ACCEPTING CASES NATIONWIDE

585.270.8882

CALL NOW

March 16, 2023

Do you qualify to file a Fire Fighting Foam (AFFF) lawsuit?

  • Have you been exposed to AFFF or Fire Fighting Foam?
  • Have been diagnosed with cancer, including kidney, testicular, ovarian, breast, prostate, lymphoma or leukemia?

If you answered ‘yes’ to both questions, we believe you qualify. Call us now at 585.460.2193 to talk to someone about your case or submit your information online. We are accepting cases nationwide.

AFFF Lawsuit Updates – March 2023

March 16, 2023 – EPA Proposes To Limit Forever Chemicals – Including PFAS Found In Firefighting Foam (AFFF)
On March 14, 2023, the US Environmental Protection Agency proposed the first-ever national drinking water standard for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), commonly known as “forever chemicals,” which pose a significant threat to human health. This proposal has the potential to drastically impact the drinking water of almost every person in the United States. The proposed rule aims to establish safe drinking water levels for six specific PFAS chemicals, which are persistent synthetic compounds. These chemicals are widespread in the environment and the human body, and prolonged exposure to them can result in severe health complications.

The US Department of Defense has implemented a timeline to eliminate PFAS from firefighting foam with a complete halt to its use by October 2024. This move is in response to hundreds of military sites being polluted by foam used to extinguish jet fuel fires. In addition to it practical application, many firefighters outside of the military have been routinely exposed to AFFF chemicals as a part of their training.

March 10, 2023 – New Lawsuit Filed in AFFF Exposure Case
On March 2nd a new lawsuit was filed dealing with AFFF involving a Dear Park Texas man (Kent v. 3M) who served as a firefighter in the Marine Corps and was regular exposed to the chemicals contained in fire fighting foam (AFFF). The plaintiff makes claims of pain and suffering, injury, and emotional distress due to the development of prostate cancer which he alleges was caused by AFFF exposure. Click here to see the full complaint filed in South Carolina.
February 23, 2023 – Scientists continue to find links between AFFF exposure and elevated risk for cancer
A recent article authored by eight leading scientist was published in Science Direct in December 2022 and cited over seventy other studies in support of their position. Due to the persistence of PFASs in the human body and their ability to bioaccumulate, firefighters experience cumulative effects of PFAS-containing AFFF exposure throughout their careers, increasing their risk of developing thyroid, kidney, bladder, testicular, prostate and colon cancers. The study suggests that PFASs may contribute to firefighter cancers, and further research is needed to evaluate the role of occupational PFAS exposure in causing an elevated cancer risk for firefighters. Click here to read the full study.

February 16, 2023 – Important Court Rulings Forthcoming
Rulings with respect to the admissibility of scientific evidence in initial drinking water utility lawsuits involving damages caused by firefighting foam containing PFAS will be forthcoming soon. The first bellwether trial, City of Stuart v. 3M Co., has been scheduled for June 5, and the parties are currently in the final stages of presenting arguments regarding the Daubert standard, which is the criteria that the US District Court for the District of South Carolina should use to evaluate scientific testimony and evidence. These rulings could impact the admissibility of certain scientific evidence in the cancer lawsuits.

January 25, 2023

The plaintiffs have recently submitted opposition briefs in the forthcoming firefighting foam trial case (City of Stuart v. 3M Co.), countering the defendants’ motion for summary judgment filed last week. The defense asserted that there was no proof connecting their specific AFFF items to the polluted city water. In contrast, the plaintiffs’ response referenced expert testimony ultimately concluding that the exact products in question were a significant contributing source of the tainted water supply. The plaintiffs must establish that there is a factual dispute that requires a jury’s resolution in order to beat the summary judgement motion.

January 18, 2023

The federal multi-district litigation over firefighting AFFF has had 48 new cases added bringing it to a total of 3,387.

January 3, 2023

Three manufacturers of AFFF are motioning that they should be removed as defendants from the first AFFF lawsuit to go to trial on the basis that the plaintiff’s expert witnesses have not sufficiently connected the plaintiff’s symptoms with the defendants’ product.

November 10, 2022
Recently, the judge overseeing the AFFF class action lawsuit appointed a mediator to facilitate settlement talks between the parties. These talks will take place prior to the first bellwether trial scheduled for next year. A retired judge, Layn Phillips, has been selected to serve as the mediator. However, this will be a challenging task for Phillips, given the broad scope of the AFFF class action MDL, which includes claims from both firefighters who allege that AFFF products caused their cancer and municipalities who claim that AFFF tainted their water systems. Due to the diverse range of plaintiffs and defendants involved, reaching a global AFFF settlement will be complex. Nonetheless, defendants may be motivated to offer settlement compensation to plaintiffs as a means of resolving some of the AFFF lawsuits. The first bellwether trial is slated for June 2023.

Firefighting Foam (AFFF) Lawsuit Background Information

Firefighting foam, or AFFF (aqueous film-forming foam), is a synthetic foam that is used to put out class B fires (fires in flammable gases or liquids, such as gasoline). It was developed in the 1960s by the US Navy and has since been used to extinguish fires at military facilities, oil tankers, chemical plants, fire departments, airports, flammable liquid storage facilities, etc.

Some AFFF firefighting foams contain PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), nicknamed “forever chemicals”. PFAS chemicals are known to remain in the human body, as well as the environment, indefinitely. PFAS substances in firefighting foam have been linked to water contamination and serious health conditions in people who have been exposed to them.

If you have symptoms that could be caused by firefighting foam, you may be able to file a lawsuit and claim compensation. Contact King Law today to check if you’re eligible for a case.

You may see some of the manufacturers of PFAS-containing AFFF below:

ManufacturerProduct NameCurrent State
3MLightwaterNo longer produced (as of 2002)
Ansul, subsidiary of TycoAnsuliteStill produced
National Foam, Inc.,
subsidiary of Kidde-Fenwall
Aer-O-Lite

Aer-O-Water

Centurion

Universal

Still produced
ChemguardChemguardStill produced
ChemoursFM-200Still produced

 

Table of Contents:

What Is Firefighting Foam Made Of?

There are 2 classes of firefighting foams, named after the class of fire they are meant to put out:

  • Class A firefighting foams are used to extinguish “ordinary combustibles” such as paper, cloth, rubber, wood, and many types of plastic. Class A foams are commonly used to combat wildfires. Class A foams are mainly made of synthetic surfactants and do not contain PFAS. Class A foams soak into burning fuel in a way water would not. This means a fire is less likely to restart than if water alone was used. They are not effective on burning liquids.
  • Class B foams are used to extinguish flammable liquids (NFPA considers liquids with a flash point under 100°F flammable). Common examples of flammable liquids are gasoline, oil, diesel, acetone, and propane, as well as alcohols.
    • Water is heavier than many flammable liquids so if you spray water on e.g. gasoline, the gasoline floats to the top and keeps burning. Class B foam forms a layer above a burning liquid preventing oxygen from reaching the fuel.
    • There are 4 types of Class B foam:
      • Protein foams (don’t contain “forever chemicals”)
      • Synthetic fluorine-free foams (also don’t contain “forever chemicals”),
      • AFFF, which contains PFAS giving it properties for quickly covering liquids
      • Alcohol-resistant aqueous film-forming foams (AR-AFFF) which are (as the name suggests) resistant to alcohol, which can break down bubbles.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits

Firefighting aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) may contain the PFAS compounds;

perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). There is no way to excrete PFAS compounds and their carbon-fluorine bonds are very hard to break down so they accumulate in the body. This accumulation of PFAS can cause illness e.g. thyroid diseases and several types of cancer.

Some of the health conditions that have been linked to AFFF firefighting foam include:

  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Decreased vaccine response in children
  • Changes in liver enzymes and liver damage
  • Changes in the immune system
  • Fertility issues
  • Changes in fetal and child development
    • Decreased weight in newborn babies and infants
  • Increased risk of high blood pressure
  • Increased risk of asthma
  • Increased risk of developing cancer

The following illnesses have been linked to PFAS exposure:

  • Kidney Cancer
  • Kidney Disease
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Testicular Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Since the potential side effects of AFFF exposure can be severe, it should come as no surprise that those affected may want to file an AFFF lawsuit. There are over 2,500 plaintiffs in firefighting foam lawsuits as of January 2023.

Companies that supplied AFFF firefighting foam to fire departments, military bases, airports, and others are the defendants named in AFFF lawsuits. These companies include 3M, AGC Chemicals, Amerex Corp., Archroma, Badger, Chemdesign Products, Chemours, Chemguard, Chubb Fire, Corteva, Inc., DuPont, Deep Water Chemicals, Dynax Corporation, Perimeter Solutions, Solberg, Tyco Fire Products, United Technologies Corp., UTC Fire & Security, and more.

Since AFFFs have been part of firefighters’ tool kits and training for decades, many firefighters have had significant exposure and so are at greater risk of suffering ill effects.

Firefighting foam lawsuits claim defendants knew or should have known that PFAS in AFFF can cause significant health problems.

Types of AFFF and Modern Alternatives

There are 3 types of AFFF products:

  • Legacy PFOS AFFF
    • These firefighting foams were produced in the US from the late 1960s until 2002 by 3M and sold under the brand name “Lightwater”. Lightwater AFFF contained PFOS and various precursors that could potentially break down to PFOS and shorter chain PFSAs. Some of these PFSAs are also considered to be persistent.
  • Legacy fluorotelomer AFFF (contain some long-chain PFAS)
    • These foams were produced in the US from the 1970s until 2016 and encompass all other brands of AFFF besides 3M’s Lightwater. Although these foams are not made with PFOA, according to research published by Backe, Day and Field, they contain polyfluorinated precursors that are shown to break down into PFOA and other PFCAs in the natural environment.
  • Modern fluorotelomer AFFF (contain almost exclusively short-chain PFAS)
    • Following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) 2010/2015 voluntary PFOA Stewardship Program announcement, most manufacturers transitioned to the production of short-chain (C6) fluorotelomer based PFAS. These firefighting foams are called “modern” to distinguish them from the legacy foams.

As it has become clearer and more public that AFFF is dangerous, legislation (PFAS Action Act of 2021) has been passed to reduce its use by Both the US federal government and individual states (and of course other countries). Each business in the area also has its own rules. Some states entirely prohibit the use of AFFF, some do not control it while others allow its use in specific situations where the potential harm it does is thought to be justified by the harm it can prevent by putting out a potentially dangerous (and environmentally hazardous) fire.

Some of the alternatives to AFFF include fluorine-free foam, dry chemical agents and C6 firefighting foam concentrates.

AFFF Exposure Symptoms and Chemicals

People who have been exposed to toxic AFFFs for prolonged periods of time are at a higher risk of developing cancer and other serious conditions. This category includes:

  • Firefighters, especially military and airport firefighters
  • Residents living near a fire/military base, or airport
  • Airport employees and military personnel (because they work where the foam is stored)
  • Oil and gas workers (who might be exposed to AFFFs in case of a fire)

Firefighting Foam Exposure Symptoms

Firefighting foam exposure has been linked to various health conditions and the symptoms depend on the particular condition you may have developed. If you believe you’ve been exposed to PFAS in firefighting foam and you’re experiencing side effects, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Some of the conditions associated with AFFF exposure include: fertility issues, pregnancy-induced hypertension/pre-eclampsia, kidney cancer and testicular cancer.

While there may be no symptoms, the symptoms of pregnancy-induced hypertension/pre-eclampsia may include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Swelling of feet and hands
  • Protein in urine

Some symptoms of kidney cancer include:

  • Blood in urine
  • Persistent pain in the back or side
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

Some symptoms of testicular cancer include:

  • A lump or enlargement of either testicle
  • Pain or discomfort in the testicle(s) or scrotum
  • A dull, aching feeling in the abdomen or groin

These are not exhaustive lists of symptoms and these lists are not meant for self-diagnose. If you’re experiencing health problems, contact your doctor and discuss your symptoms with them. If you think your cancer is related to AFFF, you may be eligible for an AFFF cancer lawsuit.

Firefighting Foam Chemicals

PFAS were originally discovered by scientists working at Dupont. One of the reasons they are useful is their unusual surface tension properties. Another reason is that their many carbon-fluorine bonds make them extremely stable (so a fire won’t break them down easily). The problem is this extreme stability also gives them essentially complete resistance to the ways human bodies normally break things down (or the ways things break down in the environment). Humans also have no way of excreting them so once they get inside the body they just stay there, potentially causing an array of serious medical issues.

ChemicalUsesDangers
PFOA
  • non-stick and stain-resistant coatings
  • fire-fighting foams
  • surfactant in industrial processes
  • higher cholesterol
  • changes to liver function
  • reduced immune response
  • thyroid disease
  • kidney cancer
  • testicular cancer
PFOS
  • stain-resistant fabrics
  • fire-fighting foams
  • food packaging
  • surfactant in industrial processes.
  • elevated cholesterol,
  • liver damage
  • cardiovascular disease
  • changes in thyroid hormone levels
  • reduced immune response
  • possible carcinogen
PFNA
  • production of non-stick, stain repellent and chemically inert coatings
  • cancer
  • damage to the immune system
  • hormone disruption
  • pregnancy and child development problems
  • liver damage

AFFF and Firefighting Foam Lawyers

If you or your loved one suffered the adverse effects of AFFF, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit, and, if you’re successful, receive financial compensation. It is a complicated process and you will benefit from experienced firefighting foam lawyers by your side. At King Law we are committed to helping build strong cases for people who have been exposed to toxic firefighting foams. Our firm specialises in chemical and water contamination cases, specifically in regard to the military. Our team of experienced attorneys will review your situation and determine if you have a case.

You may be able to file an AFFF lawsuit if you or someone close to you:

  • Were exposed to AFFF for a prolonged period of time (i.e worked as a firefighter, airport maintenance crew, factory worker, etc.)
  • Have been exposed to toxic firefighting foams
  • Were later diagnosed with cancer

Military Facilities with Known or Suspected PFAS Release

If you or your loved one was stationed at one of these facilities for 1 year or longer, you may be able to file a lawsuit. You can also check if your facility has been flagged as associated with PFAS exposure on the EPA’s website (US Environmental Protection Agency) or EWG’s website (Environmental Working Group).

Airforce

  • Air Force Plant 42
  • Beale Air Force Base
  • Castle Air Force Base
  • Channel Islands ANGS
  • Edwards Air Force Base
  • Fresno ANG Base
  • George Air Force Base
  • Los Angeles Air Force Base
  • March Air Force Base
  • March Air Reserve Base
  • Mather Air Force Base
  • McClellan Air Force Base
  • Moffett Field ANG Station
  • Norton Air Force Base
  • Onizuka Air Force Station
  • Ontario ANG Station
  • Travis Air Force Base
  • Vandenberg Air Force Base

Army

  • AFRC Los Alamitos
  • Army Aviation Support ARNG Stockton
  • Camp Roberts
  • Camp San Luis Obispo
  • Fort Hunter Liggett
  • Fort Irwin
  • Fort Ord
  • Fresno ARNG TASMG
  • Military Ocean Terminal Concord
  • Roseville Armory ARNG
  • Sacramento AASF
  • Sharpe Army Depot
  • Sierra Army Depot

Navy/Marine Corps

  • Alameda Naval Complex
  • Azusa NCCOSC Morris Dam
  • Concord NWS
  • Coronado Naval Amphibious Base
  • Crows Landing NALF
  • Hunter Point NSY
  • Long Beach NS
  • Long Beach NSY
  • Mare Island Naval Complex
  • Marine Corps Air Station El Toro
  • Marine Corps Air Station Tustin
  • Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow
  • MCAGCC Twenty Nine Palms
  • MCAS Miramar
  • MCB Camp Pendleton
  • NAF El Centro
  • Naval Air Station Lemoore
  • Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake
  • Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu
  • Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme
  • Naval Base Ventura County, San Nicolas Island
  • NAVBASE Coronado
  • NAVBASE Point Loma (SUBBASE)/SPAWAR (SSC)
  • NAVBASE San Diego
  • NAVCOMTELSTA Stockton
  • NAVWPNSTA Seal Beach
  • NAVWPNSTA Seal Beach Fallbrook
  • NOLF Imperial Beach
  • San Diego AUXLNDFLD NAVBASE Coronado
  • San Diego FASWTC PAC NAVBASE Point Loma
  • San Diego Nise-West NAVBASE Point Loma
  • Treasure Island Naval Complex

AFFF Lawsuit Settlement Amounts

It is difficult to predict what your AFFF lawsuit payout will be, since every individual case is different.

A tiered system is used to determine the value of compensation settlements. The top tier is for plaintiffs with the greatest exposure and most serious types of AFF-linked cancer. Lower tiers are for plaintiffs with less exposure and/or less serious types of cancer.

The AFFF multidistrict litigation (MDL 2873) aggregates lawsuits from across the US related to harm caused by AFFF exposure.

You can get some idea of settlement amounts from the results of lawsuits filed for PFAS contamination in drinking water. In 2017 DuPont paid $671 million to thousands of plaintiffs for dumping PFAS in West Virginia’s waterways. In 2022 3M and Wolverine Worldwide were ordered to pay $54 million in a class action lawsuit to residents of Kent County Michigan.

The amount of a lawsuit settlement could be affected by the amount of AFFF you have been exposed to and what kind of cancer you have and how much your treatment has cost.

How to File a Claim

Your legal process will start with a consultation that will determine whether or not you are eligible. After that, you will need to gather as much evidence as possible. Our lawyers will help you determine what evidence to present.

Evidence in AFFF lawsuits may include:

  • Medical records and diagnosis
  • Employment records
  • Personal testimony
  • Witness testimonies
  • Any other information proving exposure to firefighting foam

Contact our team at King Law and we will guide you through the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of cancer is caused by AFFF?
AFFF is believed to cause several types of cancer, including kidney cancer, testicular cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, and others.
Is AFFF still being used?
Many states are passing legislation to prohibit the use of PFAS-based AFFF. However, AFFF remains in use at airports and large military facilities. Moreover, foam containing PFAS remains a requirement for some agencies, particularly those serving airports and some military facilities.
What are the replacements for AFFF foam?
There are 3 alternatives to AFFF: fluorine-free firefighting foam, dry chemical agents, and C8 firefighting foam concentrates.
When did firefighters stop using AFFF?
The use of AFFF has not fully stopped. In 2002, under pressure from the EPA, 3M stopped making an entire line of AFFF, but PFAS-containing foams from other manufacturers are still used.
Does all firefighting foam contain PFAS?
No. Class A firefighting foams that are used for wildfires and structural fires do not contain PFAS chemicals.
What are the health effects of PFAS?
PFAS exposure has been linked to multiple cancers, asthma, thyroid disease, liver damage, and fertility issues.
Does Class B foam contain PFAS?
Class B AFFF and AR-AFFF foams are currently manufactured with intentionally added PFAS.
How much PFAS is in firefighting foam?
Usually, PFAS account for 3 to 6% by weight of the entire formulation, which also contains water, other surfactants, stabilizers, solubilizers, and other chemicals.
What are the side effects of AFFF?
Toxic AFFF exposure may increase your risk of developing thyroid disease, liver disease, as well as testicular, kidney, breast, prostate, and other cancers.

 

Do you qualify to file a Fire Fighting Foam (AFFF) lawsuit?

  • Have you been exposed to AFFF or Fire Fighting Foam?
  • Have been diagnosed with cancer, including kidney, testicular, ovarian, breast, prostate, lymphoma or leukemia?

If you answered ‘yes’ to both questions, we believe you qualify. Call us now at 585.460.2193 to talk to someone about your case or submit your information online. We are accepting cases nationwide.

Call Our Firefighting Foam Lawyers for Help with Your Claim

At King Law, our personal injury lawyers have extensive experience with AFFF lawsuits, and we will put it to work for you. If you or your loved one was harmed by aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), we are more than ready to help. Call us now at (585) 270-8882 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to obtain the sound legal advice you need. From our law office, we handle firefighting foam (AFFF) lawsuits nationwide.