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Written By: Robert King, Esq.
Legal Review By: Mike Stag, Esq.
The AFFF Lawsuit is an active lawsuit
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AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit Overview

Thousands of AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits, now consolidated in the AFFF Multi-District Litigation under Judge Gergel in Charleston, South Carolina, involve firefighters and military personnel exposed to harmful PFAS chemicals in the foam. Studies show firefighters have triple the PFAS levels in their blood compared to the general population. Originally patented in 1965 by the US military and 3M, AFFF foam was used extensively on military bases and airports for high-temperature fires. AFFF Firefighting Foam contains toxic ‘forever chemicals’ like PFOS and PFOA, which don’t degrade naturally, and have been classified as carcinogens by the World Health Organization. Because of this, people who have been exposed to AFFF have been found to have higher rates of cancer and other diseases, King Law is investigating AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits nationwide, providing updates, background information, and is available to address any questions you may have about the lawsuit.

AFFF Lawsuit Updates – March 2024

March 1, 2024 – AFFF Judge Orders Plaintiff Fact Sheet for Turnout Gear in AFFF lawsuit

Judge Gergel issued a new order requiring a separate plaintiff fact sheet for turnout gear plaintiffs. Turnout gear is personal protective equipment used by firefighters to shield them from the hazards of firefighting. Jackets, pants, and other gear contain several layers of protective material, and often times the outer layer is treated with PFAS because of its resistance to chemicals and water. Firefighters who handle the gear often are exposed to the harmful effects of PFAS and may develop serious conditions like Kidney Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Thyroid Cancer, Prostate Cancer, among other diseases. This detailed fact sheet ordered by the judge will be required for all plaintiff’s claiming PFAS exposure from turnout gear.

February 13, 2024 – Judge Gergel Approves $1.185 Billion Settlement in AFFF Firefighting Foam Litigation, Paves Way for Personal Injury Claims

Judge Gergel has issued an important order in the AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit. In an Order dated February 8, 2024 the Court approved the first settlement in the AFFF Firefighting Foam Product Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2873. This partial settlement is between defendant Dupont and Public Water Suppliers and provides $1.185 billion. Firefighting foam is the largest contributor to PFAS chemicals in many water supplies. These settlements are clearing the way for more litigation about the injuries sustained by firefighters and other people directly exposed to PFAS. The litigation is turning the corner and the personal injury claims will be in focus for the rest of the year. Plaintiff’s lawyers are hopeful to have the first personal injury bellwether case in late 2024. The last time a trial was scheduled in this case it led to a partial settlement. A bellwether trial date would lead to increased potential for settlement of the personal injury claims.

January 26, 2024 – AFFF PFAS Lawsuit Approaches 7,000 cases

As the first phase of the AFFF litigation nears completion – that is lawsuits filed by municipal water supplies – we look forward to phase two: Individual personal injury water contamination cases. These cases involve firefighters exposed to AFFF firefighting foam and individuals exposed to contaminated water on military bases who later developed conditions like cancer and other diseases. The process is underway to organize and select potential cases for trial. We have been waiting for quite some time for the transition to this next phase, and it appears to be ready to pick up steam shortly.

January 15, 2024 – Key Developments In AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit

The AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit is moving forward, with U.S. District Judge Richard M. Gergel overseeing a 24-week core discovery period for selected cases, focusing on both individual and water contamination claims. This period is critical for exchanging crucial documents and conducting limited depositions in preparation for the upcoming bellwether trials. Following this discovery phase, a refined group of cases, titled the “Initial Personal Injury Bellwether Trial Pool Plaintiffs,” will advance towards trial, setting the stage for pivotal future negotiations in firefighter cancer settlements. Simultaneously, manufacturers face additional lawsuits from water providers seeking damages for the removal of toxic AFFF chemicals from local water supplies.

December 10, 2023 – AFFF Lawsuit Attention Begins to Shift to Personal Injury Cases

After years on dealing with the municipal water supply contamination claims, the focus now begins to shift to individuals injured by exposure to PFAS, particularly firefighters and other who often used or trained with firefighting foam, which contains PFAS. The court recently issued an order directing the parties to submit a joint list of cases for the court to consider for bellwether pool selection. The bellwether pool is a group of plaintiff’s who will be evaluated by the court for possible test trials. The court will initially choose 28 cases form this pool which will be further reduced to a handful of cases which will go to trial. These “test” cases are used to judge how juries will react to evidence and how they will rule in cases, including any damages and financial awards. The results of the bellwether test cases will drive settlement negotiations for the remainder of the cases. Trials are expected to begin in 2024.

December 3, 2023 – Municipal Water Contamination CLaims Continue to dominate AFFF litigation

The AFFF Class Action MDL lawsuit is divided into three groups: Contaminated Municipal Water Supplies; AFFF Exposure cases – such as firefighters; and individual contaminated water exposure cases – such as those on military bases. The current focus of the case continues to be the municipal claims. A settlement was reached, however there is still much legal maneuvering to be done before this case can move on to the next phase of claimants. We expect the focus to move towards the AFFF lawsuit claims by the middle of 2024. If you were exposed to AFFF firefighting foam or to a known contaminated water supply on a military base and have developed an illness or disease you think might be associated, we encourage you to reach out to our form for a free case evaluation.

Read previous AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit updates.

Table of Contents:

AFFF Firefighting Foam 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 class B 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 do not degrade and are known to remain in the human body, as well as the environment, indefinitely. PFAS substances in firefighting foam have been linked to serious health conditions, including various cancers, in people who have been exposed to them. 

Due to growing concerns over health risks associated with AFFF, multiple AFFF lawsuits have been filed in an effort to hold manufacturers accountable for the damage caused to firefighters and military personnel. Lawsuits claim that manufacturers neglected to provide adequate information on the potential harm caused by firefighting foam. Those who have been exposed to AFFF and subsequently developed cancer or other medical conditions may qualify for compensation. The plaintiffs are hoping for a firefighting foam settlement in 2024. If you have symptoms that could be caused by firefighting foam, contact King Law today to check if you’re eligible to file an AFFF lawsuit.

What Is AFFF Firefighting Foam Made Of?

Aqueous Film Forming Foam (abbreviated to AFFF) is a fire suppressant commonly used at airports and on military bases (inclusive of the navy). It is specifically used to combat liquid-based fires, such as fuel fires. 

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. 

AFFF are class B firefighting foams. 

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. 

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.

AFFF Usage History

In early 1960’s, the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in collaboration with 3M, one of the biggest AFFF manufacturers today, began researching the use of PFAS in firefighting foams as a more effective substance for suppressing fuel-based fires. The NRL perfluorooctanoic acid, produced by 3M and used to make Teflon, and Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid to develop Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF).

The U.S. Navy received a patent on AFFF in 1966 and soon after 3M started manufacturing the foam for the military.

AFFF was very effective, so by the late 1960’s, the U.S. Navy required all of its branches to carry AFFF.  From 1970 through the 2000’s the military, chemical plants, airports, oil and gas plants, and even civilian fire departments were using PFAS-containing AFFF regularly.

AFFF Phase Out

The phase-out of firefighting foam is slow. Some facilities continue to use it to this day. 

  • Between 1973 and 1985 Navy and Air Force conducted multiple studies and compiled reports on the toxicity of AFFF
  • Citing toxic effects, Air Force called for better management and disposal of AFFF waste in 1989.
  • In 2001 DOD and EPA held a meeting on military use of PFAS in firefighting foam.
  • In 2011 DOD released a Chemical and Material Emerging Risk Alert for AFFF, citing “human health and environmental risks.”
  • In 2016 the Assistant Secretary of Defence ordered branches of the military to properly dispose of PFAS-containing AFFF.
  • In 2018 DOD reported to Congress that there were 401 sites with known or suspected PFAS contamination in the US. This number grew to 651 in 2019, and then reached 678 in 2020.
  • In 2020, FY2020 NDAA was issued that prohibits DOD from the use of PFAS-containing AFFF during training and requires that DOD completely stops its use by 2024. 
  • In 2021, DOD inspector general report found that “DOD officials did not take proactive risk Management actions to mitigate contaminant effects from PFAS-Containing AFFF at DOD installations.”

AFFF and PFAS: Chemical Composition and Formula

Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) typically consists of a mixture of water, fluorochemical surfactants, hydrocarbon surfactants, foam stabilizers, corrosion inhibitors, and other additives intended to enhance performance and stability. The exact composition may vary depending on intended use. 

Firefighting foam is usually purchased as a concentrate, referred to as “3%” or “6%” depending on its mixture ratio with water.

Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is a type of PFAS found in older AFFF products and as a breakdown product of precursor compounds. 

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is also a type of PFAS. PFOA is not an intended ingredient in AFFF, but a side product created during the manufacturing process.  

Firefighting foam chemicals have the following adverse health effects:

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

Cancer Risks From AFFF Exposure

Numerous studies have found a link between AFFF exposure and cancer development. U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, CDC, and EPA all report increased cancer risks and other serious health problems related to PFAS contamination. A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2020) found PFOA

Cancer Types Caused by PFAS Exposure

AFFF foam lawsuits name kidney and testicular cancer amongst the most common cancer firefighters developed. The following cancers have been linked to PFAS exposure: 

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.

Exposure Symptoms and Side Effects

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.

What isn’t known about PFAS in AFFF

Even though there is sufficient evidence that PFAS in firefighting foam are harmful to humans, there are some things the scientist and the government don’t fully understand yet. For example:

  • How to quickly and efficiently detect PFAS in our air, water, soil and fish
  • Exactly how harmful PFAS are to people and the environment
  • How to remove PFAS from drinking water
  • How to properly dispose of PFAS

Usage and Exposure by Military Branch

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)

People who serve in the military may also be at a higher risk of firefighting foam and PFAS exposure. 

Navy AFFF Exposure

Firefighting foam containing PFAS was commonly used on navy aircraft carriers due to its ability to effectively and quickly put out fires caused by aviation fuels.

Army AFFF Exposure

The United States Armed Forces was using firefighting foam since early 1960s. The exposure could happen due to real fire emergencies and during training in AFFF use. According to official sources, the U.S. Army no longer uses AFFF for testing, training, or maintenance. 

Marines AFFF Exposure

The marines have used and stored military specification firefighting foam in order to combat aircraft and fuel-based fires. 

Air Force AFFF Exposure 

Firefighting foam was used by the Air Force to contain jet-fuel fires. Air Force servicemen and families on some bases were also exposed to PFAS in drinking water.

Military Bases 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).

Air Force

  • 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

Firefighting Foam Manufacturers

The manufacturers of PFAS-containing AFFF are in the table below:

ManufacturerProduct NameCurrent State
3MLightwaterNo longer produced (as of 2002)
Ansul, subsidiary of TycoAnsuliteStill produced
National Foam, Inc., subsidiary of Kidde-FenwallAer-O-Lite
Aer-O-Water
Centurion
Universal
Still produced
ChemguardChemguardStill produced
ChemoursFM-200Still produced

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 Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits

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. 

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

AFFF Lawsuit Settlement Amounts

It is difficult to predict what your AFFF lawsuit payout will be, since every individual case is different. Some sources are optimistic that firefighting foam cash settlement may happen this year.

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 palintiffs with less exposure and/or less serious types of cancer. Therefore AFFF lawsuit settlement amounts will depend on the severity of the disease developed following AFFF exposure and associated losses. 

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 an AFFF Lawsuit

Your legal process for your AFFF claim 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.

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

Contact King Law Today

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.

AFFF Lawsuit Update Timeline

November 2023

November 26, 2023 – Number of Cases in the AFFF Lawsuit continues to grow

Because this litigation involves municipality water supplies, as well as individual exposure to AFFF fire foam by those with direct exposure, such as firefighters, it can be difficult to gauge the number of cases for each. We do know that there are now roughly 6,500 claims in this AFFF class-action style litigation, with about half being municipalities. Soon, the parties will begin selecting bellwether cases for trial in the individual exposure cases. Bellwether trials are “test” cases to see how juries will react to evidence and how they will value these cases. Typically, several bellwether trials will be held, usually representing different types of illnesses alleged to have been caused by fire fighting foam, such as Kidney Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Ulcerative Colitis, Testicular Cancer, Pre-eclampsia, and Thyroid Disease. Our firm is actively pursuing these cases in and filing lawsuits in federal court.

October 2023

October 16, 2023 – Status of AFFF Lawsuit

The AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit is rumored to be making slow but steady progress. There is still hope for settlement for the firefighters this year. The Judge and special master made the first big breakthrough in this case in June when Defendant’s 3M and Dupont agreed to pay billions to municipalities with PFAS in their water. The next portion of the case will focus on the personal injury claims. Thousands of firefighters exposed to AFFF (containing PFAS) have been diagnosed with cancer and filed claims in this federal lawsuit. Other personal injury plaintiff’s include those that lived near Airforce bases or airports and drank water from contaminated wells. One of the outstanding issues standing in the way of settlement of the personal injury claims in the AFFF firefighting foam PFAS lawsuit is what injuries will be compensated. An earlier case known at the Leach case established six injuries. In that case PFAS came from a factory near a town and about 3500 people sued. There was little doubt that Kidney Cancer, Ulcerative Colitis, Testicular Cancer, High Cholesterol, Pre-eclampsia, and Thyroid Disease were related to PFAS exposure. Here, the defense will try to limit the number of illnesses that qualify for a settlement. However, we believe that the science has progressed significantly in the twenty or so years since that case and expect settlement on several additional forms of cancer including prostate cancer. It seems unlikely that the defendants that agreed to settle with the municipal defendants would not want to settle with the first responders themselves.

October 4, 2023 – Updated Announced in AFFF Personal Injury lawsuit Process

Hon. Richard M. Gergel, the judge overseeing the AFFF PFAS exposure lawsuits (often referred to as AFFF or Firefighting foam Class Action Lawsuit) has issued an updated order dealing with trial deadlines and discovery (the exchange of evidence between the parties).

Parties shall exchange an initial list of Plaintiff’s to be considered for the bellwether discovery pool (test cases) by November 14, 2023. A portion of the cases submitted to the court will be chosen for test trials to gauge how juries will react to evidence and testimony. The results of the bellwether cases often drive settlement negotiations for the remaining cases. By no later than December 1, 2023, the parties shall submit to the Court a list of agreed upon cases at which time the Court will choose several to move to the next phase. Ultimately, in most multi-district litigation, between 3-5 bellwether (or test) cases will be tried, setting the stage for a global settlement resolution.

September 2023

September 18, 2023 – Progress expected soon in AFFF Lawsuit Cases

While the municipality water contamination lawsuits against companies such as 3M, Dupont, and others works its way towards resolution, we expect movement shortly after with respect to individual cases, such as firefighters. It is possible that we may see a bellwether trial (or test case) in the next few months. In multi-district litigation cases such as this, typically tens of thousands of cases are filed in one federal court. Only a few cases are actually selected for trial. These bellwether trials are used to gauge how juries will react to evidence and testimony and often the set the basis for future settlement negotiations for the remaining cases. Our firm is still taking cases of those who had direct exposure to AFFF firefighting foam and we later diagnosed with certain illnesses such as cancer and others like ulcerative colitis.

August 2023

August 8, 2023 – AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit Reaches Milestone with Over 5,000 cases

The lawsuit linking the chemicals in AFFF to certain cancer and other medical conditions has grown to over 5,000 cases. Some of these cases involve contamination of municipal water supplies, while others are related to direct exposure by firefighters. The breakdown of the number of lawsuits filed by firefighters is not known, but is speculated to be the main focus of the litigation moving forward. There is hope that settlements will be reached in 2023 in the AFFF lawsuits. We were recently reminded of the human toll this has taken when the judge overseeing the case approved a motion to substitute a plaintiff who had died while awaiting resolution of his case. His daughter is now the plaintiff and has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

July 2023

July 5, 2023 – Nearly 300 cases added to AFFF Lawsuit

In June, nearly 300 more cases were added to the lawsuit bringing the total to approximately 4,800 cases. A recent settlement involving municipal water contamination claims was reached, which represented a large portion of these cases. Progress continues to be made in the individual cases such as those involving firefighters exposed to cancer causing chemicals contained in AFFF.

June 2023
June 6, 2023 – AFFF Lawsuit Trial Postponed as Possible Settlement Talks Progress
In a significant development in the AFFF Fire Fighting Foam Multi-District Litigation (MDL) lawsuits, the bellwether (test) trial of City of Stuart, Florida v. 3M Company, initially scheduled for June 5, 2023, has been postponed at the request of the parties. Lawyer for the Plaintiff and the defendant have been engaged in earnest settlement negotiations as they work towards a global resolution of the plaintiffs’ claims. Because of the prospect of significant progress, both parties requested a continuance of the trial, noting that their efforts would be best spent finalizing an agreement. Judge Layn R. Phillips concurred with the parties and ordered a three week postponement, noting the benefits of a comprehensive resolution. The parties are required to provide the judge with weekly updates. Should an agreement remain elusive at the end of the 21 days, the original trial will be rescheduled.

June 2, 2023 – Chemical Companies Reach 1.19 Billion Settlement in U.S. PFAS Water Contamination Lawsuits

Three major chemical producing companies including Chemours, DuPont, and Corteva have agreed to settle lawsuit claims alleging contamination of public water systems with toxic “forever chemicals” for more than $1 Billion. The chemicals causing the contamination included PFAS which is used in firefighting foams known as Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF). Although the companies deny responsibility, the settlement resolves thousands of lawsuits from around the country. Importantly, this settlement does not cover the many personal injury lawsuits that are claimed by those who developed serious illnesses such as cancer due to their exposure to AFFF, including firefighters and military members, among others. Those cases remain ongoing.

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. The U.S. Department of Defense is funding research to develop new foams as effective as AFFF but not containing PFAS. A portion of the funding goes to the Naval Research Laboratory, which is looking for a firefighting foam replacement. Other funding goes to government agencies, universities and labs that show promise of coming up with a solution to clean up affected sites.
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.
How can a firefighting foam lawyer help me?
If you hire a firefighting foam law firm they will help you determine whether you qualify for a AFFF foam lawsuit, advise on your legal options, help you gather appropriate evidence, file your lawsuit and then either help you reach a firefighter foam cash settlement or defend your case before a judge.