AFFF Firefighter Foam | Legal Options for Navy Personnel
Navy personnel encounter significant challenges while safeguarding our nation, including dealing with a toxic firefighting foam known as Aqueous Film-Forming Foam or AFFF. This foam was previously considered helpful in fighting fires, but it contains harmful chemicals called PFAS.
If you’re a Navy hero dealing with the consequences of AFFF firefighter foam exposure, you have the option to pursue legal action and seek compensation for your damages by filing a firefighting foam lawsuit.
How is AFFF Firefighting Foam Hazardous?
Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) contains toxic substances called PFAS or forever chemicals. According to The Environmental Working Group, PFAS compounds persist in the environment for several years, contaminating the soil and drinking water. This poses risks to both the environment and human health.
Additionally, Environmental Protection Agency has highlighted the risk of cancer and other serious health problems due to AFFF exposure. Military firefighters and others who frequently come into contact with toxic firefighting foams are vulnerable to health risks, such as cancer, immunodeficiency, and liver damage.
Does the U.S. Navy Still Use AFFF?
U.S. Navy uses AFFF during training exercises at many installations to combat flammable liquid fires because it is the fastest and most effective extinguisher available. However, the Department of Defense actively avoids using PFAS-containing firefighting foam because of environmental and health worries.
Therefore, the Navy and other branches of the U.S. military have been actively searching for alternative firefighting foams that are effective but do not contain PFAS.
What Is the Process of Filing an AFFF Lawsuit for Navy Personnel?
If you’re a Navy personnel and considering filing an AFFF foam cancer lawsuit, it’s essential to understand the process involved. Following are the steps you need to take to file a firefighting foam lawsuit.
Step 1: Consult with a Firefighting Foam Lawyer
The first step is to find an AFFF attorney specializing in environmental law, toxic torts, or product liability cases related to AFFF and PFAS exposure. The lawyer will assess the details of your situation and advise you on the potential merits of your case.
Step 2: Gather Evidence
If your lawyer suspects you have a potential claim, he will work with you to gather all relevant evidence, including documentation of your exposure to AFFF, medical records showing related health issues, and other supporting documentation.
Step 3: Identify Responsible Parties
AFFF lawsuits target various entities, such as foam manufacturers, companies that use the foam, or government agencies responsible for its use and disposal. Your firefighting foam attorney will help identify the liable parties to hold accountable.
Step 4: File an AFFF Lawsuit
Once all necessary evidence is collected and the responsible parties are identified, your AFFF lawyer will draft and file the lawsuit on your behalf. This document will outline your allegations, damages claimed, and the legal basis for holding the defendants liable.
Step 5: Discovery Process
After the lawsuit is filed, there will be a discovery phase where both sides exchange information and evidence. Depositions, interrogatories, and requests for documents may be part of this process.
Step 6: Settlement Negotiations or Trial
Your attorney will negotiate with the defendant’s legal team to reach a fair settlement that compensates you for your damages. The case may proceed to trial if a fair firefighter foam cash settlement cannot be reached. At trial, both sides present their arguments, and a judge or jury will determine the case’s outcome.
Who Are the Manufacturers and Distributors of Firefighting Foam?
Numerous firefighting foam manufacturers have played a role in producing and distributing AFFF since its invention in 1963. The names include:
- 3M Company
- Buckeye fire equipment company
- Chemguard, Inc.
- Dynax Corporation
- National Foam
- Tyco Fire Products
What Types of Compensation Can You Seek in an AFFF Lawsuit?
In firefighting foam cancer lawsuits, you may seek various types of compensation, such as:
- Medical Expenses: Compensation for past and future medical bills related to your injuries caused by PFAS exposure.
- Lost Wages: Reimbursement for income lost due to your injuries, including missed work or reduced earning capacity.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life resulting from your injuries.
- Punitive Damages: In AFFF lawsuits, compensation for the punitive damages may be awarded to punish the defendants for their negligence.
What Are the Ongoing Investigations and Actions to Address AFFF Contamination?
According to The Legal Examiner, many current and former firefighters have formed a collective lawsuit known as multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Aqueous film-forming foam manufacturers, companies, distributors, and government entities.
In 2018, federal judges consolidated all AFFF lawsuits into an MDL and assigned it to the South Carolina federal court. As of April 15, 2022, the number of plaintiffs involved in the legal action has significantly increased, with 2,422 individuals participating, and more are joining over time.
Furthermore, regulatory agencies and lawmakers are taking action to address the concerns surrounding PFAS contamination. Some states have implemented stricter regulations on using and disposing of AFFF foams, while federal agencies are conducting investigations and working to establish comprehensive guidelines for PFAS management.
Need Help With Filing an AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit? Contact Uptown Injury!
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an illness and suspect AFFF foam as the cause, acting swiftly and seeking legal assistance is crucial. At Uptown Injury Law, our team of experienced firefighting foam lawyers is ready to advocate for your rights. We understand the complexities of these cases and are dedicated to helping you navigate the legal process.
How Is AFFF Linked to Firefirething Foam Cancer Lawsuits?
AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits are initiated by people who have suffered due to their exposure to AFFF. These legal actions aim to secure compensation for harm caused by the careless behavior of firefighting foam manufacturers and distributors. Additionally, these lawsuits assert that the PFAS chemicals present in AFFF create dangers for both personal health and the environment.
Which AFFF Manufacturers Are Responsible for Causing Cancer?
Prominent chemical manufacturers such as 3M Company, Chemours Company, Johnson Controls, and Tyco Fire Products are facing claims for causing cancer by producing AFFF foam.
Is the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Involved in Regulating AFFF Firefighting Foams?
Yes, the FAA plays a role in regulating the use of PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam. They have implemented guidelines and standards to ensure the safe and effective use of aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF).
How Has the US Defense Department Addressed AFFF Hazards?
The U.S. Air Force and Navy have recognized the environmental and health concerns associated with AFFF firefighting foam chemicals, particularly PFAS. To address these concerns, they are actively working to replace PFAS-containing firefighting foam with safer and environmentally friendly alternatives, such as fluorine-free foam.
How Does PFAS Exposure Affect Military Firefighters?
PFAS exposure can result in adverse health outcomes, including an increased risk of certain cancers, hormonal disruptions, liver damage, immune system dysfunction, and other adverse health conditions. Military firefighters must know these potential risks, seek appropriate medical attention and file an AFFF firefighting foam cancer lawsuit.
How Does the Fire Fighting Foam Coalition Address PFAS Concerns With NFPA?
The Firefighting Foam Coalition, which includes AFFF manufacturers and industry associations, works with the NFPA to develop guidelines and standards for safely using, storing, and disposing of firefighting foams to enhance disease control. Their collaboration addresses concerns about toxic AFFF foams, including how they may affect humans and the environment.