Filing AFFF Firefighter Foam Lawsuit in New York
Firefighting operations have widely used Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) to combat flammable liquid fires. However, its extensive use has raised concerns about environmental contamination and health risks associated with per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
Today nearly all Americans, including newborn babies, have PFAS in their blood, and over 200 million people may be drinking PFAS-contaminated water. As a result, a surge of AFFF lawsuits has emerged, seeking justice and accountability from the companies involved in AFFF production, distribution, and use.
The process of filing an AFFF lawsuit starts with consulting an experienced firefighting foam lawyer, gathering evidence, evaluating eligibility, filing the complaint, serving it to defendants, building the case with evidence, and then engaging in negotiations or proceeding to trial if a settlement is not achieved.
What Is AFFF and How Is It Used?
AFFF (Aqueous Film-Forming Foam) is a specialized firefighting foam used to extinguish flammable liquid fires. It creates a thin film on the fuel surface, suppressing the fire by separating the fuel from oxygen and cooling the flames. The critical components of AFFF include water, foam concentrate, and fluorosurfactants.
The usage of AFFF is prevalent in various industries, including:
- Aviation: AFFF is used in airport firefighting to combat aircraft fuel fires and other flammable liquid fires.
- Military: The military personnel uses AFFF for firefighting, especially for extinguishing fuel fires on ships and in fuel storage areas.
- Petrochemical Industry: AFFF fights hazardous liquid fires in oil refineries and chemical plants.
- Fire Services: Municipal and industrial fire departments use AFFF to respond to flammable liquid fire incidents.
How Can I File an AFFF Lawsuit?
Filing an AFFF (Aqueous Film-Forming Foam) lawsuit involves several steps, and it is essential to seek legal representation from an experienced attorney specializing in AFFF litigation. Here’s a guide on how you can initiate an AFFF lawsuit:
Step 1: Consult with a Lawyer
AFFF firefighting foam lawyers possess the knowledge and expertise needed to navigate the complexities. Through a comprehensive consultation, they will attentively listen to your story, understand your exposure, and determine the most effective course of action.
Step 2: Gathering Evidence
Your case’s outcome depends on concrete evidence. With the help of your lawyer, gather records that validate your exposure to AFFF and substantiate the resulting damages. Medical records chronicling health issues, incident reports involving AFFF foam exposure, and documentation of property or environmental harm will form the bedrock of your case.
Step 3: Evaluating Eligibility
Your chosen attorney meticulously assesses the merits of your case. They analyze the collected evidence to determine if your situation aligns with legal standards for pursuing an AFFF lawsuit. This personalized evaluation ensures that your pursuit of justice rests on solid ground.
Step 4: Filing the Complaint
With eligibility confirmed, your attorney crafts a legal complaint detailing the allegations against those responsible for the AFFF-related harm. This document is then formally filed with the appropriate court, initiating the legal process.
Step 5: Serving the Complaint
Taking proactive steps, your attorney serves the complaint to the defendants, officially notifying them of the legal action being taken against them. This ensures transparency and sets the stage for the next phase of the legal process.
Step 6: Building the Solid Case
Drawing from the evidence collected, your attorney will build a compelling case that underscores the direct link between AFFF exposure and the harmful effects you’ve suffered. This persuasive argument serves as the foundation for seeking the compensation you deserve.
Step 7: Negotiations or Trial
Your AFFF attorney initiates negotiations with the defendants, seeking a fair and just settlement that accounts for your losses. However, if negotiations do not yield a satisfactory outcome, your lawyer will take the case to trial, present your claim in front of a jury, and demand justice on your behalf.
What Damages and Compensation Can You Seek in a Firefighting Foam Lawsuit?
In an AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit, you can seek various damages and compensation to address the consequences of AFFF exposure. Here’s how you can pursue different types of damages:
You can claim compensation for past, current, and future medical costs directly related to AFFF exposure. It includes doctor visits, hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and other necessary treatments to address AFFF-related health issues.
If AFFF exposure caused you to miss work or resulted in a disability affecting your income, you can seek compensation for lost wages. It includes the wages you would have earned but could not work due to health problems related to AFFF exposure.
Pain and Suffering
You can seek damages for physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish experienced due to AFFF exposure. This compensation acknowledges the intangible suffering from the health consequences of AFFF exposure.
If your personal or commercial property has been damaged due to incidents involving AFFF, you have the right to pursue compensation for repairing, replacing, or addressing the loss of property value. This compensation applies to situations where the damage results from AFFF contamination or its use in firefighting operations.
In cases where AFFF contamination led to environmental damage, you may be eligible to claim compensation for the costs of cleaning up and restoring affected areas. It includes remediation efforts for contaminated soil, water sources, or other environmental elements.
Loss of Consortium
If AFFF exposure indirectly affected your relationships or emotional support, your spouse or family members can seek compensation for the loss of consortium. This compensation aims to address the impact on relationships and familial support.
In certain extreme cases of negligence or misconduct related to AFFF use and contamination, the responsible parties may face punishment through punitive damages. These damages go beyond compensating the victim and serve as a deterrent against similar future behavior.
Who Are the Defendants in AFFF Lawsuits?
The defendants in AFFF lawsuits include companies that manufactured and supplied AFFF firefighting foam to fire departments, military bases, airports, and other entities. Some of them are the following:
- BASF Corp.
- The Chemours Company
- AGC Chemicals Americas
What Are the Health Risks Associated With AFFF Exposure?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have studied certain health risks associated with exposure to PFAS.
Cancers associated with PFAS chemicals are the following:
- Kidney cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Ovarian and Endometrial cancer
Other health problems associated with PFAS chemicals are the following:
- Increased cholesterol levels
- Liver Damage
- Decrease in infant birth weights
- Decreased vaccine response in children
- Increased risk of high blood pressure
- Increased risk of asthma
- Fertility issues
Who Is Eligible to File an AFFF Lawsuit?
Here’s the list of individuals and groups who are eligible to file an AFFF lawsuit based on their potential AFFF exposure and related circumstances:
- Firefighters: Firefighters who encounter AFFF exposure during firefighting operations, training exercises, and equipment maintenance.
- Military Personnel: Those involved in aircraft rescue and firefighting operations face significant AFFF exposure on military airfields and naval vessels.
- Airport Workers: Ground crew and maintenance staff can come in contact with AFFF during firefighting drills, equipment handling, and storage.
- Residents near AFFF Sites: Individuals living near locations where AFFF is regularly used can be exposed to contaminated water and air.
- Workers on Flight Decks: Aircraft maintenance personnel and crew members can be exposed to AFFF chemicals during maintenance or emergency response on flight decks.
- AFFF Manufacturers: Workers involved in AFFF production can be exposed to PFAS during the manufacturing process.
- AFFF Transportation: Individuals involved in the transportation and distribution of AFFF can face exposure during handling and transportation activities.
- Incinerator Facility Workers: Workers at incinerator facilities responsible for disposing of firefighting foam can encounter AFFF exposure during waste handling and processing.
Have You Experienced Exposure to AFFF Firefighting Foam? Consult Uptown Injury
If you or a loved one has developed cancer or other adverse health effects after being regularly exposed to firefighting foam, you may be eligible to file an AFFF lawsuit and seek financial compensation. At Uptown Injury Law, our team of experienced firefighting foam lawyers is ready to advocate for your rights.
We have a successful track record of representing clients in toxic tort, personal injury, and medical malpractice cases. We are committed to fighting for your rights and getting you the compensation you deserve.
What Is the Time Limit to File an AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit?
The time limit to file an AFFF lawsuit, known as the statute of limitations, varies depending on the jurisdiction and specific circumstances. It is essential to consult with a firefighting foam attorney promptly to determine the applicable deadline in your case.
How Long Does It Take to Resolve an AFFF Lawsuit?
The time it takes to resolve an AFFF lawsuit varies depending on factors such as the case’s complexity, the number of evidence to gather, and the willingness of the parties to negotiate. Some cases can be settled relatively quickly, while others can take months or years to resolve.
How Can Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawyers Help Individuals or Communities Affected by AFFF Exposure?
Firefighting foam cancer lawyers can help by evaluating cases, providing legal expertise on AFFF-related health risks, gathering evidence to support claims, building solid legal arguments, negotiating with defendants, and providing representation in court if necessary. They work to secure fair compensation and hold the responsible parties accountable for the harm caused to you.
What Is an AFFF Class Action MDL?
AFFF Class Action MDL (Multidistrict Litigation) is a legal process that consolidates multiple individual lawsuits related to AFFF exposure into one federal court for more efficient and coordinated pretrial proceedings. It allows plaintiffs with similar claims to join a collective legal action to pursue compensation for damages caused by AFFF exposure.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Firefighting Foam Attorney for an AFFF Lawsuit?
Primarily, firefighting foam attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if they secure a settlement or win the case. They typically offer free initial consultations to discuss your case and determine if legal representation is appropriate.
How Are Settlements or Compensation Determined in an AFFF Class Action Lawsuit?
In an AFFF class action lawsuit, the plaintiffs’ attorneys and the defendants typically determine settlements through negotiations. The amount of compensation is based on the extent of damages suffered by the plaintiffs as a result of AFFF exposure. After achieving a settlement agreement, the court reviews and approves it to ensure fairness and adequacy for all class members involved.
What Are the Environmental Risks Associated With AFFF Firefighter Foam Exposure?
When using or releasing AFFF, it can contaminate groundwater and surface water with PFAS, potentially affecting drinking water sources and aquatic ecosystems. Moreover, the foam can contaminate soil, impacting plant life and soil-dwelling organisms. The PFAS compounds can also bioaccumulate in the food chain, leading to further environmental disruptions and potential harm to wildlife.
Can Retired Firefighters Who Were Exposed to AFFF File Lawsuits for Compensation?
Retired firefighters exposed to AFFF can file lawsuits for health issues, even after retirement. Consulting a firefighting foam attorney is key for evaluating and pursuing their case effectively.