What New Diseases Are Plaintiffs in the AFFF Case Seeking to Add?

As litigation widens against the makers of firefighting foams known as AFFF, plaintiffs are seeking to expand the scope of alleged harms. The chemicals in AFFF have come under intense scrutiny due to emerging research on their health impacts. 

Now plaintiffs aim to add new disease claims to the litigation, arguing these ailments deserve to be acknowledged and compensated as well.

What New Diseases Are Plaintiffs in the AFFF Case Seeking to Add?

What New Diseases Are Plaintiffs in the AFFF Case Seeking to Add

Let us find all about the new diseases claim and the latest AFFF lawsuit update. 

Why Are AFFF Lawsuits Being Filed?

Certain chemicals known as PFAS that have been used in firefighting foam are linked to health issues. Firefighters, military firefighters, airport workers, and others have been exposed to these chemicals through their use of firefighting foam.

PFAS, also referred to as everlasting chemicals, degrade slowly in the environment. Exposure to PFAS has been linked in studies to several cancer types as well as other health issues.

The AFFF foam lawsuit aims to provide compensation for those harmed by exposure to PFAS in firefighting foam. They also seek to hold manufacturers of AFFF foam accountable for injuries and illnesses linked to PFAS exposure.

A multidistrict litigation (MDL) was established to consolidate cases for individuals exposed to firefighting foam through their jobs or contaminated drinking water. MDL 2873 handles these cases in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina.

A type of firefighting foam called aqueous film-forming foam, or AFFF, was created in the 1970s to put out liquid fuel fires, according to TruLaw. It combines water with surfactants to form a foam layer that cuts off a fire’s oxygen supply and prevents re-ignition.

AFFF was created through a collaboration between 3M and the U.S. Navy. It has been widely used at military facilities, airports, and industrial sites but is now mostly reserved for extreme fire situations after some areas banned its use.

Ongoing research continues to investigate health issues related to PFAS exposure from AFFF foam.

Two Additional Cancers in the Firefighting Foam Lawsuit

The legal team for the AFFF lawsuit is concentrating on presenting evidence from epidemiological studies. These studies highlight the potential links between AFFF exposure and both liver cancer and thyroid cancer.

According to a recent court order, the plaintiffs must disclose all peer-reviewed data and published studies on these connections by April 15th. Then, the defense had until May 1st to share their scientific research with the plaintiffs.

It is expected that hundreds of new lawsuits related to multidistrict litigation may be filed based on the strength of research connecting AFFF exposure to these two cancer types. 

For anyone who has received a diagnosis of liver cancer or thyroid cancer after potential AFFF exposure, their medical records could be reviewed. This review will determine if they may be eligible for compensation.

Prolonged exposure to AFFF chemicals may plausibly increase the risk of developing these cancers, according to the belief of some involved in these cases. Continued studies of health effects are important to properly evaluate any relationships.

Latest Update on AFFF Lawsuits

In May 2024, San Francisco became the first major U.S. city to ban the use of PFAS chemicals in firefighter gear. This sets an important precedent for prioritizing firefighter safety that other municipalities may follow.

Some large law firms working with the International Fire Fighter Association are advocating for the replacement of turnout gear containing PFAS with safer alternative materials.

A few notable plaintiffs’ firms have substantial experience obtaining settlements and awards for clients related to PFAS exposure cases.

No turnout gear trials have been scheduled as part of the multidistrict litigation yet. However, attorneys on both sides have proposed pools of sample cases and are finalizing plans for evidence sharing and selecting representative initial cases.

This litigation process is expected to continue throughout the rest of 2024, with analysts predicting the first turnout gear trial may start later in 2025.

Ongoing research and legal proceedings aim to better address health issues linked to PFAS exposure.

FAQs

  • 1. Who can file an AFFF lawsuit?

A: Veterans and others exposed to AFFF in particular settings or while serving in the military are usually among the parties qualified to file a claim under the AFFF lawsuit. As a result of this exposure, these people have since experienced illnesses or health problems.

  • 2. What is the typical settlement amount for the AFFF lawsuit?

A:  Settlement amounts for AFFF lawsuits vary based on the severity of the health conditions linked to AFFF exposure. For severe conditions (Tier 1), settlements typically range from $200,000 to $500,000. For moderate health issues (Tier 2), settlements are generally between $150,000 and $280,000.

  • 3. What harmful chemicals are present in AFFF?

A: AFFF contains chemicals such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFOS). Both are recognized as carcinogens and belong to the group of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These human-made chemicals do not occur naturally in the environment.

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Conclusion:

To conclude, as research continues to uncover new links between PFAS exposure and diseases, it remains critical for the AFFF litigation to evolve in kind.

If plaintiffs can demonstrate rising rates of certain ailments among those with AFFF contact, their inclusion could help determine the full scope of harm – and responsibility. 

Only by thoroughly scrutinizing all health impacts can justice be fully served and future risks more decidedly reduced. The true costs of PFAS may yet prove greater than known today.

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