If you carefully study the Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) lawsuit landscape, you will notice that the number of complaints has increased. Firefighters and military professionals who have been exposed to this toxic foam have reported chronic ailments and various types of cancer, which have both reduced their lifespan and quality of life.
As of the August 2023 update, in the past two months, nearly 1,000 new lawsuits related to AFFF have been added to the class-action MDL. The total number of plaintiffs in the AFFF MDL now stands at 5,614.
AFFF legal complaints typically revolve around the dangerous side effects of firefighting foam. It contains a high concentration of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), often referred to as ‘forever chemicals,’ which are known to cause various types of cancer. These chemicals are resistant to breaking down and persist in the environment and the human body, thereby causing harm.
For example, in New Jersey, water pollution resulting from firefighting foam has led to cases of ulcerative colitis. In this article, we will shed light on this issue and discuss the legal remedies available in such situations.
AFFF Exposure Led to Ulcerative Colitis
In September 2023, AboutLawsuits.com reported on water pollution resulting from exposure to firefighting foam in New Jersey. The contamination made a resident of Willingboro Township suffer from ulcerative colitis. Marye Smith filed a complaint, alleging that DuPont, 3M, and other AFFF manufacturers have posed a risk to human life for years.
For decades, AFFF was used by local firefighting departments and U.S. military branches to combat fuel-based fires. The foam was used for training exercises, which contaminated the drinking water in New Jersey and other regions. Military bases, areas close to airports, and training locations got contaminated more than other areas.
In her AFFF lawsuit, Smith shared that she had purchased and used water from both private and public suppliers daily for many decades. The water she obtained was contaminated with the dangerous PFAS chemicals found in firefighting foam.
Smith reveals that the defendants knew about the health hazards linked to the firefighting foam but did not warn people. As a result of consuming the toxic water, Smith developed ulcerative colitis, which caused both physical pain and injuries as well as emotional distress.
It also resulted in fear and embarrassment due to public incontinence. Even today, fluorochemical products from the defendants remain in her body, exposing her to further health risks and flare-ups.
All of this suffering compelled Smith to incur significant medical expenses, causing considerable inconvenience in her life. However, she is not the only one to have faced this predicament.
Richelle Boyle shares the experience of being exposed to the toxic waters in New Jersey and eventually developing kidney cancer. Similarly, during his Air Force career, Mitchem was exposed to fluorochemicals in AFFF and developed prostate cancer.
Hence, it is necessary for the victims suffering from AFFF exposure to take legal action, so that more people become aware of the dangers of AFFF.
Compensation for Victims: Navigating the Legal Path
According to the October 2023 update, several AFFF water contamination lawsuits were filed by municipalities and local water authorities, and they have been resolved in a settlement agreement. Defendants such as DuPont and 3M have agreed to pay $10.3 billion to resolve these claims as part of the settlement deal.
TorHoerman Law states that Class-B AFFF is dangerous and poses extreme health risks. Those most at risk of suffering from this foam include firefighters, industrial workers, and incinerator facility personnel. Individuals like Smith can also be affected by this foam and should file a legal complaint if they develop ailments, such as liver damage, fertility issues, disruptions of hormones, a compromised immune system, or any type of cancer.
When victims realize that there is something wrong with their body’s functioning, they should undergo medical testing. If the ailment is a result of AFFF exposure, they need to seek the necessary remedies and keep all their medical records accessible. After that, they should contact an expert lawyer to file a legal complaint using the medical facts and other details as evidence.
The best lawyers carefully assess every piece of evidence they receive and use the ones that can build a solid case to get a favorable verdict in favor of the victim. They also determine the liability for the injuries and hold parties accountable for the disease diagnosis. Furthermore, they effectively guide you through the entire legal process, provide answers to your queries, and ensure that you are compensated for the damages incurred.
Firefighters and military professionals are not the only individuals vulnerable to AFFF exposure and the resulting health hazards. Ordinary people in various professions, like Smith, can also be affected and suffer in multiple ways. The unfortunate part is that no one knows if they are affected by this toxic foam until the debilitating symptoms surface.
Unfortunately, in most cases, victims only become aware of the contamination when significant damage has already occurred. However, this should not deter you or anyone you know from filing a legal complaint if you have been affected by AFFF, leading to immense physical and emotional distress.
Seeking the necessary medical attention is crucial to remedying the damage. Once that is done, it’s important to preserve all medical and other evidence to file a legal complaint, ensuring that your lawyer can secure the compensation you deserve.