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

Lackland Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawsuit Overview

Located in Bexar County, Texas, Lackland Air Force Base is part of Joint Base San Antonio. It is home to the 37th Training Wing and the 502d Air Base Wing. Established in 1942, the base was eventually named for Brigade General Frank Lackland. The base is commonly referred to as “The Gateway to the Air Force.”

Recently, the base has come under scrutiny for potentially exposing service members and nearby residents to toxic chemicals, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Individuals who were adversely affected by the water contamination at Lackland Air Force Base are strongly encouraged to contact King Law.

Lackland AFB Water Contamination Lawsuit Updates

April 2024: Investigations continue into water contamination at Lackland Air Force Base, with potential claimants encouraged to contact an attorney. 

February 2024: The Department of Defense identifies Lackland Air Force Base as one of the additional locations for Interim PFAS Cleanup Actions in FY 2024. 

March 2023: The Air Force announces that it will eliminate PFAS-containing foam from hangar fire suppression systems. 

September 2019: Information is released indicating high levels of PFAS “forever chemicals” were detected at Lackland Air Force Base. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), a PFAS found in a fire-fighting foam used for decades by the military, was detected at levels of 250,000 parts per trillion.

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Historical Background of Toxic Exposure at Lackland Air Force Base

In 2019, testing at Lackland Air Force Base indicated that there were high levels of Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in the groundwater. At the time, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a health advisory for drinking water of 70 parts per trillion. Levels at the base were detected as high as 250,000 parts per trillion. The EPA has subsequently reduced its recommendations to a maximum contaminant level of 4 parts per trillion.

It is believed that the Air Force’s use of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF). The fire suppressant contains PFAS and has been used since the 1970s by the military. Run-off from the AFFF may have contaminated groundwater, soil, and surface water at and near the base.

Prior to 2019, the Texas Department of Health issued a warning about high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in Leon Creek. Lackland Air Force Base is located near Leon Creek, which residents commonly use for fishing.

Lackland Air Force Base Water Contamination Map

Drinking water at the base is supplied from six groundwater wells located in the Edwards Aquifer. Water then flows into the Leon Creek watershed.

Testing at Lackland Air Force Base in 2019 indicated that 10 of the 11 sites exceeded the Texas Risk Reduction Program levels for groundwater contamination. Runoff from the fire suppressant used by the military may have caused per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to seep into the soil, groundwater, and surface water at the base. While PCBs were previously found in Leon Creek, additional testing is needed to determine if the water is contaminated.

Contaminants Found in Lackland AFB Drinking Water

The main contaminants found at Lackland Air Force Base are per- and polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). In particular, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) were found in the groundwater at the installation. The contamination poses significant health risks to people stationed at the base. Due to the toxins, the base was identified as a Superfund site but was not added to the National Priorities List. 

Current Water Quality at Lackland AFB

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, a tap water sample from 2021 was in compliance with “federal health-based drinking water standards.”

Water Treatment Efforts at Lackland Air Force Base

The Air Force continues to monitor and sample drinking water, groundwater, and soil at and near the base. Additionally, the military works to meet federal requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Health Risks Linked to Drinking Water at Lackland AFB

PFAS exposure is linked to significant health risks, including an increased risk of developing certain kinds of cancer and thyroid conditions. 

Health risks and symptoms associated with PFAS exposure:

  • Kidney cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Changes in liver function
  • Low birth weight
  • Decreased vaccination response
  • Higher cholesterol levels
  • Changes in liver enzymes
  • Fertility issues
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Preeclampsia
  • Breast cancer
  • Renal disease
  • Thyroid disease

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

Individuals who were stationed at Lackland Air Force Base are encouraged to get regular health check-ups and screenings. Early detection of adverse health conditions is often essential to a positive outcome.

Eligibility Criteria for Lackland AFB Water Contamination Lawsuit

A legal evaluation is critical for assessing the potential for pursuing a claim and its value. Individuals who were stationed at Lackland Air Force Base and subsequently diagnosed with an adverse health condition should consider consulting with an attorney to determine their eligibility. Criteria for a lawsuit may include proof of duration of exposure, specific diagnosis, and a link to toxic exposure at the base. 

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

Lackland Air Force Base water contamination lawsuits may last for a few months to a year or more. An attorney can help determine whether you qualify for a lawsuit and the potential for compensation. They will also help you determine how long the case may take to resolve and what legal requirements you may need to meet.

Lackland AFB Water Contamination Settlement Amounts

Lackland Air Force Base water contamination settlement and payout amounts are expected to range from $30,000 to $500,000. The average settlement may be around $250,000 but can vary substantially depending on the circumstances of the case. Individuals who were younger at the time of diagnosis or who had a longer duration of illness may be entitled to larger recoveries. 

It is believed that some cases have the potential to reach values at or near one million dollars. Minor injuries or individuals who cannot prove a strong connection to the base’s water contamination may see values between $30,000 and $75,000. While settlement values tend to be lower than trial verdicts, there is no guarantee of a financial award if the matter goes to trial.

How to File a Lackland AFB Water Contamination Lawsuit

The first step you should take in filing a Lackland Air Force Base water contamination lawsuit is consulting with an attorney. An attorney can help you determine how to move forward with the case and whether you are eligible for compensation.

Your attorney will help:

  • Determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements for filing a case.
  • Assist with securing the evidence necessary to prove your claim.
  • Prepare the case for filing.
  • File the case in the appropriate jurisdiction.
  • Engage in the discovery process.
  • Negotiate a settlement.
  • Represent you in a trial. 

Evidence to Support Your Claim:

Water contamination claims are based on evidence. Through the assistance of your attorney you will need to obtain pieces of evidence that may help to substantiate your claim. 

Evidence that may support your water contamination claim:

  • Medical records
  • Military orders
  • Environmental studies
  • Water sampling results
  • Expert testimony

Statute of Limitations for Lackland AFB Water Contamination Cases

A statute of limitations is a specific timeframe that a person must file a claim within to qualify for compensation. The statute of limitations may vary significantly depending on the state and the specifics of the case.

Due to the state-specific statute of limitations that may apply to your case, it is strongly recommended that you speak with an attorney as early in the process as possible. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process and may enhance your chances of a successful outcome.

Lackland Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawyers

Were you stationed at Lackland Air Force Base and subsequently diagnosed with an adverse health condition related to PFAS exposure? You may be eligible for compensation in a water contamination lawsuit. At King Law, we have extensive experience in helping individuals obtain the recovery they deserve after a diagnosis. Contact our office to schedule a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Lackland Air Force Base water safe to drink?
Recent testing at Lackland Air Force Base has met federal health-based drinking water standards. However, the EPA has recently reduced the PFAS maximum contaminant level from 70 parts per trillion to 4 parts per trillion.
What are the toxins in Lackland Air Force Base?
The primary toxins at Lackland Air Force Base are per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are forever chemicals that have been linked to serious health conditions, including an increased risk of developing cancer.
Is Lackland Air Force Base a Superfund site?
Lackland Air Force Base has been identified as an EPA Superfund site but is not on the National Priorities List.
What is the lawsuit on Lackland Air Force Base?
The lawsuit on Lackland Air Force Base is related to water contamination in the drinking water.
What are the environmental issues in Lackland Air Force Base?
The environmental issues at Lackland Air Force Base include PFAS contamination in the soil, groundwater, and surface water.
What are the deadlines for filing a claim in the Lackland Air Force Base lawsuit?
The deadlines for filing a claim in the Lackland Air Force Base lawsuit are state-specific.
What types of health problems are linked to the Lackland Air Force Base water contamination?
Health problems linked to the Lackland Air Force Base water contamination include thyroid disease, the development of certain kinds of cancer, fertility issues, and changes in the immune system.
What evidence do I need for my claim in the Lackland Air Force Base lawsuit?
Evidence that you may need for your claim includes your medical records, military orders, and proof of a PFAS-related diagnosis.
How long will the Lackland Air Force Base lawsuit process take?
The Lackland Air Force Base lawsuit is expected to take a few months to a year or more to resolve.
What steps should I take if I was affected by the Lackland Air Force Base contamination?
If you were affected by the Lackland Air Force Base water contamination, it is strongly recommended that you speak to an attorney as quickly as possible.
What kind of compensation can I expect from the Lackland Air Force Base lawsuit?
The kind of compensation you may be able to receive in a Lackland Air Force Base lawsuit includes recovery for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
What is the average payout for the Lackland Air Force Base lawsuit?
The average payout for a Lackland Air Force Base lawsuit is expected to be around $250,000.
How much is the Lackland Air Force Base settlement per person?
The per person settlement in a Lackland Air Force Base is expected to be between $30,000 and $500,000.
Is PFAS in Lackland Air Force Base water?
PFAS has been detected in water at Lackland Air Force Base. Samples from 2019 indicate that levels were 250,000 parts per trillion in some cases.
What steps has Lackland Air Force Base taken to address the PFAS contamination?
Lackland Air Force Base continues to monitor and sample water in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act.
What are the main contaminants found in Lackland Air Force Base's drinking water?
The main contaminants found in Lackland Air Force Base water were per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
Who is eligible for the Lackland Air Force Base water contamination lawsuit?
Individuals who were stationed at or near Lackland Air Force Base and subsequently diagnosed with an adverse health condition may be eligible for a water contamination lawsuit.
How can individuals affected by the Lackland Air Force Base water contamination file a lawsuit?
Individuals who were affected by the Lackland Air Force Base water contamination may file a lawsuit by consulting with an experienced attorney.