AFFF Lawsuits Over Thyroid & Liver Cancer to Be Settled: Can You Expect Compensation?

AFFF Lawsuits Over Thyroid & Liver Cancer to Be Settled
AFFF Lawsuits Over Thyroid & Liver Cancer to Be Settled

Are you aware of firefighter foam, or AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foam)? It’s a staple tool in the firefighting industry that helps tackle challenging blazes like gasoline and oil fires. But recently, AFFF has been the buzzword in the legal landscape, with more than 5,000 lawsuits filed against the manufacturers of this toxic foam.

AFFF is a fire suppressant that can smother dangerous, flammable liquid fires by developing a barrier between the air and the fire. The key elements include foam concentrate, water, and surfactants that develop a heat-resistant, stable blanket over the flames. The notion of this foam has significantly changed because of concerns related to its chemical components.

The principal one here is PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances), which are also called forever chemicals. As the name might suggest, it remains in nature and the human body and doesn’t get dissolved. And that leads to a host of human health and environmental risks.

The lawsuits filed to date by the firefighters who lived close to the airports, military bases, and other areas exposed to AFFF mentioned chronic ailments. Recently, there have been lawsuits filed about liver and thyroid cancer because of PFAS exposure. We will shed light on this here and touch on how victims can get compensated.

Firefighter Foam Lawsuit Bellwether Trial Process

In March 2024, reported on Judge Gergel, who developed a bellwether process last year for AFFF water contamination lawsuits. This is moving through pretrial motions and case-specific discovery for a set of initial trial dates. It will be used to understand how the injuries will respond to specific testimony and evidence, which will repeat all through the litigation.

The initial PFAS lawsuit bellwether pool was restricted to claims that included kidney cancer, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis injuries, and testicular cancer. The parties chose a team of 28 AFFF injury lawsuits that included these injuries to get zeroed down to small case lists to qualify for injury trials.

Jeremy Compton, a firefighter in the Christiansburg Fire Department, is currently combating liver cancer. It was recently that he realized that the cancer had spread all through his body. Other members of the fire department are supporting him in his battle.

There are several other patients, like Jeremy, suffering because of AFFF exposure and needing legal representation who belong to the naval force. Here, an AFFF lawsuit for Navy personnel can help them receive compensation to cover the losses.

The Court Order

Getting back to the bellwether trials, the Court in December 2023 ordered the parties to connect and discuss a plan for including various personal injury cases that weren’t counted in the initial injuries. Hence, there was a need to fix a routine for carrying out pretrial discovery in additional cases.

The plaintiffs submitted their response on March 13th, stating that the second bellwether group needed to include cases related to thyroid and liver cancer because of AFFF exposure. The Court, in a case management order that was issued on the same day, shared plans for taking the claims to trial.

According to the order, the plaintiffs need to highlight all significant peer-reviewed studies and articles that back up the link between AFFF exposure and thyroid and liver cancer injuries. The last date to submit these documents was April 3rd. Additionally, defendants can present the same by May 1st to dispute alleged links. Both parties need to turn over their respective studies and articles to the court by May 15th. 

How Can You Navigate the Legal Scene?

Therefore, if you or anyone exposed to firefighter foam has developed thyroid or liver cancer, you can file a lawsuit at the earliest. However, walking through the legal landscape by yourself is not an advisable thing to do.

TruLaw states that getting in touch with an expert lawyer can help victims get the fair compensation that they deserve. A lawyer will ensure that they develop a compelling case and obtain the settlement payout that will help you cover all the medical expenses. It can include the cost of medical treatment, medicines, and surgeries to treat the disease.

Many firefighters had to leave their job because they developed liver and thyroid cancer from AFFF exposure at work. Here, the lawyer can help cover the lost wages, along with other punitive damages and pain and suffering. Your lawyer will also let you know that payout amounts will vary because they are case-specific.

In conclusion, firefighters have been suffering from life-threatening health conditions by getting exposed to AFFF. Hence, they must establish the link between cancer and AFFF exposure, which reduces their lifespan. Only then will they be able to get compensated for the same and get covered for all the losses and damages endured.

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