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New Jersey Firefighter Foam Lawsuit: Get the Right Attorney

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Collen Clark Published by Collen Clark

The New Jersey firefighter foam lawsuit seeks justice for individuals harmed by AF, a foam linked to serious health risks, including cancer. This legal battle implicates manufacturers who potentially knew about the dangers yet failed to protect users.

If you or a loved one has been adversely affected by exposure to firefighting foam, Schmidt & Clark LLP stands prepared to support you. Recognized for our proficiency in championing the plaintiff’s rights, we are dedicated to ensuring that you receive the compensation and justice that you are rightfully entitled to.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits

A wave of firefighting foam lawsuits has swept the nation, with affected parties taking legal action against manufacturers of this potentially toxic substance. Firefighting foam, although a life-saving tool in the battle against Class B fires resulting from flammable liquids like gasoline and petroleum, has been linked to serious health effects.

Those directly exposed to AFFF, such as firefighters, military personnel, and airport workers, have grounds to file a lawsuit. They aim to obtain justice for the devastating health conditions, namely kidney, testicular, and pancreatic cancer, that are linked to AFFF exposure.

In AFFF firefighting foam cases, the main contention is the alleged negligence of manufacturers. Accusations leveled at these companies, such as National Foam, include the conscious production, marketing, and sale of AFFF products despite known health risks.

Tragically, the fallout from this alleged negligence has not only led to personal injury claims but also to municipal water contamination claims and a significant increase in Firefighter Cancer Registry Act cases, with some firefighters having developed cancer.

Key Points from Lawsuits

The primary claim in these firefighting foam cancer lawsuits is that AFFF manufacturers were aware of the product’s potential harm to human health. Yet, it continued its production, marketing, and sales.

This alleged indifference towards safety has resulted in a significant health hazard, particularly for those regularly exposed to AFFF, such as firefighters.

These lawsuits highlight the manufacturers’ alleged failure to adequately warn users of the health risks associated with their products. Despite their awareness of these risks, manufacturers purportedly continued to produce, market, and sell AFFF products for an extended period.

This disregard for the welfare of individuals and the environment forms the basis of numerous personal injury claims and has led to prior mass tort cases and wrongful death trials.

What Is AFFF?

According to the Division of Spill Prevention and Response, AFFF is an acronym for Aqueous Film Forming Foam, a firefighting agent specifically designed to tackle Class B fires, which are fueled by flammable liquids such as gasoline and petroleum [1].

While AFFF’s effectiveness in fire suppression is undeniable, the same chemical properties that make it so efficient can also pose significant dangers to human health and the environment. It is important to handle and dispose of AFFF properly to minimize exposure to these harmful substances.

The use of AFFF is widespread, particularly in occupations such as firefighting and aviation, where the risks of flammable liquid fires are high.

However, the alleged toxic nature of AFFF and the subsequent health risks have led to a surge of AFFF firefighting foam cases, leading to a significant AFFF litigation movement and the establishment of an AFFF class action MDL.

Who Are The Defendants In AFFF Lawsuits in New Jersey?

The defendants in AFFF lawsuits in New Jersey include several high-profile corporations such as The 3M Company, Tyco Fire Products LP, Chemguard, Inc., Buckeye Fire Equipment Company, and others.

These companies are being held accountable for their alleged negligence in manufacturing and selling toxic firefighting foam products.

The State of New Jersey has taken a proactive stance, filing a lawsuit against these companies. This step reflects the state’s commitment to protecting its residents and environment from potentially toxic substances.

In the fight for justice, law firms like Wilentz are representing current and former firefighters exposed to firefighting foam.

According to the National Cancer Institute, the heart of the matter lies in the link between firefighting foam and cancer. Research has shown a correlation between AFFF exposure and an increased risk of certain cancers, particularly among firefighters. The harmful chemicals present in AFFF, known as PFAS, are the culprits behind this health crisis [2].

Many New Jersey firefighters who have been regularly exposed to AFFF in the line of duty have been diagnosed with different types of cancer. This alarming trend underscores the critical need for these AFFF firefighter lawsuits, providing affected individuals with a legal avenue to seek justice and compensation.

Does Firefighting Foam Contain PFAS?

Firefighting foam does contain PFAS. At the center of these AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits is the presence of PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam. PFAS, also known as Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, have been utilized in various industries since the 1940s.

These are manufactured chemicals with wide-ranging applications. They are used in firefighting foam due to their water and grease-repellent properties, making them effective in suppressing flammable liquid fires.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, these same toxic chemicals, specifically PFOA and PFOS, have been linked to various health concerns, including [3]:

This has raised serious questions about the safety of using AFFF, prompting extensive research and leading to the numerous firefighting foam lawsuits currently underway.

Common Injuries Linked To Firefighting Foam PFAS

While cancer is one of the most serious health concerns linked to AFFF exposure, it’s not the only one. Chronic exposure to PFAS from AFFF firefighting foam has been linked to an increased risk of several types of cancer.

Studies show that elevated levels of PFAS exposure is associated with adverse health effects such as testicular and kidney cancers – National Library of Medicine

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has highlighted the substantial health risks connected with prolonged PFAS exposure, emphasizing the serious nature of environmental health concerns associated with these chemicals.

Who Qualifies for the AFFF Lawsuit in New Jersey?

Firefighters, military members, or airport workers in New Jersey who have been exposed to AFFF qualify for the AFFF lawsuit in New Jersey. Individuals who worked in specific jobs or professions where AFFF firefighting foam was regularly used may qualify for the AFFF lawsuit.

Military personnel who were exposed to AFFF at military bases, airfields, and Navy vessels may also be eligible to file a lawsuit. Workers in commercial airports and industrial facilities that used AFFF extensively as part of fire safety protocols could also qualify for the lawsuit.

Even those who consumed drinking water contaminated with PFAS from AFFF firefighting foam may be eligible to file a lawsuit. This is particularly relevant for those living near military bases or airports where AFFF was used.

Eligible plaintiffs will need to demonstrate regular exposure to PFAS from AFFF firefighting foam and subsequent diagnosis with one of the cancers linked to PFAS, like kidney, testicular, prostate, pancreatic, liver, bladder, ovarian, etc., to qualify for the lawsuit.

How Do AFFF Lawsuits Work?

AFFF lawsuits work by providing a legal avenue for victims of AFFF exposure, such as firefighters, military members, airport workers, and those diagnosed with PFAS-related illnesses, to seek justice in New Jersey.

Law firms in the state are actively representing individuals nationwide who have been exposed to AFFF, undertaking various legal tasks, including:

  • Filing lawsuits
  • Discovery
  • Bellwether trials
  • Settlement negotiations

These law firms, with their legal expertise and resources, are crucial allies for victims of AFFF exposure. They ensure that their rights are protected and their cases are effectively presented.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits Settlement Amounts in New Jersey

While the specific settlement amounts for individual cancer claims from AFFF exposure in New Jersey are not publicly reported, it’s projected that the settlements will follow a tiered structure. Factors such as the extent of PFAS exposure and cancer severity are expected to influence compensation levels.

Previous settlements for PFAS-related claims have reached significant amounts, including a $10.3 billion settlement with 3M and a $4 billion settlement with DuPont, Chemours, and Corteva for contaminating water supplies. Based on such precedents, it’s anticipated that individual lawsuit trials may result in compensation in the millions.

The AFFF litigation process includes both individual cancer claims and municipal water contamination claims. The first bellwether trial in the AF litigation is a municipal water contamination case, the City of Stuart v. 3M Co. et al., set to begin on June 5, 2023. Its outcome could influence future settlement negotiations and amounts.

Potential Compensation for Victims of Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits in New Jersey

Individuals in New Jersey exposed to AFFF firefighting foam may qualify to file a claim and seek compensation for injuries, pain, suffering, and economic damages.

Those who have developed cancers such as testicular, kidney, breast, pancreatic, or prostate cancer after firefighting foam (AFFF) exposure are advised to contact a lawyer to discuss their rights to compensation claims.

Compensation sought in New Jersey AFFF lawsuits can cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and reduced earning capacity due to illness related to AFFF exposure.

Damages claimed can include a variety of compensatory and punitive damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, lost earning ability, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Estimates suggest that settlement amounts in AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits could fall between $40,000 to $300,000 or higher, with the actual amount depending on the case strength and individual factors.

However, evidence is key in AFFF lawsuits, with medical records, cancer diagnosis information, and history of AFFF exposure playing critical roles in substantiating claims.

Filing a New Jersey Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit

To initiate a New Jersey firefighting foam cancer lawsuit, the process generally involves the following steps:

  • Identification of the plaintiff’s exposure to AFFF
  • Gathering of relevant medical documentation and evidence of cancer diagnosis
  • Consultation with a qualified attorney to assess the case

The attorney will then file a complaint on behalf of the plaintiff, marking the formal start of the legal proceedings.

Types of Evidence To Present

When filing a New Jersey firefighting foam cancer lawsuit, plaintiffs must present compelling evidence to substantiate their claims. Key pieces of evidence include medical records, cancer diagnosis information, and history of AFFF exposure.

These documents provide proof of the plaintiff’s exposure to AFFF and the resulting health issues, which is critical in establishing the link between the defendant’s product and the plaintiff’s illness.

New Jersey Statute of Limitation

In legal proceedings, time is of the essence. Statutes of limitations set mandatory deadlines for filing PFAS-related lawsuits. These laws vary by state and type of claim and dictate the timeframe within which a lawsuit must be filed.

In New Jersey, for instance, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is typically two years from the date of injury or discovery of the injury.

If a claim is not filed within this prescribed period, which can extend up to six years for certain claims under specific circumstances, the plaintiff may lose the right to file the lawsuit altogether.

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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 New Jersey Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawyers

The team at Schmidt & Clark, LLP is ready to stand by your side during these pivotal moments. Should you or a loved one suffer from injuries linked to firefighting foam exposure, reach out to us without delay. Our firefighting foam lawyers are well-versed in such matters and will provide comprehensive guidance throughout the entire legal journey.

It is crucial to be informed about your legal rights and determine your eligibility for an AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit. We offer free consultations, ensuring that you incur no fees unless we secure a favorable verdict or settlement in your case.

For a detailed assessment of your firefighting foam-related case, get in touch with Schmidt & Clark. Allow us to be your trusted partner as you face 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.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/health-effects/index.html

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