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Written By: Robert King, Esq.
Legal Review By: Mike Stag, Esq.
The Griffiss AFB Water Contamination Lawsuit is an active lawsuit
See If You Qualify

Griffiss Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawsuit Overview

Griffiss Air Force Base was constructed as Rome Air Depot during World War II. It served a crucial role in maintaining and repairing aircraft, while also offering storage and transportation options for military supplies. Rome Air Depot was renamed Griffiss Air Force Base in 1948 after the Air Force was created. It supported various missions around research, aerial refueling, training, and more. The base was impacted by the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Act and closed in 1995. However, the area is still used today as Griffiss International Airport.

Griffiss AFB was located in Rome, New York, and covered around 3,552 acres. The number of military personnel at the base varied over the years, but right before it closed, there were more than 8,000 military and civilian employees. Throughout its 50 years of operation, the base disposed of many different toxic wastes in landfills and dry wells. This led to contamination that put the public and the environment at risk. Today, thousands of veterans and others are filing lawsuits from exposure to toxins at military bases across the United States, including Griffiss Air Force Base.

Griffiss Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawsuit Updates

June 2024 – King Law Reviewing Griffiss AFB PFAS Water Contamination Claims

As knowledge of PFAS contamination at military bases grows, so does the number of PFAS lawsuits. King Law has developed a strong track record of handling cases involving toxic environmental exposure and is dedicated to representing those impacted by water contamination at military bases like Griffiss AFB. If you worked or lived at Griffiss AFB, were exposed to a toxin, and developed a related illness, you could be entitled to compensation. Our attorneys are offering free consultations to review these cases and offer legal support as you pursue the justice you deserve. 

June 2018 – NY Attorney General Sues PFAS Manufacturers for Contamination From Firefighting Foam

In 2018, The New York State Attorney General’s Office sued six companies responsible for manufacturing firefighting foams that contain PFAS, a group of harmful chemicals that can cause cancer. Multiple airports were listed in the suite, including Griffiss Airport, which had extensive contamination from when it operated as a military base. The lawsuit sought compensation from chemical manufacturers to cover the $38 million spent cleaning up the contamination.

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History of Toxic Exposure at Griffiss Air Force Base

Public concerns about contamination at Griffiss AFB go back to the 1980s and continue to be an issue, even as the base is no longer in operation. The base is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund site and was added to its National Priorities List (NPL) in 1987. 

  • Late 1980s: Residents of the Town of Floyd, located just east of Rome, raised concerns when groundwater contamination was discovered. 
  • Early 1990s: Soil and water samples near a base disposal dry well found multiple VOC and SVOC contaminants, including acetone, toluene, and trichloroethylene (TCE). The Air Force provided affected residents with bottled water and funded a municipal water supply extension. 
  • Mid-late 1990s: Soil and groundwater investigations continued to find extensive contamination at the military base impacting the environment and community water supplies. Cleanup efforts continued to address contamination from a fire training area, fire demonstration area, and dry well. 
  • Early 2000s: More soil and groundwater investigations prioritized cleanup at landfills and other areas where toxins were stored and disposed of. The list of contaminants of concern grew with one landfill groundwater investigation finding 3 VOCs, 14 SVOCs, 8 pesticides, and 20 metals, glycols, and petroleum hydrocarbons. For many of these toxins, their levels far exceeded the groundwater criterion. 
  • 2005-2015: The Air Force conducted Remedial Investigations and Feasibility Studies for additional facilities to understand the extent of contamination and cleanup efforts required to eliminate safety risks. In total, the EPA identified 41 operable units that required investigation. 
  • 2021: The EPA formally recognized Griffiss AFB for its revitalization efforts to address contamination and return the property to a usable state. 
  • 2023: Remedial Investigations for PFAS at Griffis PFAS are planned but not yet underway.
  • 2024: Griffiss AFB remains a Superfund Site with additional investigations needed to confirm PFAS contamination and required remediation efforts.

Griffiss Air Force Base Water Contamination Map

The Griffiss Air Force Base map shows the entirety of the base and key areas of concern where contamination has been investigated. Landfills and dry wells have been prominent sites of interest because they’re where various hazardous materials were disposed of by the military for decades. When toxins enter soil, they can also impact groundwater and therefore drinking water supplies for those at the base location and in nearby communities. 

Griffiss Air Force Base Drinking Water Contaminants

The EPA has identified over 45 contaminants of concern for Griffiss Air Force Base groundwater. Even more contaminants have been found in soil and sediment at the base. Many of these toxins have profiles with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) because of their known dangers to humans and the environment. Some contaminants at Griffiss AFB that have serious health implications with long-term exposure include: 

Benzene

Benzene can be found in various lubricants, dyes, pesticides, and other substances. According to the CDC, “it ranks in the top 20 chemicals for production volume.” Long-term exposure to this chemical is linked to reproductive issues, leukemia, and cancer of blood-forming organs. 

Tetrachloroethene (PCE) 

PCE is an industrial chemical often used as a solvent or degreaser. It was often used by the military to degrease equipment. Long-term exposure to PCE can negatively impact the kidney, liver, immune system, hematologic system, and reproductive system. It’s also linked to bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. 

Trichloroethylene (TCE) 

TCE is very similar to PCE and was often used as a degreasing agent or solvent by the military. Long-term exposure to TCE can cause irregular heartbeat, organ damage, liver cancer, kidney cancer, and lung cancer. 

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

PFAS is a group of manmade chemicals found in a variety of fireproof or fire-resistant products, including firefighting foam that was used frequently by the military during fire training exercises. When sprayed onto the ground or spilled, PFAS can enter soil and groundwater, entering drinking water. When consumed, PFAS is linked to bladder cancer, testicular cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, kidney cancer, and other life-threatening conditions.

Current Water Quality at Griffiss Air Force Base

Groundwater at Griffiss AFB is still not considered safe to drink and is not used for drinking water. Some areas with ongoing contamination have yet to be addressed, but the EPA notes, “the Air Force has restricted access to sites at the base where cleanup has not yet been completed via fencing, signs, and gates.” Furthermore, remedial investigations still have not happened to determine the extent of PFAS contamination that could be impacting water quality in nearby communities. 

Water Treatment Efforts at Griffiss Air Force Base

The Air Force has spent decades addressing contamination from military activity that has impacted the environment and put the public at risk. Bottled water has been provided to affected residents and municipal water supplies have been extended to provide safe water to those in need.

Health Risks Linked to Drinking Water at Griffiss AFB

King Law is currently reviewing claims that involve a diagnosis of one of the following after exposure to contaminated water: 

If you know you’ve been exposed to toxic water, notify your doctor so they can monitor your health. Seek medical care as soon as you develop any type of symptoms and consult with an attorney to explore your legal options for compensation. 

Eligibility Criteria for Griffiss AFB Water Contamination Lawsuit

You typically must meet two factors to be eligible for a water contamination lawsuit: 

  1. You were exposed to a toxin for at least six months at Griffiss AFB. 
  2. You were diagnosed with an illness related to your toxic exposure. 

Our law firm is currently evaluating cases where individuals have been diagnosed with:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Liver cancer
  • Multiple-Myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Testicular Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis

During your initial consultation, we will review the details of your case to confirm your eligibility and potential to recover damages.

Griffiss AFB Water Contamination Settlement Amounts

Based on similar claims, we predict Griffiss AFB water contamination claims to have an average settlement amount of $250,000 with a range of $30,000 to $500,000. Some cases, such as those with little evidence and less severe illness could settle closer to $30,000-$75,000. Stronger cases, such as those with extensive evidence and a severe diagnosis at a young age, could settle much higher toward $1,000,000. 

Settlements can be common for water contamination lawsuits. However, if you decide not to settle, you can pursue a court verdict. Court verdicts have the potential to pay out higher than a settlement, but if the verdict isn’t in your favor, you risk walking away with no compensation. Court verdicts can also take much longer than settlements and may delay your compensation.

How to File a Griffiss AFB Water Contamination Lawsuit

Here’s what it will look like to file a Griffiss AFB lawsuit: 

  1. Contact King Law to set up a free, no-obligation consultation to confirm your eligibility and legal options. 
  2. Gather as much evidence as possible to show when you were at Griffiss AFB, details of your exposure, what your diagnosis entails, and what damages you’ve suffered. 
  3. Your attorney will build your case and file it with the appropriate court. Ensure you’re available should they have any questions or requests for additional evidence. 
  4. Follow your attorney’s guidance to pursue a settlement or court verdict based on the strength of your case. 
  5. If your claim is successful, you will receive compensation that can be used for lost wages, medical bills, and other financial damages you’ve suffered from wrongful exposure. 

Rest assured that when working with King Law, we will guide you through the entire process with an unrivaled level of support and compassion. 

Evidence to Support Your Griffiss Air Force Base Claim

Evidence can make or break your Griffiss AFB claim. Collect as much as possible to improve your opportunity for compensation. Examples of what you should provide include: 

  • Proof of your diagnosis: Medical records, appointment history, history of symptoms, treatment plan, prognosis details  
  • Proof of your time at Griffiss AFB: Military orders, directives, discharge papers 
  • Proof of toxic exposure at the base: Water quality reports, press releases, military communications, site inspections 
  • Additional evidence and testimonies connecting your exposure to your illness: Scholarly articles, expert testimonies, witness statements 

Additional evidence of the damages you’ve suffered: Medical bills, income statements, details of your pain and suffering

Statute of Limitations for Griffiss AFB Water Contamination Claims

Statutes of limitations vary by state and type of claim. They specify when you must file a claim to be eligible for compensation. Some factors can shorten or extend your timeline, so consult with an attorney to ensure you haven’t missed your opportunity to seek justice. 

Griffiss Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawyers

Selecting a reputable water contamination lawyer is crucial when pursuing a PFAS lawsuit. Experienced attorneys can navigate complex environmental regulations and accurately identify liability and damages. They also know how to negotiate for the highest settlements possible, with access to essential resources to strengthen your claim.

King Law is a dependable choice for handling water contamination claims. Our years of experience and proven success enable us to represent you confidently. We will advocate for the justice you deserve and work tirelessly toward a successful outcome. Contact us by phone, fill out our online form, or visit us in person to schedule a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Learn more about Griffiss AFB water contamination claims by reviewing answers to the following common questions. 

Is Griffiss Air Force Base water safe to drink?
Griffiss AFB isn’t safe to drink which is why it’s not used as a source of drinking water. It has been contaminated with benzene, TCE, PCE, and various other carcinogenic chemicals.
What are the toxins in Griffiss Air Force Base?
Griffiss AFB has dealt with over 40 contaminants of concern, including TCE, PCE, benzene, and other toxins that can cause organ damage, life-changing symptoms, and cancer.
Is Griffiss Air Force Base a Superfund site?
Yes, Griffiss AFB is a Superfund site.
What is the lawsuit about Griffiss Air Force Base?
Victims of drinking toxic water at Griffiss AFB are now filing lawsuits against chemical manufacturers after developing a related serious health condition.
What are the environmental issues at Griffiss Air Force Base?
The military has disposed of hazardous wastes in landfills, dry wells, and other areas of the base, contaminating soil and groundwater.
What are the deadlines to file a Griffiss Air Force Base lawsuit?
Filing deadlines vary by state and the circumstances of your water contamination case.
What health conditions are associated with Griffiss Air Force Base water contamination?
Consuming contaminated drinking water at Griffiss AFB can put individuals at risk of bladder cancer, testicular cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, ulcerative colitis, and a series of other health conditions.
What evidence do I need for my Griffiss Air Force Base lawsuit?
To file a Griffiss AFB water contamination lawsuit, you must have proof of your exposure and related diagnosis.
How long will the Griffiss Air Force Base lawsuit process take?
Water contamination claims can take several months or longer to resolve, so contact an attorney as soon as possible.
What steps should I take if I was affected by the Griffiss Air Force Base contamination?
After seeking the appropriate medical care, schedule a consultation with King Law to review the initial steps for filing a water contamination lawsuit.
What is the average payout for the Griffiss Air Force Base lawsuit or settlement?
We predict the average settlement amount for Griffiss AFB water contamination lawsuits to be around $250,000. Payouts could be higher or lower depending on the strength of your case.
Is PFAS in Griffiss Air Force Base water?
Yes, PFAS has been found in Griffiss AFB water.
What steps has Griffiss Air Force Base taken to address the PFAS contamination?
Griffiss Air Force Base has conducted numerous investigations, feasibility studies, and remedial efforts to address toxins. PFAS remedial investigations are planned but not yet underway.
What are the main contaminants found in Griffiss Air Force Base's drinking water?
Some of the main contaminants in Griffiss AFB drinking water include benzene, TCE, and PCE, all of which can cause various types of cancer.
Who is eligible for the Griffiss Air Force Base water contamination lawsuit?
You could be eligible for a Griffiss AFB water contamination lawsuit if you were exposed to a toxin for at least six months and then developed a related illness.
How can individuals affected by the Griffiss Air Force Base water contamination file a lawsuit?
To file a Griffiss Air Force Base water contamination lawsuit, you can contact King Law to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.