill Prevention and Response, AFFF is a fire suppressant that firefighters extensively use to extinguish flammable liquid fires [1].

The foam forms a layer over the fire, effectively smothering it and preventing re-ignition. However, AFFF firefighting foam contains per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), commonly referred to as ”forever chemicals due to their persistence in the environment and the human body.

The adverse health effects linked to these toxic chemicals have driven the surge in AFFF litigation. If you have been exposed to AFFF and are experiencing any health issues, it is important to consult with a medical professional and consider seeking legal advice.

Who Are The Defendants In AFFF Lawsuits in Missouri?

The defendants in AFFF lawsuits in Missouri include prominent manufacturers such as 3M, DuPont, Chemours, Tyco Fire Products, and Corteva Inc.

These companies face serious accusations of knowingly producing and selling AFFF products laced with harmful PFAS chemicals. Not only were these products a staple in firefighting scenarios, but they also ended up contaminating water supplies, putting military personnel, firefighters, industrial workers, and others at risk of serious health issues.

The reactions of these manufacturers to the lawsuits have been diverse. While some deny involvement, others, like Kidde-Fenwal, have filed for bankruptcy. Beyond manufacturers, the AFFF class action MDL encompasses a broad spectrum of defendants, including:

  • entities responsible for the wide distribution of AFFF products
  • government agencies that used AFFF in firefighting operations
  • airports and military bases that used AFFF for fire suppression
  • firefighting training facilities that used AFFF in training exercises

According to the National Cancer Institute, the connection between foam and various types of cancer is among the most alarming revelations from the AFFF debacle. Studies have indicated increased cancer risks among firefighters due to exposure to toxic PFAS chemicals present in AFFF [2]. These include:

Does Firefighting Foam Contain PFAS?

Firefighting foam does contain PFAS. They are used in AFFF to make it more effective at smothering fires. However, PFAS are incredibly persistent, and once released into the environment, they don’t break down. They can contaminate soil, groundwater, and even drinking water.

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. – National Library of Medicine.

Furthermore, they accumulate in the human body over time, leading to a host of health problems, including pancreatic cancer.

Common Injuries Linked To Firefighting Foam PFAS

According to the National Library of Medicine, occupational exposure to PFAS from AFFF has left Missouri firefighters at risk. These long-chain substances persist in the human body and can bioaccumulate, resulting in latent and cumulative effects throughout their careers [3].

Such exposure has led to firefighters, especially airport and military firefighters, being at a higher risk of developing various cancers and other health issues.

The National Firefighter Registry (NFR) is actively collecting data on the cancer rates among firefighters, an initiative that is crucial for elucidating the extent of risks associated with AFFF exposure.

Who Qualifies for the AFFF Lawsuit in Missouri?

Individuals who have been exposed to AFFF and developed health conditions or illnesses due to this exposure qualify for the AFFF lawsuit in Missouri. This includes veterans, firefighters, military personnel, or any individuals who were exposed to AFFF within high-risk environments such as airports and military bases.

To support their claims, potential plaintiffs must maintain a well-documented record of exposure, noting their presence in areas where AFFF use was prevalent.

In addition, they must provide medical documentation of their diagnosis, validating that they have developed health conditions recognized in connection with AFFF exposure, such as various forms of cancer or thyroid disease.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits Settlement Amounts in Missouri

Although the precise settlement amounts in AFFF cancer lawsuits can significantly differ based on each case’scase’s specifics, the stakes remain undeniably high. Settlements in similar cases have reached into the hundreds of thousands and, in some instances, millions of dollars.

For example, a firefighter who developed cancer after years of exposure to AFFF could receive compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs associated with their illness.

In Missouri, settlements have ranged from $40,000 to amounts exceeding $1 million, reflecting the severity of the illness, the impact on the victim’svictim’s quality of life, and the degree of negligence on the part of the AFFF manufacturers.

Therefore, it’s crucial to consult with an attorney who can accurately assess the potential value of your claim and provide guidance on what you might expect based on the specifics of your situation.

How Do AFFF Lawsuits Work?

AFFF lawsuits work by being grouped into a class action MDL (Multidistrict Litigation). This process enhances legal efficiency and streamlines the trial process by consolidating similar cases within the MDL.

Judge Richard M. Gergel oversees the AFFF MDL at the United States District Court District of South Carolina, where he is advancing the litigation towards bellwether trials through coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings.

Potential Compensation for Victims of Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits in Missouri

For victims of AFFF-related cancers and health issues, potential compensation can make a significant difference. Damages in AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits may include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, emotional distress, lost earning ability, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Claimants may also seek compensation for permanent disability, future medical expenses, therapy costs, and other compensatory and punitive damages such as loss of consortium.

To claim medical expenses, it is crucial to maintain medical records that confirm diagnoses related to PFAS exposure, which can substantiate compensation claims.

Furthermore, these settlement amounts take into account medical bills, and the cost of treatment, and proper documentation is essential for establishing the illness’sillness’s severity and its connection to AF exposure.

Filing a Missouri Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit

If you think you’re you’re eligible to file an ATF lawsuit, it is important to follow the correct steps toward filing. This includes gathering the necessary evidence, understanding the statute of limitations, and seeking the assistance of an experienced attorney.

Each step plays a crucial role in building a strong case and increasing your chances of obtaining fair compensation.

Types of Evidence To Present

In an AFFF lawsuit, your strongest weapon is evidence. For firefighters, this includes maintaining a detailed record of their interactions with AFFF, including dates of use, specific locations, and duration of exposure. This documentation forms a thorough occupational exposure history that can play a key role in your case.

For residents, documenting any official notices received about PFAS contamination in their local water supply, along with any independent water testing results, is crucial.

Connecting detailed exposure documentation with the onset and progression of any health conditions is crucial for Missouri firefighters and residents pursuing claims for PFAS-related health concerns.

Missouri Statute of Limitation

In Missouri, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits, such as AFFF lawsuits, spans five years. This means that potential claimants have five years from the date of their diagnosis to file a lawsuit.

However, navigating the specifics of the statute of limitations can be complex, and it’s highly recommended to consult with an attorney to ensure you file your claim within the appropriate timeframe.

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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 Missouri Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawyers

The legal team at Schmidt & Clark, LLC stands ready to assist during these pivotal moments. If you or someone close to you has suffered due to firefighting foam exposure, reach out to us without delay. Our attorneys are well-versed in handling such cases and will support you at every stage.

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

Get in touch with Schmidt & Clark for a comprehensive review of your firefighting foam case.

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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