Military Firefighter Foam Lawsuit | Military Firefighters Exposed to AFFF

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Military Firefighter AFFF Exposure Lawsuits

On this page, we’ll discuss the military firefighter AFFF exposure lawsuits, the history of AFFF usage in the military, how military firefighters can file an AFFF fire foam lawsuit, and much more.

Military firefighters and other military personnel exposed to firefighting foam may be at a higher risk to develop cancer and other health effects.

Intro to the Military Firefighter AFFF Lawsuits

Military bases, airports, and other military installations commonly used aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) or class B firefighting foam to extinguish highly flammable fires caused by gas, oil and jet fuel.

Firefighting foam lawsuits are being filed on behalf of those who have been exposed to firefighting foam and subsequently developed health problems.

AFFF Lawsuits are consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) and several AFFF manufacturers have been named as defendants.

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If you or a loved one have suffered from exposure to firefighting foam during military service, you may be eligible to file an AFFF Lawsuit and pursue financial compensation.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for the AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit instantly.

Our law firm has a team of firefighting foam lawyers who are prepared to help you seek justice.

Toxic chemicals in firefighting foam have been linked to cancer, and it is your right to file a lawsuit if you’ve been effected.

Reach out to us for more information and find out how our experienced firefighting foam lawyers can help you.

Table of Contents

What Is AFFF and How Does It Work?

What Is AFFF And How Does It Work

Aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) is a firefighting foam that military and civilian fire departments have used to combat flammable liquid fires, such as gasoline, oil, and jet fuel.

Firefighting foam was found to be highly effective in suppressing fires and preventing re-ignition.

AFFF was extensively used in industrial, military, and aviation settings due to its effectiveness in fighting fires involving hazardous materials incidents and basic military training exercises.

How Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) Works:

  • Film Formation: When users spray AFFF onto a fire, the foam forms a thin aqueous film that spreads over the surface of the flammable liquid, creating a barrier between the fuel and the oxygen in the air.
  • Smothering Action: The foam blankets the fuel, minimizing the supply of fuel and oxygen to the fire, which is essential for combustion.
  • Cooling Effect: AFFF has a cooling effect on the fire, reducing the temperature and aiding in extinguishment.
  • Suppression of Flammable Vapors: AFFF suppresses flammable vapors that can ignite and spread the fire, preventing the vapors from escaping and igniting, thereby reducing the risk of re-ignition.

AFFF is often stored in large containers or firefighting equipment, such as fire trucks or fixed firefighting systems.

How Are Military Firefighters Exposed to AFFF?

How Are Military Firefighters Exposed To AFFF

Military firefighters can be exposed to AFFF during their emergency response duties.

Military firefighters often perform the following responsibilities:

  • Fight fires in their military branch
  • Respond to hazardous materials incidents
  • Extinguish structural fires
  • Respond to vehicle emergencies
  • Minimize fire hazards
  • Treat accident victims
  • Assist civilian fire departments

These fire protection operations placed them under exposure to firefighting foam regularly without any knowledge of the associated health risks.

AFFF exposure primarily occurs through inhalation, dermal contact, and ingesting AFFF-contaminated water sources.

Unfortunately, this exposure puts military firefighters at a heightened risk of developing severe health conditions.

What Is the History of Military AFFF Usage?

What Is The History Of Military AFFF Usage

The military’s use of AFFF products dates back several decades and its use was spread across different military branches, including the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps.

AFFF firefighting foams have been a crucial tool on military bases and installations worldwide due to their ability to suppress fuel fires and prevent catastrophic incidents effectively.

The substance became integral to the military’s firefighting capabilities, especially with aircraft and other flammable liquid storage and transport operations.

Widespread use of the toxic firefighting foam has also resulted in widespread contamination of soil and water sources with PFAS chemicals (forever chemicals), leading to health and environmental consequences.

The Department of Defense (D0D) Knew The Dangers of AFFF Foam Exposure for Decades

According to an investigation by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the Department of Defense knew that firefighting foams contaminated with forever chemicals were dangerous but continued to enforce its usage.

The EWG published numerous documents between 1963 and 2021 that outlined internal acknowledgment of the dangers of firefighting foam.

We’ve detailed this timeline below:

  • 1973:  One document from 1973 cited the toxic effects of firefighting foam and called for the introduction of carbon filtration for personnel in contact with the foam.
  • 1974:  Another document, from 1974, cited toxic effects of AFFF firefighting foam on fish at Kelly Air Force Base in Texas. The report recommended certain measures for wastewater treatment from firefighting training operations, showing that even in the 1970s the military was concerned about the toxicity of firefighting foam and subsequent wastewater.
  • 1976-1985:  Several more internal documents from various military bases and Air Force bases cite the dangers of toxic firefighting foam. These reports were from the years 1976, 1978, 1983, and 1985.
  • 198:  A 1989 report from Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, CO called for better management of AFFF waste. The study found that several ponds near the Air Force base were contaminated with PFAS chemicals, causing irreparable damage to marine life.
  • 1991:  A 1991 assessment from the Army Corps of Engineers recommended that the military base at Fort Carson, CO stop using “hazardous” firefighting foam and adhere to a new hazardous waste minimization plan to curb dangerous effects of AFFF and PFAS chemicals on human health and the surrounding environment.
  • 2000:  In 2000, the Department of Defense held a meeting about the known toxicity of PFAS chemicals. Then, in 2001, the DoD held multiple meetings finding that PFAS contamination is “bioaccumulative and toxic“.
  • 2001:  In 2001, the DoD and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a meeting on the military use of PFAS chemicals and AFFF firefighting foam. This meeting signaled a need for a program to “to seek test and consider long-range alternatives to current fluorosurfactant-based AFFF”.
  • 2011:  In 2011, the DoD released a Chemical and Material Emerging Risk Alert for AFFF, outlining the dangers of PFAS contamination from firefighting foam and other relevant information for military personnel who handle or have handled AFFF firefighting foam.
  • 2016:  In 2016, the Assistant Secretary of Defense directed military bases and branches to immediately cease the uncontrolled environmental release of AFFF for shoreside installations, with excepting of emergency response duties, update and implement Navy and Marine Corps firefighting system requirements, and by the end of 2017, remove and dispose of PFOS-containing AFFF in drums and cans from local stored supplies for shore installations and ships to prevent future environmental releases.
  • 2018:  In 2018, a DoD report to congress found that there are over 400 sites with known or suspected PFAS contamination.
  • 2019:  In 2019, a DoD Task Force for PFAS contamination was created. The new task force found that there were now over 650 sites with known or suspected PFAS contamination. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) also required the secretary of defense to “conduct an assessment of the human health implication of PFAS exposure,” including an estimate of the number of service members who may have been exposed to PFAS.
  • 2020:  In 2020, the NDAA prevented the DoD from using PFAS-containing AFFF firefighting foam in training exercises, requiring the DoD to phase out its use of AFFF firefighting foam by 2024.
  • 2021:  In 2021, the Department of Defense Inspector General Report found that “DoD Officials did not take proactive risk management actions to mitigate contaminant effects from PFAS-containing AFFF at DoD installations.

Red Hill AFFF Spill (2022)

One of the most recent AFFF accidents occurred on November 29, 2022, at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility and surrounding locations.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that approximately 1,300 gallons of AFFF were unintentionally released during routine maintenance.

The Navy and the EPA have been working to investigate and clean up the site, but it remains contaminated with PFAS chemicals.

VA Disability Claim Information For Military AFFF Exposure

VA Disability Claim Information For Military AFFF Exposure

Military firefighters may be eligible for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Only firefighters who served in the military would be potentially eligible for VA disability benefits due to AFFF exposure.

VA disability claims can be complicated, requiring extensive documentation related to health problems, military service, and exposure to firefighting foam.

Contact our law firm for more information on VA disability assistance for AFFF exposure.

Military firefighters also may be able to pursue compensation in AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuits.

Overview of the AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuits: Do You Qualify?

Overview Of The AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuits_ Do You Qualify

The AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit claims that AFFF manufacturers did not adequately warn consumers, firefighters, military firefighters, and others about the dangerous effects of toxic chemicals in firefighting foam.

If you or a loved one were exposed to firefighting foam and subsequently developed cancer or other health issues, you may be eligible to file an AFFF Lawsuit.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a Firefighting Foam Lawsuit instantly.

What is the AFFF Firefighting Foam MDL?

AFFF foam lawsuits have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL).

As of June 2023, over 3,300 AFFF plaintiffs are participating in the AFFF litigation.

This AFFF firefighting foam MDL seeks to establish a global AFFF lawsuit settlement.

Several AFFF manufacturers are defendants in the AFFF MDL, including:

  • 3M Company;
  • Tyco Fire Products L.P.;
  • E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company; and
  • Other companies that produce firefighting foam products.

What Injuries Are Linked to AFFF Exposure?

Diseases And Injuries Related To AFFF Exposure

Several serious health problems and cancers have been linked to AFFF exposure.

Below are the different types of cancer linked to AFFF exposure:

AFFF Exposure Lawsuit Steps

Are You Eligible To File An AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit

If you suspect that you have been exposed to AFFF during your military firefighting career, it is crucial to take immediate action to protect your health and legal rights.

Here are the steps you should consider taking if you’ve been exposed to AFFF during your firefighting career:

Seek Proper Medical Diagnosis and Treatment Plan

First and foremost, seek a proper medical diagnosis from a healthcare professional that is experienced in occupational exposure cases.

They will evaluate your symptoms, conduct necessary tests, and provide appropriate treatment recommendations.

Cancer is the most common disease associated with AFFF firefighting foam exposure and is one of the most complicated to manage.

Without a proper diagnosis, you won’t get the treatment necessary to manage the condition and mitigate injuries.

Document Everything and Preserve Evidence

As you receive a proper diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan, you should begin to gather evidence.

Document and preserve any proof of your exposure, including medical records, employment records, photographs, or any other documentation supporting your claim.

Speak With Experienced AFFF Lawyers

Consult with experienced AFFF lawyers who specialize in military firefighting foam lawsuits.

A firefighting foam lawyer can provide you with legal guidance, evaluate the strength of your case, and help you navigate the legal process.

The legal process can be daunting, and an experienced lawyer can help you navigate the steps of a lawsuit and protect your best interests.

File a Lawsuit With The Help of An Attorney

If your lawyer determines that you have a valid claim, they will assist you in filing a lawsuit against the responsible parties, such as the firefighting foam manufacturers or other companies and organizations.

What Damages Can You Recover in AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuits?

Damages are the total amount of losses incurred as a result of exposure to firefighting foam.

In AFFF lawsuits, the potential damages you may recover can vary based on several factors.

Gathering Evidence For AFFF Lawsuits

These damages may include economic and non-economic damages, such as the following:

  • Medical expenses: Compensation for past and future medical costs related to your condition and treatments. This includes diagnostic fees, the cost of medication and treatment, rehabilitation expenses, and more.
  • Lost wages: Reimbursement for income lost due to the inability to work during treatment or recovery. You can also recover money if you lose the capacity to be employed temporarily or permanently.
  • Pain and suffering: This compensation refers to emotional and subjective damages such as mental anguish, fear, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life, and more. This damage is often capped depending on state laws.
  • Diminished quality of life: You may be eligible for this type of compensation if you can’t enjoy the same daily activities you did before the accident. This could include a reduced ability to perform household chores or participate in sports and recreational activities.
  • Punitive damages: In some cases, the court may award punitive damages to punish the responsible parties for their actions. However, this is only applicable to severely malicious crimes.

How Can Firefighting Foam Attorneys Help You?

Experienced firefighting foam lawyers can play a vital role in assisting you with your AFFF foam lawsuit.

An experienced firefighting foam lawyer can help you with the following:

  • Evaluate your case: An experienced lawyer will review the details of your situation, assess the strength of your claim, and determine the liable parties. They can help you devise the best legal strategy for your situation.
  • Gather evidence: Your firefighting foam attorney will help you collect evidence, including medical records, employment records, expert testimony, or any tangible evidence to support your case. An attorney can also process all the paperwork so that you can focus on your complete recovery.
  • Negotiate settlements: Your attorney will negotiate with the responsible parties and their insurance companies to pursue fair compensation on your behalf.

TorHoerman Law: Your AFFF Lawyers

TorHoerman Law’s team of experienced firefighting foam lawyers are representing those facing complications due to PFAS and firefighting foam exposure.

Our personal injury lawyers have helped thousands of victims across all 50 states take on hundreds of companies that put workers, community members, and consumers at risk.

Over the past 11 years, our law firm has helped clients gain over $4 Billion in verdicts and negotiated settlements to help them get back on the path to recovery.

If you or a loved one have developed cancer or other adverse health outcomes after being regularly exposed to fire fighting foam, you may be eligible to file an AFFF Cancer Lawsuit and seek financial compensation.

Contact TorHoerman Law AFFF Lawyers for a free consultation, or use the chatbot on this page to see if you qualify for an AFFF Foam Lawsuit instantly. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Firefighting Foams Are Dangerous?

    Class-B or aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF) can be dangerous.

    Certain AFFF products may contain PFAS chemicals that have been linked to a number of adverse health risks.

  • Who Is At Risk For Exposure To Firefighting Foam?

    People who may have been regularly exposed to firefighting foam are typically people whose work duties include using or transporting firefighting foam products.

    Individuals are also may suffer PFAS exposure through contaminated drinking water.

    People who are most likely to suffer from occupational exposure to PFAS in firefighting foam include:

    • Airport and military firefighters
    • Municipal firefighters
    • Industrial workers in oil refineries and other similar facilities
    • Those who worked on a flight deck
    • Those who worked for AFFF Manufacturers
    • Those who transported AFFF Firefighting Foam
    • Those who worked for an incinerator facility disposing of firefighting foam

  • How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Firefighting Foam Attorney?

    Our law firm operates on a contingency fee basis, which means that our Firefighting Foam Attorneys DO NOT charge for their legal representation unless your case wins.

    If you are not awarded a settlement for your AFFF Lawsuit, you do not have to pay a cent in legal fees.

  • Is There an AFFF Class Action Lawsuit?

    No, there is not an AFFF Class Action Lawsuit for cancer and other injuries related to AFFF exposure.

    Rather, AFFF Lawsuits are consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL).

    MDL is a special federal legal procedure designed to speed the process of handling complex litigations by consolidating cases and addressing all pretrial procedures in one court.

    When a large number of people who have all been affected by the same thing file individual lawsuits, the federal court system allows for the consolidation of these cases into an MDL to make them easier to manage.

    MDL is different from class action lawsuits in that settlements are distributed on the basis of an individuals case and claims.

    Class action lawsuits, on the other hand, distribute a settlement evenly among all plaintiffs regardless of their distinct and unique damages.

    The AFFF Firefighting Foam MDL is centralized in the US District Court for the District of South Carolina.

  • Do I Qualify for the AFFF Lawsuit?

    If you were exposed to PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam and subsequently developed cancer or other health problems, you may be eligible to file an AFFF Lawsuit.

    Use our chatbot for a free, confidential case evaluation to find out if you qualify to file an AFFF Lawsuit instantly.

    You can also contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

Written By:
Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law

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