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Washington Firefighter Foam Lawsuit: Get the Right Attorney

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Collen Clark Published by Collen Clark

Washington Firefighter Foam Lawsuit
If you or a loved one has been exposed to AFFF firefighting foam in Washington, recent lawsuits may impact you. Health concerns about AFFF’s link to cancer have led to a series of legal challenges against its manufacturers.

This article delves into the ongoing Washington firefighter foam lawsuit, exploring key updates, plaintiff eligibility, and the implications of these cases for affected individuals.

Please click the button below for a Free Washington Firefighter Foam Lawsuit Review or contact our lawyers toll-free 24 hrs/day for a free case evaluation by dialing (866) 588-0600.

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Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits

The crux of the litigation lies in the hazardous nature of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), a firefighting foam. AFFF contains a group of manufactured chemicals known as PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), which are both water- and grease-resistant. It’s the presence of these PFAS chemicals that has sparked the ongoing legal battle.

The Washington firefighting foam lawsuit targets corporations such as 3M and DuPont.

These companies are accused of violating state laws, including public nuisance laws, the Products Liability Act, and the Consumer Protection Act, due to the production and sale of PFAS-containing products.

The state seeks compensation for the cleanup and investigation of PFAS contamination and demands that manufacturers fund an educational campaign and health monitoring for exposed residents.

Key Points from Lawsuits

The lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court demands that AFFF manufacturers pay for the following:

  • Investigation of PFAS contamination
  • Remediation of PFAS contamination
  • Restoration of affected areas
  • Monitoring of PFAS contamination
  • Any resulting damages

This legal action targets both AFFF manufacturers and chemical producers for creating PFAS, highlighting the widespread environmental and health risks they have caused, which has drawn the attention of the Environmental Protection Agency.

What Is AFFF?

According to a 2022 research by the Division of Spill Prevention and Response, AFFF is also known as Aqueous Film Forming Foam and it is a type of firefighting foam that contains toxic PFAS chemicals [1].

Specifically, it contains perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctane octane acid (PFOA). These chemicals are persistent in the environment and pose significant health risks to humans.

PFAS, the chemicals found in AFFF, have been linked to a wide range of health concerns. These include several types of cancers, infertility, and developmental issues in children. The health risks associated with PFAS chemicals are a primary concern in the ongoing AFFF lawsuits.

Who Are The Defendants In AFFF Lawsuits in Washington?

The defendants in AFFF lawsuits in Washington are primarily 3M and DuPont, renowned manufacturers of AFFF. However, the responsibility doesn’t end with them; other companies involved in the litigation include Ansul, National Foam, Buckeye Fire Production, Tyco Fire Products, Chemguard, and Chevron.

These companies provided AFFF to the U.S. military, and now they face litigation related to the health issues caused by AFFF exposure. The burden of proof lies with the plaintiffs, who must establish that their exposure to AFFF and subsequent health issues are directly linked to these companies’ products.

As stated in a 2023 study conducted by the National Cancer Institute, PFAS chemicals have been linked to various forms of cancer, posing a significant health risk to firefighters and military personnel exposed to the foam [2].

It’s due to this link that the Department of Defense has decided to stop purchasing PFAS-containing AFFF firefighting foam later in 2023 and phase it out entirely in 2024.

This decision came after a severe fire aboard the USS Forrestal in 1967, which underscored the need for a more effective fire suppressant than water. As a result, the Pentagon began using PFAS-containing firefighting foam. Now, decades later, we’re dealing with the health consequences of that decision.

Does Firefighting Foam Contain PFAS?

According to a 2018 study by the ChemTrust Organization, firefighting foam does contain PFAS [3]. These chemicals are extremely durable and have been used in industry and consumer products for over 70 years, including firefighting foams.

PFAS have been used specifically in some synthetic Class B firefighting foams, including aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Common Injuries Linked To Firefighting Foam PFAS

High levels of PFAS exposure from AFFF have been linked to a wide range of health concerns. These include increased cholesterol levels, immune system effects, and, most notably, various types of cancer. Specifically, PFAS has been linked to kidney, testicular, thyroid disease, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, bladder cancer, and liver cancer.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a type of PFAS, as a human carcinogen and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) as a possible human carcinogen. This classification underscores the serious health risks associated with PFAS exposure.

Who Qualifies for the AFFF Lawsuit in Washington?

Military firefighters diagnosed with cancer due to AFFF exposure may qualify for the AFFF lawsuit in Washington. Military firefighters are at a higher risk of developing cancer due to their frequent use of AFFF, which contains toxic PFAS that can cause serious health problems.

Exposure to AFFF has been linked to higher rates of various cancers, including:

The ‘forever chemicals’ in PFAS are persistent in the environment, causing widespread contamination and health risks.

How Do AFFF Lawsuits Work?

AFFF lawsuits work by consolidating individual claims into multi-district litigation (MDL) for a more streamlined process. The MDL offers:

  • A more efficient lawsuit process through consolidation
  • Consistent evidence disclosure across related cases
  • Uniform judicial rulings that apply to all cases within the MDL
  • Detailed individual case evaluations and negotiations for settlements or court decisions

Joining the MDL provides Washington residents with the advantage of collective resources and a coordinated team of attorneys experienced in PFAS-related lawsuits.

This collaboration can be crucial in dealing with the complexities of such cases. Furthermore, recent developments have seen settlements and a significant ruling affecting Kidde-Fenwal Incorporated in the broader context of AFFF lawsuits.

For those contemplating an individual lawsuit for AFFF exposure, the initial step is to obtain skilled legal counsel with expertise in toxic exposure cases. Such an attorney is instrumental in pinpointing the responsible entities, which may include several manufacturers, and linking their products to your health condition.

The MDL structure ensures that each plaintiff’s case is heard on an individual basis, allowing for compensation that reflects the unique aspects of their situation. This approach is distinct from class actions, where settlement amounts are typically smaller and distributed equally among all class members.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits Settlement Amounts in Washington

Recent settlements in the AFFF MDL have set a precedent for potential compensation amounts. Some of these settlements include:

  • $1.18 billion from DuPont
  • $10.3 billion from 3M, specifically addressing municipal water supplier complaints
  • 3M proposing to settle with public water systems for at least $10.5 billion
  • 3M considering setting aside an additional $10 billion to settle individual claims

These settlements highlight the significant impact of AFFF contamination on drinking water and the potential for compensation for those affected.

These settlement amounts in AFFF cases suggest that plaintiffs could potentially receive substantial compensation. However, it’s important to note that compensation amounts vary based on the specifics of each case.

Therefore, it’s crucial to work with an experienced attorney to ensure you receive fair compensation for your suffering.

Potential Compensation for Victims of Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits in Washington

Various damages can warrant compensation for victims of AFFF exposure. These can include medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other impacts such as lost income. The amount of compensation awarded will depend on the specifics of each case.

However, with the ongoing litigation and recent settlements, there is optimism for substantial compensation for victims. It’s important to note that the litigation also takes into account other types of cancer.

In some cases, the severity of the injury may lead to higher compensation being awarded in the second tier of the lawsuit compared to the first tier. This is due to the impact of the injury on the individual’s life and livelihood.

Filing a Washington Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit

There are a few key steps to follow for those ready to file a lawsuit. First, you’ll need to secure legal representation from a professional who specializes in toxic exposure cases. These attorneys will assist in identifying the responsible parties, including potentially multiple manufacturers, for their products’ contributions to your medical condition.

Next, you will need to gather and submit relevant evidence for your AFFF cancer lawsuit. This includes employment or military records as proof of AFFF exposure and medical records to evidence the related cancer diagnosis.

Your legal team will handle all necessary documentation for the lawsuit while conducting extensive research to gather additional evidence supporting your case, including information on other AFFF cancer lawsuits.

Types of Evidence To Present

The type of evidence you present in your lawsuit can significantly influence its outcome. Essential documents for filing a lawsuit include employment or military records as proof of AFFF exposure and medical records to evidence the related cancer diagnosis.

These pieces of evidence are vital in establishing a strong link between your condition and toxic AFFF exposure.

Washington Statute of Limitation

Being aware of the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in Washington is critical. Generally, the statute of limitations for AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits, including those related to AFFF exposure, is three years from the date when the cause of action accrues.

The discovery rule in Washington stipulates that the statute of limitations period begins when the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered, the injury caused by negligence.

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See all related toxic tort lawsuits our attorneys covered so far.

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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 Washington Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawyers

The team at Schmidt & Clark, LLP is prepared to support you during these critical times. If you or someone close to you has been harmed by exposure to firefighting foam, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our experts are well-versed in navigating these legal disputes and are committed to guiding you through each step of the process.

Understanding your legal rights and assessing your eligibility for a firefighting foam lawsuit is essential. We provide free consultations, and our representation is based on a contingency fee structure, meaning we only get paid if we win your case.

To discuss your firefighting foam exposure case in detail, get in touch with Schmidt & Clark. Let us be your reliable ally in addressing the intricacies of your legal battle.

Reference:

  1. https://dec.alaska.gov/spar/csp/pfas/firefighting-foam
  2. https://dceg.cancer.gov/research/what-we-study/pfas
  3. https://chemtrust.org/pfas

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