The usage of aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF) containing per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) has contaminated groundwater, surface water, and soil, posing a danger to human health and the environment.
As a result, individuals and communities affected by PFAS exposure have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of firefighting foam and the entities responsible for its use. These AFFF lawsuits seek justice for those affected by PFAS contamination and hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
In this article, we will look at the increasing number of lawsuits against AFFF manufacturers, as well as the impact of PFAS pollution on people and communities.
AFFF and Its Dangers
AFFF is a type of firefighting foam that contains PFAS, a group of man-made chemicals that are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic to humans and animals. PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” are resistant to degradation and can persist in the environment for decades, if not centuries.
This means that they can accumulate in the food chain and potentially cause harm to wildlife and humans who consume contaminated food or water.
A 2022 report by EWG indicates that the prevalence of highly toxic fluorinated compounds, also known as PFAS, continues to increase at an alarming rate in the United States. The report states that as of June 2022, contamination has been confirmed in 2,858 locations across 50 states and two territories.
The use of PFAS-containing AFFF has led to widespread contamination of soil, groundwater, and surface water, impacting the health of nearby communities. Studies have linked PFAS exposure to several adverse health effects, including cancer, thyroid disease, and developmental issues in fetuses and infants.
Lawsuits Against Manufacturers
Many individuals and communities affected by PFAS contamination have turned to law firms that specialize in environmental litigation to help them seek justice and compensation. These law firms have experience in handling complex cases involving environmental contamination and are equipped to handle the extensive legal work required for AFFF lawsuits.
In a recent report by Reuters, PFAS contamination cases were highlighted as one of the top environmental hazards to watch for this year. The report suggests that 2023 could be a significant year for legal action related to PFAS contamination.
Law firms such as TorHoerman Law, LLC play a critical role in assisting individuals looking to file an AFFF lawsuit, providing individuals and communities impacted by PFAS contamination with the legal expertise and support needed to seek justice and compensation.
Nonetheless, it is worth noting that individuals and communities have a variety of law firms to choose from and should consider factors such as experience, resources, and approach when making their decision.
As of February 17, 2023, the Lawsuit Information Center reported that there were 3,704 active AFFF class action lawsuits pending. These lawsuits include claims from local governments asserting that PFAS in firefighting foam contaminated their water supply, as well as traditional product liability cases alleging that exposure to AFFF caused cancer.
Furthermore, the website also indicates that the first bellwether test trial in the AFFF class action lawsuit has been set for June 5, 2023. The case revolves around allegations that AFFF contaminated the municipal water supply in Stuart, Florida, causing harm to the residents.
This trial is expected to provide insight into how future AFFF lawsuits may play out, and the verdict could impact the outcomes of other pending cases. Two additional bellwether trials are set to follow after the first trial concludes, as a way of establishing precedent and guiding the course of litigation going forward.
The large volume of pending AFFF lawsuits is a clear indication of the significant impact of PFAS contamination on individuals and communities across the United States. It emphasizes the urgent need to address this issue and hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions, as well as provide support and compensation to those who have been affected by PFAS exposure.
In conclusion, the growing number of AFFF lawsuits demonstrates the severity of PFAS contamination and its impact on people’s health and the environment. These lawsuits are an important step towards holding those responsible accountable for their actions and seeking justice for those affected. However, it is crucial to also focus on preventing further contamination and providing adequate support and compensation to impacted individuals and communities. It is the collective responsibility of policymakers, regulators, and industry leaders to work towards safer alternatives and address the ongoing issues of environmental injustice. Together, we can ensure a safer and healthier future for all.