AFFF Leukemia Lawsuit

Key takeaways:

  • The lawsuits allege that exposure to AFFF, which contains toxic substances like PFOA and PFOS, has led to health issues such as leukemia, prompting legal claims for compensation.
  • The litigation has grown to encompass thousands of cases, including personal injury and water contamination claims, with a focus on the health impact of AFFF on firefighters and affected communities.
  • The AFFF MDL is working toward resolving personal injury claims, with a tiered system proposed for compensating victims based on exposure and severity of health conditions.

Overview of the AFFF Leukemia Lawsuit

On this page, we’ll provide an overview of the AFFF leukemia lawsuit, potential AFFF leukemia lawsuit settlement values, who qualifies to file in the AFFF leukemia lawsuit, and much more.

AFFF Leukemia Lawsuit

Intro to the AFFF Leukemia Lawsuit

The AFFF Leukemia Lawsuit encompasses several aspects including, but not limited to:

  • Toxicity of Chemicals: Lawsuits center on the use of PFOA and PFOS in AFFF, which are persistent in the environment and linked to health issues.
  • Exposure Risks: Firefighters and others exposed to AFFF face increased health risks, including leukemia.
  • Compensation Claims: Plaintiffs seek damages for health problems attributed to AFFF exposure.
  • Ongoing Litigation: Multidistrict litigation addresses the health and environmental impacts of AFFF, with thousands of cases filed.

If you’ve suffered from leukemia after exposure to AFFF, you may be eligible to take legal action.

Contact TruLaw using the chat on this page to find out if you qualify to file an AFFF leukemia claim.

Table of Contents

Chemical Composition of AFFF Foam

The evaluation of Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) reveals a complex blend of chemicals, primarily concerned with Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), which have potent firefighting capabilities but raise serious health concerns.

Chemical Composition of AFFF Foam

PFAS & AFFF Chemical Exposure

AFFF is associated with a variety of PFAS compounds, which are synthetic and encompass a wide range of different chemicals.

These chemicals are known for their resistance to heat and their ability to repel oil and water, characteristics that make them effective in firefighting foams.

Key points about PFAS in AFFF include:

  • Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) have been the most prominently used compounds within AFFF.
  • PFAS are often referred to as “forever chemicals” due to their inability to break down in the environment.
  • Exposure can lead to accumulation in the human body over time, posing significant health risks.
  • Toxic firefighting foam containing PFAS has been linked to an array of adverse health outcomes, including certain types of cancer.

Scientific Studies and Findings

PFAS, a group of man-made chemicals, has been linked to several adverse health effects, including cancer, liver damage, thyroid disease, and developmental issues, according to multiple scientific studies and findings.

Research into the health effects of PFAS has unveiled troubling associations with various illnesses:

  1. Studies indicate an elevated risk of cancer diagnosis among individuals with prolonged AFFF chemical exposure, particularly for leukemia and other blood-related cancers.
  2. Scientific literature demonstrates a correlation between PFAS exposure and adverse health outcomes such as liver damage, thyroid disease, and developmental issues.
  3. Research has focused on the toxicity of firefighting foam, with findings suggesting that PFAS is a potential disruptor of the endocrine system.
  4. Ongoing monitoring and analysis are crucial, as the scientific community is still determining the full spectrum of health risks associated with PFAS.

Liability of AFFF Chemical Exposure

Exposure to Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) has been linked to an increased risk of developing cancer, including leukemia, particularly in firefighters and communities with contaminated water sources.

Liability of AFFF Chemical Exposure

Firefighter Exposure

Firefighters who have used AFFF in the line of duty may be at higher risk for health issues due to prolonged AFFF exposure.

They often face direct contact with the foam, which contains per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), chemicals known to be resistant to degradation in the environment.

Some possible risk factors that firefighters may face include:

  1. Direct contact with AFFF during fire suppression and training exercises.
  2. Inhalation of fumes from the foam, which can contain PFAS compounds.
  3. Repeated exposure to AFFF leads to the accumulation of chemicals in the body.
  4. Lack of proper protective equipment to shield from chemical exposure.
  5. A delayed decontamination process post-exposure can increase absorption risks.

Contaminated Water Sources

Communities with contaminated drinking water have filed municipal water contamination claims against manufacturers, alleging negligence in allowing harmful chemicals into public water systems.

The effects of consuming contaminated water may include:

  • Widespread health impacts from ingestion of contaminated water.
  • PFAS penetration into groundwater and surface water sources.
  • Long-term environmental impact on ecosystems due to non-biodegradable properties of AFFF.
  • Increased cases of illnesses like cancer in populations using contaminated water.

AFFF Lawsuit Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility to file an AFFF lawsuit hinges on specific criteria, including the type of cancer developed and evidence of exposure to AFFF.

AFFF Lawsuit Eligibility Criteria

Qualifying Cancers

One must have been diagnosed with certain types of cancer that studies suggest may be linked to AFFF exposure.

Key cancers mentioned in the AFFF Lawsuits include, but are not limited to:

  • Prostate Cancer: Specifically linked to AFFF, eligible for legal action.
  • Kidney Cancer: Covered under lawsuits due to AFFF exposure.
  • Testicular Cancer: Included among the cancers eligible for claims.
  • Bladder Cancer: Recognized as a potential consequence of AFFF exposure.
  • Thyroid Cancer: Also included in the spectrum of eligible cancers for the lawsuit.

The diagnostic criteria mandate concrete medical records and a physician’s diagnosis to corroborate the presence of these cancers.

Proving Exposure

To strengthen a legal case, it is necessary for individuals to provide evidence of their exposure to AFFF.

This evidence to prove AFFF exposure may include:

  1. Employment records show work in a role with potential AFFF contact, such as firefighting.
  2. Military service records for veterans who may have used AFFF in their duties.
  3. Medical records link the development of qualifying cancers like Kidney Cancer to exposure to AFFF.
  4. Witness statements or expert testimonies can validate the individual’s exposure to AFFF.

Major Cases and Settlements in AFFF Firefighting Lawsuits

The legal landscape surrounding AFFF firefighting foam involves substantial settlements and numerous cases due to the health risks associated with its use, particularly concerning cancer claims.

Major Cases and Settlements in AFFF Firefighting Lawsuits

Prior Mass Tort Cases

Mass tort cases have been initiated to consolidate numerous lawsuits related to AFFF exposure and the associated health risks, indicating a growing trend of accountability and reparation through settlements.

Regarding the evolving landscape of mass tort cases involving Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF):

  • In 2024, the Multi-District Litigation (MDL) saw over 6,700 cases combined, showcasing the scale of legal action taken against manufacturers.
  • Several companies, including 3M Co. and DuPont, have faced allegations for their roles in producing AFFF that contained harmful chemicals linked to cancer.
  • The MDL efficiently centralized pretrial proceedings, which led to the uniform discovery and the potential for global AFFF settlements.

Settlement Amounts

The financial aspects of these settlements play a crucial part in the resolution process, reflecting the gravity of the harm caused and acknowledging the need for recompense.

In the context of settlement amounts in AFFF lawsuits, several key factors are at play:

  • Although exact numbers often remain confidential, settlements in mass tort cases commonly reach into the millions or even billions of dollars, considering the severity of the impact on plaintiffs’ health.
  • The average AFFF lawsuit settlement can vary greatly; however, amounts typically correlate with the degree of exposure and the presence of related health conditions.
  • Settlements are designed not only to compensate for medical expenses but also to cover associated losses, including lost wages and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
  • Anticipation looms over pending cases, as there has yet to be a publicly reported settlement solely for individual cancer claims linked to AFFF, indicating potential for future firefighting foam lawsuit settlements.

Representing Plaintiffs in AFFF Lawsuits

Representing plaintiffs in AFFF lawsuits requires specialized knowledge of toxic tort law and experience in handling complex litigation.

Representing Plaintiffs in AFFF Lawsuits

Attorneys must navigate multifaceted legal and scientific issues to advocate effectively for those harmed by AFFF exposure.

Litigating a Multidistrict Litigation

In multidistrict litigation (MDL), individual cases that share common facts are consolidated to streamline the legal process.

The key components of litigating an AFFF MDL include:

  • Bellwether Trials: Such cases serve as test trials, providing a window into how juries may respond to evidence and arguments.
  • Managing Discovery Efforts: Coordinating the gathering of evidence among thousands of plaintiffs to build a cohesive argument.
  • Integrating Scientific Studies: Utilizing peer-reviewed studies linking AFFF to cancers like leukemia to establish causation.
  • Navigating Settlement Negotiations: Engaging in settlement talks on behalf of a large group of plaintiffs, aiming for a resolution that fairly compensates for their injuries.

As of February 2024, a single judge is assigned to handle all federal AFFF firefighting foam cancer lawsuits to push the process forward toward potential global settlements.

Building a Case

Creating an effective legal strategy for AFFF cases requires a comprehensive approach that encompasses both scientific evidence and legal expertise.

This multifaceted process is designed to ensure that the rights of the plaintiffs are fully represented and that they receive the compensation they deserve.

Constructing a strong case for AFFF plaintiffs involves several critical steps:

  1. Documenting Exposure History: Plaintiffs must demonstrate a clear history of AFFF exposure.
  2. Linking Exposure to Illness: Establishing a connection between AFFF exposure and the development of diseases like leukemia is pivotal.
  3. Assessing Damages: Itemizing the plaintiffs’ economic and non-economic losses due to their illnesses.
  4. Expert Testimonies: Retaining reputable experts to testify on the harmful effects of AFFF and the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries.

Whether the case centers around personal injury lawsuits or wrongful death trials, AFFF firefighting foam lawyers are essential in fighting for justice for those affected.

The aim is to hold manufacturers accountable for the harm caused by their products.

Resources and Support for Affected Individuals

Affected individuals exploring an AFFF leukemia lawsuit have access to various resources designed to support them during this challenging time.

Resources and Support for Affected Individuals

These resources provide legal guidance, health information, and community assistance tailored to the specific needs of those exposed to AFFF.

Active or Former Servicemen and Women

Veterans Administration (VA) resources and veteran advocacy groups stand ready to assist those impacted by AFFF, offering a network of support that addresses both the health and legal concerns associated with exposure.

This comprehensive support framework is designed to help affected service members navigate the complexities of health care and legal claims related to AFFF exposure.

Active and former service members who have been exposed to AFFF and have developed health-related issues such as leukemia can seek support from several sources:

  • Legal Assistance Programs: Aimed specifically at veterans, these programs offer counsel on how to proceed with an AFFF lawsuit and navigate the legal landscape.
  • VA Disability Compensation: Veterans affected by AFFF personal injury may be eligible for compensation and should explore the process of filing for benefits.
  • Medical Resources: Facilities like the National Cancer Institute and state cancer registries provide valuable health information and medical care options.
  • Advocacy Organizations: Groups dedicated to military personnel provide additional guidance and may offer financial support to those involved in litigation.

Support for Military Veterans

Service members who have been exposed to AFFF and are seeking support can take several key steps to ensure they receive the necessary help and resources.

Here’s a list of key steps for service members seeking support:

  1. Consult with legal experts who have specific experience in AFFF cancer lawsuits.
  2. Contact your local VA office to inquire about eligibility criteria for disability benefits due to exposure.
  3. Get in touch with the National Cancer Institute or your state’s cancer registry for current research and treatment information.
  4. Reach out to military advocacy groups that can offer both logistical and moral support.

Advocacy and Community Groups

In addition to these resources, community groups and advocacy organizations also provide a sense of belonging and solidarity to those affected by AFFF contamination.

These organizations can provide the following resources:

  • Health Information: These groups often share the latest research and information from reliable sources, including treatment options and preventive measures.
  • Legal Support: Advocacy groups might help connect members to legal firms experienced in handling AFFF personal injury cases.
  • Emotional Support: They offer a platform for affected individuals to share their experiences and coping strategies with those in similar situations.
  • Awareness Campaigns: Many groups also raise awareness about the risks associated with AFFF, potentially helping to prevent future cases.

Supporting Victims of AFFF Exposure

Victims of AFFF exposure can take various actions to raise awareness, educate themselves, and find support through advocacy and community groups.

Consider the following actions to connect with an advocacy or community group:

  1. Seek their participation in spreading awareness about the dangers and health risks of AFFF.
  2. Use their resources to educate yourself on the implications of AFFF exposure.
  3. Participate in community support networks to share your experience and find solace.
  4. Take advantage of the group’s connections with professional legal entities for advice on AFFF cancer lawsuits.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the criteria for eligibility in the AFFF-related leukemia lawsuits?

    Individuals who have been exposed to Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) and diagnosed with leukemia may be eligible to file a lawsuit.

    It is important that their exposure is well-documented and directly linked to the use of AFFF.

  • What types of cancer have been linked to AFFF exposure?

    AFFF exposure has been associated with several types of cancer, notably including leukemia, kidney cancer, and testicular cancer.

    Studies have pointed to the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in AFFF as a potential cause of these conditions.

  • What have been the settlement amounts in previous AFFF-related lawsuits?What have been the settlement amounts in previous AFFF-related lawsuits?

    While precise settlement amounts can vary, it is reported that compensations may range between $40,000 to $300,000 or more.

    This depends on several factors, like the strength of the case and the individual’s circumstances.

    While precise settlement amounts can vary, it is reported that compensations may range between $40,000 to $300,000 or more.

    This depends on several factors, like the strength of the case and the individual’s circumstances.

  • How long is the litigation process expected to take for AFFF lawsuits?

    The timeframe for an AFFF lawsuit to reach a resolution can be lengthy, potentially taking several years.

    The process involves numerous phases.

    These include discovery, pretrial motions, and possibly trial or settlement negotiations.

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Attorney Jessie Paluch has over 25 years of legal experience in personal injury lawsuits, mass tort litigations, and also spent the first decade of her career working as an international tax attorney at Deloitte. As the founder of TruLaw, Jessie collaborates with attorneys and legal experts across the United States on a daily basis — further expanding her legal expertise and enabling her to share reliable, up-to-date legal information with our readers!

This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy and clarity by the team of writers and attorneys at TorHoerman Law and is as accurate as possible. This content should not be taken as legal advice from an attorney. If you would like to learn more about our owner and experienced injury lawyer, Tor Hoerman, you can do so here.

TorHoerman Law does everything possible to make sure the information in this article is up to date and accurate. If you need specific legal advice about your case, contact us. This article should not be taken as advice from an attorney.

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Experienced Attorney & Legal SaaS CEO

With over 25 years of legal experience, Jessie is an Illinois lawyer, a CPA, and a mother of three.  She spent the first decade of her career working as an international tax attorney at Deloitte.

In 2009, Jessie co-founded her own law firm with her husband – which has scaled to over 30 employees since its conception.

In 2016, Jessie founded TruLaw, which allows her to collaborate with attorneys and legal experts across the United States on a daily basis. This hypervaluable network of experts is what enables her to share reliable legal information with her readers!

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