Over the past few years, a new type of lawsuit has been making headlines, the AFFF litigation. It is a class action lawsuit against 3M and other companies that manufactured AFFF firefighting foam. These lawsuits allege that these companies knew about the dangers of this foam for years and did nothing to stop it from being used by firefighters around the world.
This lawsuit has even reached Capitol Hill as senators consider legislation addressing these issues in future products. But what exactly does this lawsuit mean for firefighters? And how can you know if you’re eligible to join one? Here’s everything you need to know about this case and its implications.
What is AFFF Fire Fighting Foam?
AFFF (aqueous film-forming foam) is a firefighting foam that’s used to extinguish aircraft fires. It’s made from a mixture of chemicals and can be sprayed on the ground or applied directly to the burning plane. The foam is also known as “aqueous film-forming foam” or AFM1, which refers to its ability to form a protective barrier around the aircraft when it burns up in flames.
What is the AFFF Lawsuit?
The AFFF Lawsuit is a nationwide class action lawsuit filed by veterans and their families exposed to AFFF. It was filed against the manufacturers of AFFF, including 3M and Occidental Chemical Corporation (OxyChem).
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit want AFFF lawsuit settlement amounts to compensate for any personal injury or property damage caused by exposure to AFFF and punitive damages from the government for knowingly allowing these companies to sell their products without adequate warnings.
The lawsuit covers anyone exposed to AFFF through ingestion or inhalation, including first responders who were exposed during training exercises and civilians who were exposed during fires at airports or military installations where these foams were used.
What are the Symptoms of AFFF Exposure?
There are several symptoms associated with exposure to PFAS chemicals. Some of these include:
- Respiratory problems, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Liver damage
- Kidney disease
The severity of these conditions depends on how much you were exposed to the chemical, how long it was in your system and other factors like age and overall health status at the time of exposure.
How Much Compensation Is Available in an AFFF Lawsuit?
The amount of compensation available through an AFFF lawsuit can vary widely, depending on the circumstances of your injury. According to Lawsuit Information Center, the average settlement will be around $300,000 to $450,000.
If you have suffered permanent injuries, lost wages, and medical expenses due to your exposure to this toxic firefighting foam, compensation will likely be available for those losses. However, it is essential to remember that no amount of money will compensate for what you have been through.
Do not expect any payout from an AFFF lawsuit to cover all costs associated with getting treatment or coping with chronic pain or other symptoms associated with exposure to PFAS chemicals like PFOA or PFOS.
If You Suffered Injuries After Being Exposed to Afff, You Might Be Able to File a Personal Injury Claim
A personal injury claim is a civil lawsuit that allows you to seek compensation for any physical, emotional, and financial damages you sustained due to exposure to AFFF. You can file a personal injury claim against the foam manufacturer or against any parties who caused you harm.
If you were injured by AFFF exposure, you must speak with an attorney immediately so they can help determine whether or not filing a lawsuit is appropriate for your situation. There are 62,881 personal injury lawyers in the US in 2023, according to IBISWorld. You can find one in your region quite easily.
While there are no guarantees when it comes to these types of lawsuits, especially given how many others have already filed similar claims, you may be able to recover compensation for medical bills incurred due to exposure-related injuries such as asthma attacks and skin irritation.
As you can see, the AFFF lawsuit is a complex issue that has been ongoing for years. It may seem overwhelming to keep up with all of the details and developments in this case. Still, it would help if you did so to protect yourself and your family from exposure to hazardous chemicals.
We hope this article clarifies some things for those new to this topic or unsure about what steps they should take next as they pursue justice against companies like 3M who knowingly sold dangerous products without disclosing their risks.