Firefighting Foam Lawsuits

Firefighters extinguishing fire using foam

Have you been exposed to firefighting foam as a firefighter or airport worker, then been diagnosed with cancer? For decades, manufacturers produced aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) as a fire suppressant without warning of the health risks. Firefighting foam contains toxic chemicals that may cause certain types of cancer such as kidney cancer or testicular cancer.

The firefighting foam attorneys at Hardison & Cochran are currently reviewing cases involving cancer after workplace exposure to firefighting foam in North Carolina. People who live near military bases or airports and rely on private wells also may have been exposed to cancer-causing chemicals.

You may be entitled to file a firefighting foam lawsuit demanding compensation from the foam manufacturer for your medical expenses for cancer treatment and lost income. The AFFF foam lawsuit attorneys at Hardison & Cochran are available to evaluate your cancer diagnosis and employment history and discuss your rights to seek compensation. We are prepared to file a AFFF cancer lawsuit on your behalf and hold the manufacturer of the product that caused your cancer fully accountable.

The consultation is free and will help you understand your legal options.

What is AFFF Firefighting Foam?

Firefighters use firefighting foam to suppress fires involving highly flammable liquids such as fires involving gasoline or jet fuel. The AFFF foam concentrate, when mixed with water, forms a film that can blanket a fire and cut off the oxygen supply to smother the flames. The fire suppressant is known as aqueous film-forming foam or AFFF.

Fire departments, airports, industrial facilities, fuel tank farms and the military all have relied on firefighting foams to extinguish fires since the 1970s. The biggest users of AFFF firefight foam are the aviation industry and the military. The 3M Company worked with the Naval Research Laboratory to develop AFFF. By the late 1970s, AFFF was being used by airports and by many civilian fire departments in addition to its use at military bases.

Firefighting foam products have been manufactured by numerous manufacturers over the years. AFFF is an emerging contaminant of concern.

What is in Firefighting Foam?

Some firefighting foam products contain toxic chemicals including perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which are being phased out. They are part of the class of synthetic chemicals known as PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl) that have been widely used. These chemicals are contaminants that remain in the environment.

In the last decade, PFAS chemicals have been associated with various health concerns and environmental contamination. In recent years, some states have passed laws restricting the use of firefighting foam because of potential health and environmental risks.

How is AFFF Contaminating the Water?

When firefighting foam is sprayed on a fire or spilled fuel, the toxic chemicals are released into the environment. PFAs are referred to as “forever chemicals” because their chemical bond is so strong that they do not break down in the environment.

PFAS chemicals are hard to filter out and have entered the groundwater and drinking water supplies on military bases and in the surrounding communities. These harmful chemicals persist in the environment and accumulate in the bodies of wildlife and people who are exposed to them, increasing the risk of cancer and other health issues. The non-profit Environmental Working Group estimated that more than 1,500 water systems in the U.S. may be contaminated with PFAS chemicals. The group has identified PFAS in the tap water or groundwater at 328 military installations, including multiple locations in North Carolina. Firefighting foam containing PFAS chemicals is now recognized as a leading cause of water contamination.

Drinking water from a private well near a military base, airport or fire training facility that has contaminated groundwater is a common source of exposure to PFAS. If you live near an airport or military base in North Carolina, you have likely been exposed to harmful AFFF chemicals. If you have been diagnosed with cancer, our attorneys can help you determine if your cancer may have been related to exposure to PFAS toxic chemicals.

Where is AFFF Found?

The highest levels of PFAS pollutants have been found near hundreds of military installations across the nation where the firefighting foam was used for training and for emergency responses.

In North Carolina, PFAS contamination has been found at or near military bases in Fayetteville, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, Marine Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock, and the Navy Outlying Landing Field in Atlantic, N.C., according to the Environmental Working Group.

The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2020 contained a provision to phase out AFFF by 2024.

Firefighting Foam Side Effects

According to the Centers for Disease Control, research involving humans suggests that exposure to high levels of certain PFAS in firefighting foam may lead to increased risk of the following adverse health effects:

  • Kidney cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Changes in liver enzymes
  • Thyroid disease
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Immune system changes
  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Increased risk of high blood pressure in pregnant women

Firefighters have the greatest risk of adverse health effects due to firefighting foam because of exposure to the AFFF toxic chemicals during training and active fire suppression.

A knowledgeable AFFF cancer lawyer at Hardison & Cochran can review the circumstances of your cancer diagnosis and discuss whether you have a valid claim against a firefighting foam manufacturer.

Who is Responsible for Firefighting Foam-Related Cancer?

Firefighting foam has been manufactured by numerous companies for many years. The companies knew or should have known of the health risks posed by the toxic chemicals. However, the companies continued to produce and sell the AFFF products to fire departments, airports and industries.

The manufacturers of AFFF firefighting foam include:

  • The 3M Company
  • Tyco Fire Products LP
  • Chemguard, Inc.
  • Buckeye Fire Equipment Company
  • Kidde-Fenwal, Inc.
  • National Foam Inc.
  • Chemours Company
  • DuPont Company.

Our AFFF cancer lawsuit attorneys at Hardison & Cochran are available to review your case. We will discuss with you the possibility of filing a firefighting foam lawsuit and holding accountable one or more of the above companies if the company acted negligently and exposed you to cancer causing chemicals. An AFFF lawsuit can seek compensation for your cancer treatment, related medical expenses, loss of income and pain and suffering. Numerous lawsuits have already been filed.

This is complex litigation, so it is helpful to have a knowledgeable product liability attorney to guide you through the process.

Contact Us to Discuss Your AFFF Firefighting Foam Exposure Claim

Hardison & Cochran, Attorneys at Law is a highly regarded North Carolina law firm. Our personal injury attorneys have been helping clients from Raleigh to Wilmington and Fayetteville pursue justice for harm caused by others’ negligence for more than 30 years.

Cases involving cancer caused by exposure to firefighting foam typically require suing large chemical manufacturers that failed to provide adequate warnings of the risks associated with the product. People who have these types of cases need to work with an established law firm with the resources to undertake complex research and litigation. Hardison & Cochran has the experience to fight effectively for your interests.

Let our AFFF foam injury attorneys review your specific situation and discuss whether you may be entitled to pursue a claim. If we believe you have a valid firefighting foam cancer case, we will offer to represent you on a contingency fee basis. You will not pay any legal fee unless we secure money for you through a legal settlement or court award. Our law firm has the resources and experience to pursue product liability cases and mass tort cases involving dangerous products such as AFFF firefighting foam.

Hardison & Cochran has offices in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Dunn, Greensboro, Southern Pines and Wilmington. Contact us to schedule a confidential case review with an AFFF cancer lawyer. The consultation is free.