Firefighting foam (aqueous film-forming foam “AFFF”)) is a chemical product that has been used for years by firemen and in other commercial applications to extinguish fires.
However, various studies have recently shown that chronic use or exposure to firefighting can cause certain types of cancer. This discovery has led to a wave of firefighting foam lawsuits by former firemen and others who developed cancer after long periods of occupational exposure to AFF.
Our lawyers are accepting new clients in all 50 states for inclusion in the nationwide AFFF class action lawsuit.
This post was last updated on April 19, 2023
May 2023 Update
The MDL Judge declined to grant summary judgment to the defendants on a Florida city’s claims for damages caused by PFAS contamination in its waterways. 3M, DuPont, Tyco, and other companies have been accused by the city of Stuart, Florida, of polluting their municipal water supply system with PFAS-based aqueous film-forming foam. This city seeks compensation for the expenses of removing the chemicals from the water system. MDL Judge Richard Mark Gergel ruled that the city could proceed with its claims for $105 million in damages related to the operation and maintenance of the city’s PFAS treatment system, $851,729 for studies and reports, and $31 million for soil remediation. The judge pointed out the obvious: the defendants do not even dispute that “Plaintiff’s soil is contaminated with PFAS.” So he denied the companies’ motions for summary judgment on the claims, asserting that the damages were not speculative and that the question of remedial damages was solely for the jury to decide.
April 2023 Update
Settlement rumors increase, and the number of newly filed lawsuits decreases. Is there a connection? In the last 30 days, 115 new cases have been transferred into the AFFF firefighting foam class action lawsuit, bringing the current number of pending cases in the firefighting foam MDL to 4,173. This represents a significant drop compared to the past few months, where approximately 300 new cases were filed monthly.
All firefighters in the United States are encouraged to enroll in the National Firefighter Registry (NFR) for Cancer, which was launched by CDC on April 17. The registry will analyze and track cancer rates among firefighters, which are higher than the general public. The initiative is part of President Joe Biden’s “Cancer Moonshot” program and is being administered by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The NFR will gather data on the work firefighters do and compare it with cancer information from state cancer registries, as mandated by the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act passed by Congress in 2018.
August 2022 Firefighting Foam Lawsuit Update
We have our first AFFF lawsuit trial date. The AFFF firefighting foam MDL class action judge issued a new Case Management Order this week announcing that the first bellwether case would be selected in December. The test trial in the bellwether case will then begin in April 2023.
This is big news for plaintiffs and pushes a possible settlement that much closer. Bellwether trials generally lead to settlement negotiations, especially when the trial yields a significant verdict for the plaintiff.
June 2022 Firefighting Foam Lawsuit Update
Over the last month, 92 new AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits were added to the MDL in the District of South Carolina. This brings the current total of plaintiffs with pending cases in the MDL up to 2,586. This makes AFFF the 14th largest MDL.
The new AFFF lawsuits were split between those filed by individual plaintiffs alleging cancer from AFFF exposure and cases filed by municipal governments claiming water supply contamination.
May 2022 Firefighting Foam Lawsuit Update
As this litigation expands, the total number of cases pending in the AFFF MDL in South Carolina is now over 2,000. The defendants recently filed a motion seeking partial summary judgment based on government contract immunity, and the MDL judge will likely rule on that motion sometime before the end of March.
We should know more about where the firefighting foam lawsuits are heading in the next AFFF class action lawsuit status conference.
AFFF lawsuits have been accepted as bellwether trial candidates in the class action. Pretrial discovery in these lawsuits closed out last month, moving us one step closer to trial. The expert witness deadline – a big deadline – comes at the end of June.
Does Firefighting Foam (AFFF) Cause Cancer?
AFF firefighting foam is a type of fire extinguishing chemical used to put out very intense fires. Firefighting foam products contain chemicals known as polyfluoroalkyl materials or PFAS. PFAS makes the product so effective at putting out fires, but they also make it toxic.
In 2016, a new wave of scientific research revealed that PFAS in firefighting foam could cause cancer. A group of long-term studies conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that individuals with prolonged occupational exposure to firefighting foam with PFAS were at an increased risk of developing 3 types of cancer: prostate, kidney, and testicular cancer. The results of this initial IARC study were later confirmed and substantiated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
In the wake of this research, PFAS was formally recognized as a human carcinogen. Firefighting foam is now being banned in the military and by fire departments nationwide.
Firefighting Foam Class Action Litigation
Firefighting foam containing PFAS has been around for years and is manufactured by major chemical companies like 3M and DuPont. There is apparently some evidence to suggest that DuPont and other manufacturers were well aware of the link between PFAs and cancer.
The manufacturers may have known the possible link between occupational exposure to PFAS and cancer for years. Not only did they fail to disclose this to the public (or warn potential users of their products), some plaintiffs are alleging that firefighting foam manufacturers actively and deliberately concealed this evidence.
Hundreds of former firemen and other individuals exposed to firefighting foam on the job and subsequently diagnosed with kidney, prostate, or testicular cancer are now filing product liability lawsuits against DuPont and other companies. In 2019, all the firefighting foam lawsuits pending nationwide were consolidated into a class action MDL. The Firefighting Foam MDL is in the U.S. District Court for South Carolina.
The firefighting foam litigation is ongoing, and new cases are still being filed. We now have over 2000 in February 2022. Eventually, our attorneys expect some type of global settlement of all pending cases will likely take place.
Do You Qualify for a Firefighting Foam Lawsuit?
It is not too late to file your own firefighting foam lawsuit and participate in any financial settlement eventually reached in these cases. Our firefighting foam lawyers can help. Our law firm is actively seeking new AFF firefighting foam cases from any individuals who meet the following criteria:
- Exposure to Firefighting Foam: to qualify as a plaintiff in the firefighting foam litigation, you must show that you were regularly exposed to AFF firefighting foam over a prolonged period. Firefighters directly exposed to or used firefighting foam on the job over several years would meet this requirement. By contrast, if you only used firefighting foam once or twice over several years, you probably would not meet this requirement.
- Cancer Diagnosis: the second criterion to qualify for a firefighting foam lawsuit is that you were diagnosed with kidney, prostate, or testicular cancer after exposure to AFF. These are currently the only types of cancer that are linked to AFF.
What AFFF Lawsuit Settlement Amounts Do You Expect?
At this stage in the litigation, it is tough to say how much your firefighting foam case might be worth, but based on prior mass tort cases the settlement value of a valid claim could range anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000. Some settlement amounts could be higher. The average successful jury verdict will likely be in the millions.
Contact Miller & Zois About Filing a Firefighting Foam Lawsuit
Although hundreds of firefighting foam cases have already been filed, it is not too late to bring your own claim. If you meet both of the qualifying criteria above, we can help get your firefighting foam lawsuit filed as quickly as possible so that you can benefit from any eventual financial settlement in this litigation.
Call our firefighting foam cancer lawyers at 800-553-8082 or contact us online to see if you qualify.