PFAS Liver Cancer Lawsuit

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Attorney Jessie Paluch, founder of TruLaw, has over 25 years of experience as a personal injury and mass tort attorney, and previously worked as an international tax attorney at Deloitte. Jessie collaborates with attorneys nationwide — 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 legal experts at TruLaw 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, Jessie Paluch, you can do so here.

TruLaw 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 by using the chat on the bottom of this page. This article should not be taken as advice from an attorney.

Key takeaways:

  • PFAS chemicals have been linked to liver cancer and other serious health risks, prompting increased scrutiny from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and leading to numerous lawsuits against manufacturers and polluters.
  • Exposure to PFAS often occurs through contaminated drinking water sources, making it crucial for individuals in affected areas to have their water tested and seek legal advice if health issues arise.
  • The growing body of evidence linking PFAS exposure to human health concerns has led to a surge in PFAS-related litigation, with many cases being consolidated in the South Carolina federal court to address environmental contamination and its impact on public health.

Overview of the PFAS Liver Cancer Lawsuit

On this page, we’ll provide an overview of the PFAS liver cancer lawsuit, populations at risk for PFAS liver cancer, compensation in a PFAS liver cancer lawsuit, and much more.

PFAS Liver Cancer Lawsuit

Intro to PFAS Liver Cancer Lawsuit

Key points to consider include:

  • PFAS are “forever chemicals” used in various products that can accumulate in the body, particularly the liver
  • A 2022 study found individuals with high PFOS levels were 4.5 times more likely to develop liver cancer
  • Certain populations, like industrial workers and communities near contamination sites, may be at higher risk

If you’ve been diagnosed with liver cancer and have a history of PFAS exposure, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the responsible companies.

Contact TruLaw for a free consultation to evaluate your case and discuss your legal options for seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering related to PFAS exposure and liver cancer.

Table of Contents

Understanding the Link Between PFAS and Liver Cancer

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been under increasing scrutiny in recent years due to their potential to cause severe health problems, including liver cancer.

While the evidence linking PFAS to liver cancer is still developing, there are growing concerns based on animal studies and limited human data.

This article will explore the current understanding of the relationship between PFAS exposure and liver cancer, as well as the legal options available for those affected.

What are PFAS, and How do They Impact Liver Health?

PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals used in various industrial and consumer products since the 1940s.

These chemicals are known for their water- and grease-resistant properties, making them useful in products such as:

  • Non-stick cookware
  • Water-repellent clothing
  • Stain-resistant fabrics
  • Food packaging materials
  • Firefighting foam

However, PFAS are also known as “forever chemicals” because they do not break down easily in the environment or the human body.

PFAS exposure can occur through drinking contaminated water, eating food packaged in PFAS-containing materials, or using products made with PFAS.

Once ingested, these chemicals can accumulate in the body over time, particularly in the liver, where they can cause damage and alter liver function.

Studies have shown that PFAS can induce oxidative stress, alter lipid metabolism, and promote inflammation in the liver, all of which are factors that can contribute to the development of liver cancer.

Growing Evidence of PFAS Exposure and Liver Cancer

While the direct causal link between PFAS and liver cancer in humans is still being established, there is a growing body of evidence from animal studies and human epidemiological data that suggests a potential connection.

Animal Studies Indicating PFAS-Induced Liver Toxicity

Animal studies have consistently shown that PFAS exposure can lead to liver toxicity and damage.

In these studies, animals exposed to PFAS developed liver enlargement, altered liver enzyme levels, and cellular changes that are precursors to liver tumors.

For example, a 2019 study published in the journal “Environmental Health Perspectives” found that male rats exposed to high levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a common type of PFAS, developed liver tumours at a significantly higher rate than unexposed rats.

Based on the animal evidence, the authors concluded that PFOA is a likely human carcinogen.

Human Data Suggesting a Potential PFAS-Liver Cancer Link

While human studies on the direct link between PFAS and liver cancer are limited, there is emerging epidemiological evidence that suggests an association.

A recent study published in the journal “JHEP Reports” in August 2022 has provided some of the strongest evidence to date linking PFAS exposure to liver cancer in humans.

The study, titled “Exposure to Perfluoroalkyl Substances and Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in a Multiethnic Cohort,” had several key findings:

  1. Individuals with the highest levels of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) in their blood were 4.5 times more likely to develop hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer, compared to those with the lowest levels.
  2. The study revealed a dose-response relationship, meaning that the risk of liver cancer increased with higher levels of PFAS exposure.
  3. The researchers proposed that PFAS may alter glucose, amino acid, and lipid metabolism in ways that promote cancer development and that PFAS exposure might lead to fatty liver disease, a known risk factor for liver cancer.

Dr. Jesse Goodrich, a postdoctoral researcher at USC’s Keck School of Medicine and co-lead author of the study, stated: “This builds on the existing research but takes it one step further.

Liver cancer is one of the most serious endpoints in liver disease, and this is the first study in humans to show that PFAS are associated with this disease.”

While the study had limitations, such as a relatively small sample size and its observational nature, it provides compelling evidence for the link between PFAS exposure and liver cancer.

The results of this study strengthen the case for plaintiffs in PFAS lawsuits and may influence future regulatory decisions regarding PFAS use and environmental remediation efforts.

Populations at Risk for PFAS-Related Liver Cancer

Certain populations may be at a higher risk of developing PFAS-related liver cancer due to their occupational exposure or proximity to contaminated sites.

Occupational Exposure in Industries Using PFAS

Workers in industries that use PFAS in their manufacturing processes or products are at an increased risk of exposure.

These industries include:

  • Textile production
  • Paper and packaging manufacturing
  • Electronics manufacturing
  • Metal plating and finishing
  • Firefighting (due to the use of PFAS-containing firefighting foam)

Individuals employed in these sectors may have a higher body burden of PFAS due to prolonged exposure, putting them at a greater risk of developing liver cancer and other PFAS-related health problems.

Communities Near PFAS Contamination Sites

Communities located near facilities that produce or use PFAS, as well as military bases and airports where PFAS-containing firefighting foam has been used, are also at a higher risk of exposure.

PFAS can contaminate the groundwater and soil in these areas, eventually entering the local drinking water supply.

Notable examples of communities impacted by PFAS contamination include:

  • Parkersburg, West Virginia, where a DuPont plant released PFOA into the Ohio River, contaminating the drinking water of nearby residents.
  • Hoosick Falls, New York, where PFOA contamination was discovered in the public water supply, was traced back to a nearby manufacturing facility.
  • Communities near military bases nationwide, where PFAS-containing firefighting foam has led to widespread groundwater contamination.

Residents of these communities may have been unknowingly exposed to PFAS for years, increasing their risk of developing liver cancer and other health problems associated with PFAS exposure.

Pursuing a PFAS Liver Cancer Lawsuit

Suppose you or a loved one have been diagnosed with liver cancer and have a history of PFAS exposure.

In that case, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the companies responsible for the contamination.

Establishing Liability for PFAS Manufacturers

To succeed in a PFAS liver cancer lawsuit, plaintiffs must demonstrate that the defendant companies knew or should have known about the risks associated with PFAS and failed to warn consumers or take appropriate action to mitigate those risks.

Evidence has emerged that some PFAS manufacturers, such as 3M and DuPont, were aware of the potential health hazards of PFAS for decades but continued to produce and use these chemicals without adequately warning the public.

In 2005, DuPont settled a class-action lawsuit filed by Mid-Ohio Valley residents exposed to PFOA from the company’s Washington Works plant.

The settlement included the establishment of an epidemiological study, the C8 Science Panel, which concluded that there was a probable link between PFOA exposure and several health conditions, including kidney cancer and testicular cancer.

While the C8 Science Panel did not specifically identify liver cancer, the growing body of evidence linking PFAS to liver toxicity and cancer in animal studies and human epidemiological data strengthens the case for plaintiffs in PFAS liver cancer lawsuits.

Gathering Evidence to Support Your PFAS Cancer Lawsuit

To build a strong case, plaintiffs in PFAS liver cancer lawsuits should work with experienced attorneys to gather evidence that demonstrates their exposure to PFAS and the link between that exposure and their liver cancer diagnosis.

This evidence may include:

  • Medical records documenting the liver cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • Evidence of occupational exposure to PFAS, such as employment records or witness statements
  • Documentation of residence in a community with known PFAS contamination
  • Water testing results showing the presence of PFAS in the local drinking water supply
  • Expert testimony from medical and scientific professionals on the link between PFAS and liver cancer

By presenting compelling evidence, plaintiffs can build a strong case against the companies responsible for their PFAS exposure and resulting health problems.

Compensation in a PFAS Liver Cancer Lawsuit

Plaintiffs in PFAS liver cancer lawsuits may be entitled to various forms of compensation for the damages they have suffered as a result of their exposure and illness.

Medical Expenses, Lost Wages, and Other Economic Damages

One of the primary forms of compensation in a PFAS liver cancer lawsuit is reimbursement for medical expenses related to the diagnosis and treatment of liver cancer.

This may include costs associated with:

  • Diagnostic tests, such as blood work, imaging scans, and biopsies
  • Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other cancer treatments
  • Hospitalization and follow-up care
  • Prescription medications
  • Palliative or end-of-life care

In addition to medical expenses, plaintiffs may also be able to recover lost wages if their liver cancer diagnosis prevented them from working or forced them to take a reduced-pay position.

Other economic damages, such as the cost of travelling for medical treatment or modifications to the home to accommodate the plaintiff’s illness, may also be recoverable.

Pain and Suffering and Loss of Quality of Life

In addition to economic damages, plaintiffs in PFAS liver cancer lawsuits may also be entitled to compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and loss of quality of life.

These damages recognize the physical, emotional, and psychological toll that a liver cancer diagnosis can take on an individual and their family.

Factors that may be considered when determining non-economic damages include:

  • The severity and duration of the plaintiff’s physical pain and discomfort
  • The emotional distress and mental anguish caused by the cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • The impact of the illness on the plaintiff’s ability to enjoy hobbies, social activities, and other aspects of daily life
  • The effect of the diagnosis on the plaintiff’s relationships with family members and loved ones

While no amount of money can truly compensate for the suffering caused by a liver cancer diagnosis, non-economic damages aim to acknowledge the profound impact of the illness on the plaintiff’s life and provide some measure of financial support.

TruLaw: Your Advocate in PFAS Liver Cancer Lawsuits

At TruLaw, we understand the devastating impact that a liver cancer diagnosis can have on individuals and families, especially when that illness is the result of exposure to toxic chemicals like PFAS.

Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to fighting for the rights of those harmed by PFAS contamination and holding the responsible parties accountable for their actions.

Our Experience in Environmental Toxic Tort Litigation

TruLaw has a proven track record of success in environmental toxic tort litigation, including PFAS contamination cases.

Our attorneys have:

  1. Extensive knowledge of the science behind PFAS and their health effects
  2. Experience in investigating and documenting the extent of PFAS contamination
  3. A network of medical and scientific experts to support our client’s claims
  4. A deep understanding of the legal strategies necessary to hold polluters accountable
  5. A commitment to securing the maximum compensation for our clients

Our attorneys have the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to take on powerful corporations and secure the compensation our clients deserve.

We work tirelessly to investigate the extent of our client’s PFAS exposure, gather evidence to support their claims and build strong cases that demonstrate the link between their exposure and their liver cancer diagnosis.

Our team collaborates with leading medical and scientific experts to ensure we have the most up-to-date and compelling evidence to present in court.

Throughout the legal process, we provide our clients with the support, guidance, and advocacy they need during this challenging time.

We understand that taking on a lawsuit while battling a serious illness like liver cancer can be overwhelming, which is why we strive to make the process as seamless and stress-free as possible for our clients.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with liver cancer and have a history of PFAS exposure, contact TruLaw today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are PFAS chemicals, and how do they relate to liver cancer?

    PFAS chemicals are man-made substances used in various products that have been linked to health risks, including liver cancer.

    The Environmental Protection Agency has identified PFAS as toxic substances that can accumulate in the body over time, potentially leading to serious health issues like liver damage and cancer.

  • How does PFAS exposure occur through contaminated drinking water?

    PFAS exposure often occurs through contaminated drinking water sources near industrial sites or military bases.

    The National Cancer Institute has noted that PFAS can leach into groundwater, contaminating public water supplies and private wells, which is why many PFAS lawsuits focus on water contamination issues.

  • What role does the aqueous film-forming foam play in PFAS contamination?

    Aqueous film-forming foam, used for firefighting, is a significant source of PFAS contamination.

    This foam contains high concentrations of PFAS chemicals that can seep into soil and groundwater, leading to widespread environmental contamination and potential human health risks.

  • Who is eligible to file a PFAS liver cancer lawsuit?

    Individuals diagnosed with liver cancer who have been exposed to PFAS through contaminated drinking water or occupational exposure may be eligible to file a PFAS lawsuit.

    PFAS lawyers can help determine eligibility based on factors such as exposure history and medical diagnosis.

  • How is the South Carolina federal court involved in PFAS litigation?

    The South Carolina federal court oversees multidistrict litigation (MDL) for PFAS-related lawsuits.

    This consolidated approach in the South Carolina federal court allows for more efficient handling of the numerous PFAS cases filed nationwide, streamlining the plaintiffs’ legal process.

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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