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

Peterson Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawsuit Overview

Peterson AFB, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has a significant history of contributing to the nation’s defense since its establishment in 1942. It’s also notably known for being one of five locations hosting the Space Force initiative greenlighted in 2019 by former President and convicted felon, Donald J. Trump. 

However, the air force base is now grappling with environmental challenges, primarily due to PFAS contamination aka ‘forever chemicals’. These chemicals were extensively used in firefighting foams on the base, leading to the leaching of PFAS into the groundwater. The contamination has raised serious health concerns among the base personnel and the local community, with links to various cancers and other severe health conditions.

Peterson Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawsuit Updates

MAY 2024 – KING LAW ACCEPTING PETERSON AFB WATER CONTAMINATION LAWSUITS 

King Law has been representing claimants in environmental exposure lawsuits for years. And now, we are reviewing cases associated specifically with water contamination at Peterson AFB. If you or a loved one have been exposed to contaminated drinking water from the base and have developed a related illness, contact us today to determine if you’re eligible for compensation. 

SEPTEMBER 2019 –  LAWSUITS FILED

Lawsuits filed by affected community members and former base personnel and  seeking compensation for health issues caused by PFAS exposure.

NOVEMBER 2017 – PFAS FOUND AT X1000 TIMES THE NATIONS AVERAGE

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) includes Peterson AFB in the list of sites requiring urgent remediation due to PFAS contamination.

APRIL 2016: PFAS CONTAMINATION PROMPTS WATER TESTING

Discovery of PFAS contamination in groundwater near Peterson AFB, prompting immediate water testing and safety measures.

On this page:

History of Toxic Exposure at Peterson Air Force Base

Peterson AFB’s contamination issues date back to the 1970s when PFAS-containing firefighting foams were first used. Over the years, these chemicals infiltrated the groundwater, leading to widespread contamination. Various studies and reports in the late 2010s highlighted the severity of PFAS pollution at the base, prompting federal and state-level investigations.

Peterson Air Force Base Water Contamination Map

The above map showcases the extent of water contamination at Peterson AFB and the surrounding areas in Monterey Bay. The solid color shapes show the extent of contaminated drinking water (elevated levels in TCE, CT, and PCE) in various aquifers surrounding the area at their historical peak. The solid color lines with no fill show the current extent of contaminated drinking water. These areas have decreased in size from their max contamination due to cleanup efforts. However, these aquifer plumes continue to have elevated concentrations of toxic chemicals. As shown above, during prior times, water contamination expanded beyond Peterson AFB boundaries, contaminating the community’s drinking supply.

Contaminants Found in Peterson Air Force Base Drinking Water

The primary contaminant at Peterson AFB is PFAS, which has been detected in the groundwater and drinking water sources. These chemicals are notorious for their persistence and bioaccumulative nature, posing significant health risks such as cancer, thyroid disease, and developmental issues. Other contaminants, including heavy metals and solvents, have also been identified in the water supply.

PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl) substances aka a group of artificial chemicals used extensively since the 1940s in producing different consumer and industrial products that are widely known to cause severe and lasting harm to people and have been found at levels much higher than the national average at Peterson AFB.

One of the most significant solvents that was discovered was TCE (trichloroethylene).

Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a volatile organic compound that has significant health effects when present in drinking water.

Key effects include:

  • Cancer Risk: TCE is classified as a human carcinogen. Long-term exposure to TCE in drinking water has been linked to an increased risk of kidney cancer, liver cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma​ (Columbia History Dept.)​.
  • Immune System Effects: TCE can impair the immune system. Studies have shown that it can lead to a decreased response to infections and can increase the risk of autoimmune diseases​ (Columbia History Dept.)​.
  • Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity: Exposure to TCE during pregnancy can result in adverse developmental effects. This includes congenital heart defects and other developmental abnormalities in infants​ (Columbia History Dept.)​ .
  • Neurological Effects: TCE exposure can affect the nervous system, leading to symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and confusion. Chronic exposure may result in more severe neurological issues .
  • Liver and Kidney Damage: TCE is metabolized in the liver and kidneys, and prolonged exposure can lead to liver and kidney damage. This includes liver dysfunction and an increased risk of liver and kidney diseases​ (Columbia History Dept.)​ .
  • Respiratory Effects: While TCE is primarily a concern in water, its volatility means it can also be inhaled when contaminated water is used. This can lead to respiratory issues, including irritation of the respiratory tract and potential long-term lung damage .

Given these risks, regulatory agencies have established maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for TCE in drinking water to protect public health. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for example, has set the MCL for TCE in drinking water at 5 parts per billion (ppb).TCE at Peterson AFB is significantly higher than the national average, increasing the risks for cancer, kidney disease and breathing problems.

Current Water Quality at Peterson Air Force Base

Recent assessments of water quality at Peterson AFB show PFAS levels that exceed the EPA’s health advisory limits. Efforts are ongoing to monitor and test the water supply to ensure the safety of the base personnel and surrounding communities.

Water Treatment Efforts at Peterson Air Force Base

To address the water contamination, Peterson AFB has implemented several treatment measures, including the installation of advanced filtration systems designed to remove PFAS from the drinking water. The base is also working with environmental agencies to carry out comprehensive remediation plans, which include soil and groundwater cleanup and continuous monitoring. Progress is slow and despite paying for a $9m water treatment facility in the town of Fountain near the Peterson Air Force Base where residents reported becoming sick from contaminated water, it took almost seven years to do so.

Health Risks and Symptoms Linked to Drinking Water at Peterson AFB

Exposure to PFAS-contaminated water at Peterson AFB has been linked to serious health issues, including kidney cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid disorders, and developmental problems in children. Medical case studies emphasize the importance of regular health screenings and check-ups for those exposed to contaminated water.

 

Eligibility Criteria for Peterson AFB Water Contamination Lawsuit

If you were diagnosed with a condition related to drinking contaminated water at Peterson AFB, you might be entitled to compensation. Our team can evaluate your individual situation which will help determine whether you should pursue legal action and how much your case may be worth.

  1. Duration of exposure: Duration of exposure is an important factor in toxic exposure and water contamination lawsuits. While toxic exposure is never good, toxic chemicals like PFAS tend to build up in the body. We are typically looking for at least six months of exposure to a toxic substance.
  2. Diagnosis

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

Thousands of legal claims are being filed across the country related to contaminated drinking water. It is believed that these cases, including those against manufacturers of PFAS-containing products, may result in multi-million dollar settlements.

In order to file a military water contamination lawsuit, you need to consult with an attorney. During your consultation, you will want to provide vital evidence, including your medical records, military directives, and discharge paperwork, if applicable.

The more information you can provide related to your condition and your service, the better. Water contamination lawsuits may take several months or longer to resolve. An attorney can help guide you through the process so you know what to anticipate.

Peterson AFB Water Contamination Settlement Amounts

Our firm expects that most settlements will be between $30,000 and $500,000. Case value is difficult to predict. We can look at prior lawsuits that involved cancer and see that many of those cases resolved in the $100,000 to $300,000 range. The average settlement amount could be around $250,000. People that were younger at the time of diagnosis might receive larger settlements. People that had an active illness longer or had more toxic exposure could also get higher settlement amounts. Some cases may be valued at or near one million dollars. More minor injuries or injuries with less proof of relationship to the toxic substances at Peterson AFB  might also have lower settlement values, perhaps $30,000 to $75,000. Typically settlement values are lower than what someone might get if they went to trial. However, at trial there is always some risk of getting nothing.

How to File a Peterson AFB Water Contamination Lawsuit

With help from King Law, the process of filing a Peterson AFB water contamination lawsuit can go seamlessly. It typically involves: 

  1. Contact us via phone, email, or in person to schedule a free consultation. We will review the details of your case, confirm your eligibility, answer any questions you have, and initiate the process. 
  2. Gather any documentation you have to support your case. This includes proof of your time at Peterson AFB, exposure to a toxin like PFAS, details around your exposure such as duration and extent, that you have a related diagnosis, and any details related to your diagnosis such as prognosis and treatment costs. 
  3. We will draft and file your contamination complaint on your behalf. It will outline details of your case to the appropriate court, also noting who you deem responsible for your toxic exposure. 
  4. We will help you reach and negotiate a settlement or may recommend you go to trial. With our background in handling such cases, we will be able to advise what makes the most sense for you.
  5. We will help you recover your damages. Many of these cases result in a settlement, in which you will ideally receive compensation to help cover lost wages, medical expenses, and other damages accrued from your wrongful exposure at Peterson AFB.

Evidence to Support Your Peterson Air Force Base Claim

Here is some of the evidence you might need to support your Peterson AFB water contamination claim: 

  • Proof of your time at Peterson AFB such as military directives, discharge paperwork, work records, etc. 
  • Evidence of exposure to a toxin at or from Peterson AFB, which may include studies and official reports detailing the toxin levels in the drinking water 
  • Medical records detailing your diagnosis of a related illness 
  • Doctor notes or other medical notes detailing your prognosis and recommended treatments 
  • Additional testimonies, interviews, or documents your attorney feels will solidify your claim

Evidence is key to the success of your case and can have a direct impact on the amount of compensation you could receive. Ensure you’re available to your attorney as any questions or additional requests for information arise.

Statute of Limitations for Peterson AFB Water Contamination Claims

The deadline by which you must file a lawsuit is referred to as a statute of limitations. The Peterson AFB water contamination lawsuits vary by state and the circumstances of your case.

Peterson Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawyers

PFAS lawsuits are unique in that they involve environmental exposure at military bases. Our attorneys at King Law understand the environmental risks at military bases like Peterson AFB and how they’ve impacted veterans, their families, and civilians. We are dedicated to leveraging our expertise and resources to bolster your case, advocate for your right to compensation, and navigate the complexities of toxic torts to hold manufacturers responsible for wrongful exposure. Reach out to us today to access an unmatched level of support as you pursue a contamination lawsuit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Peterson Air Force Base water safe to drink?
No, current testing indicates that PFAS levels exceed safe limits.
What are the toxins in Peterson Air Force Base?
 PFAS, solvents, and heavy metals.
Is Peterson Air Force Base a Superfund site?
Yes, it is designated as a Superfund site due to extensive contamination.
What is the lawsuit on Peterson Air Force Base?
There is an active lawsuit available for legal action by affected individuals seeking compensation for health issues linked to PFAS exposure.
What are the deadlines for filing a claim in the Peterson Air Force Base lawsuit?
Deadlines vary; consult with a lawyer to determine specific time limits. It’s recommended to file as early as possible.
What types of health problems are linked to the Peterson Air Force Base water contamination?
Health problems associated with PFAS exposure on Peterson AFB include cancer, liver damage, thyroid disease, decreased fertility, increased cholesterol levels, and immune system effects.
What evidence do I need for my claim in the Peterson Air Force Base lawsuit?
Evidence required for a Peterson AFB water contamination lawsuit may include medical records, proof of residency or employment at Peterson Air Force Base, and documentation of water usage or exposure to contaminated sources. Consulting a lawyer for specific requirements is advisable.
How long will the Peterson Air Force Base lawsuit process take?
The duration of the Peterson AFB lawsuit process can vary, depending on the circumstances of the case, the number of plaintiffs, and the legal proceedings involved.
What steps should I take if I was affected by the Peterson Air Force Base contamination?
Individuals should seek advice from medical professionals, document health issues, collect evidence of PFAS exposure, and consult with an experienced lawyer specializing in environmental law​.
What is the average payout for the Peterson Air Force Base lawsuit?
We believe most settlements will be between $50,000 and $500,000, with more minor injuries being lower and more serious illnesses being higher.