Find the Best AFFF Lawyer for Your Case

firefighters using AFFF in hangar bay

An Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) lawsuit is a legal claim filed by individuals who have suffered health issues due to exposure to AFFF, a type of firefighting foam. AFFF is widely used in firefighting, particularly in situations involving highly flammable liquid fires.

AFFF contains chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which have been linked to several health problems and environmental damage. This has led to numerous lawsuits claiming that the manufacturers of the toxic firefighting foam failed to warn the public or take adequate safety measures.

If you plan to file an AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit, you need to hire the right attorney to build your case.

Where Can You Find an AFFF Lawyer?

An AFFF lawsuit often involves complex environmental and health-related litigation, requiring a lawyer with specific expertise in handling cases related to chemical exposures and their long-term effects.

Here are several methods to help you locate the right legal representation for an AFFF lawsuit:

Contact Environmental and Toxic Tort Law Firms

Start by searching for law firms that specialize in environmental law and toxic torts.

Many firms that handle cases related to chemical exposures and environmental contamination have experience with AFFF litigation. Their websites often detail their areas of practice and notable case successes, which can provide insight into their expertise and experience.

Online Forums and Social Media:

Look up online forums and social media groups focused on environmental issues or specific concerns related to AFFF exposure. Members in these groups may share personal experiences and recommend lawyers or law firms that have successfully handled AFFF lawsuits.

Review Court Records

Look up recent AFFF lawsuits to identify attorneys or law firms that have represented plaintiffs in these cases. This can provide direct insight into which legal professionals have experience with AFFF litigation and a track record of successful outcomes.

What Questions Should I Ask An AFFF Lawyer?

Finding the right lawyer for your AFFF lawsuit is critical to ensuring the best possible outcome. AFFF cases often involve complex environmental and health-related legal issues, making it essential to choose a lawyer with specific expertise in this area.

Here are several important questions to ask potential AFFF lawyers during an initial consultation:

“What experience do you have with environmental law and specifically AFFF litigation?”

This question helps you assess the lawyer’s familiarity and experience with environmental law, particularly with cases involving AFFF. Specialized knowledge is crucial for navigating the complexities of environmental regulations and AFFF-related health risks.

“Can you provide references from past clients involved in AFFF or similar environmental lawsuits?”

References from past clients can offer valuable insights into the lawyer’s performance, reliability, and client service. This lets you do your own background check and ensure that you choose a lawyer well-regarded by those they’ve represented.

“Do you have a network of experts to support the case?”

AFFF litigation often requires the support of toxicologists, environmental scientists, and other experts. A lawyer with access to a network of professionals can build a stronger case by substantiating claims with expert testimony.

“What Is Your Approach When Dealing with Large Corporations or Government Entities?”

Many AFFF cases involve lawsuits against large corporations or government entities. A lawyer’s strategic approach to tackling these powerful opponents is key to navigating the legal battle effectively.

Hire Experts: When choosing a lawyer, experience is always the best indicator for success. If you need help with your case, contact our team at Justice Hero, and our veteran legal experts will assist with your firefighting foam lawsuit.

“What is the estimated timeline for the case?”

While it’s difficult to predict exact timelines, an experienced lawyer should be able to provide a general timeline based on their experience with similar cases. This helps manage expectations regarding the case’s duration.

How Can an AFFF Lawyer Help You File a Lawsuit?

A lawyer plays a crucial role in an AFFF lawsuit, providing legal advice, representation, and support throughout the process.

Here’s how a lawyer can assist in your AFFF lawsuit:

Legal Advice and Strategy

A lawyer can provide expert legal advice based on their knowledge and experience with AFFF lawsuits.

They can help you understand the complexities of the law, your rights, and the potential outcomes of your case. They can also develop a legal strategy tailored to your specific circumstances to maximize your chances of success.

Provides Case Preparation

Preparing for an AFFF lawsuit involves gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and conducting legal research.

A lawyer can handle these tasks efficiently and effectively, ensuring that your case is as strong as possible. They can also help you understand what evidence is needed for your lawsuit and guide you on how to obtain it.

Representation in Court

If your case goes to trial, an AFFF lawyer can represent you in court.

They can present your case to the judge or jury, cross-examine witnesses, and argue on your behalf. Their skills and experience can be invaluable in securing a favorable outcome.

Negotiation and Settlement

Many AFFF lawsuits are settled out of court.

A lawyer can negotiate with the defendant’s lawyers on your behalf, aiming to secure the best possible settlement. They can also advise whether a proposed settlement is fair and in your best interests.

Legal Documentation

AFFF lawsuits involve a lot of legal documentation, including the initial complaint, responses, motions, medical records, and more.

A lawyer can prepare and file these documents on your behalf, ensuring they are accurate, complete, and submitted on time.

An Overview of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) Lawsuits

lawyers discussing contracts in a meeting

AFFF lawsuits are legal claims arising from health issues and environmental damage caused by PFAS in firefighting foam.

AFFF lawsuits began to emerge in the early 2000s when studies revealed the potential health risks of PFAS. Since then, numerous lawsuits have been filed across the United States, leading to significant settlements and verdicts.

The health issues associated with PFAS exposure include:

  • Decreased vaccination response in infants and children
  • Lower birth weight
  • Higher cholesterol
  • Kidney cancer
  • Thyroid disease

The filing of AFFF lawsuits has also been influenced by environmental concerns. PFAS chemicals are known as “forever chemicals” because they do not break down when released into the environment.

Besides every day firefighters, military veterans have also been exposed to the dangers of AFFF foam. A recent 2023 study revealed that there’s a strong link between PFAS and testicular cancer among U.S. Air Force servicemen.

The toxic chemicals in AFFF products can contaminate soil, water, and air, posing risks to both human health and ecosystems. The environmental impact of these dangerous chemicals has led to lawsuits from communities and municipalities seeking compensation for cleanup costs and damages.

Buyer Beware: Besides firefighting foam, PFAS can also be found in products such as food packaging, clothing, and toilet paper.

Who Can File an AFFF Lawsuit?

Individuals who have been exposed to Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFF) and subsequently developed health issues are eligible to file an AFFF lawsuit. This includes the following:

  • Firefighters (including military firefighters)
  • Current military personnel
  • Military veterans
  • Airport workers
  • Individuals who live or work near sites where AFFF has been used extensively

The specific criteria for filing an AFFF lawsuit can vary.

Generally, the plaintiff must be able to demonstrate that they were exposed to AFFF and that this exposure led to their health issues. This often requires medical records and other forms of evidence.

What Types of Damages Can Be Claimed?

The calculation of damages from a firefighting foam lawsuit can be complex and often requires expert testimony.

For example, future medical expenses and lost wages need to be calculated based on the plaintiff’s life expectancy, earning capacity, and cost of medical care. In contrast, pain and suffering damages are more subjective and can vary greatly from case to case.

Plaintiffs in AFFF lawsuits can file a claim for damages, which include:

Medical Expenses

This covers the cost of treatment, medication, hospital stays, and any future medical expenses related to the health issues caused by AFFF exposure.

Lost Wages

If the plaintiff had to take time off work or could not continue working due to their health issues, they can file a claim for lost wages.

Pain and Suffering

This covers the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the health issues and their impact on the plaintiff’s life.

Loss of Consortium

If the health issues have affected the plaintiff’s relationship with their spouse, they may be able to claim for loss of consortium.

In AFFF lawsuits, loss of consortium is a type of personal injury claim made due to the impact of harmful chemicals on a person’s health. This can lead to AFFF cancer lawsuits or similar cases proving that debilitating conditions came from exposure to PFAS chemicals.

Wrongful Death

Exposure to firefighting foam can lead to death, allowing a plaintiff’s loved ones to file a lawsuit due to wrongful death. This requires proving that the fatal health issues of the deceased were caused by the toxic chemicals from AFFF exposure.

What Is the Average Settlement Amount in an AFFF Lawsuit?

The average settlement amount in AFFF lawsuits can vary significantly based on several factors, which include the following:

  • Extent of the plaintiff’s exposure to AFFF
  • Severity of the health issues caused by exposure from AFFF products
  • Other specific circumstances of the case

While it’s difficult to provide a precise settlement amount due to the unique nature of each lawsuit, past AFFF lawsuits have resulted in multi-million dollar settlements.

In 2017, chemical giant DuPont and its spin-off company Chemours agreed to pay over $671 million to settle thousands of lawsuits related to PFAS contamination.

In 2018, 3M Company, a major manufacturer of AFFF, agreed to a $850 million settlement in a lawsuit filed by the state of Minnesota. This lawsuit alleged that 3M had caused significant environmental damage and potential health risks due to its disposal of AFFF.

It’s important to note that not all AFFF lawsuits result in such large settlements. Some lawsuits may result in smaller settlements or none at all, particularly if the plaintiff cannot provide sufficient evidence to support their claims.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Lawyer for an AFFF Lawsuit?

The cost of hiring a lawyer for an AFFF lawsuit can vary significantly based on several factors. These factors include the complexity of the case, the experience and reputation of the lawyer, and the fee structure agreed upon.

Lawyers typically charge for their services in one of three ways: hourly rates, flat fees, or contingency fees.

Hourly Rates

Lawyers charge a set amount for each hour they work on your case. This rate can range from $100 to $500 per hour, depending on the lawyer’s experience and location.

Flat Fees

Some lawyers may charge a flat fee for handling an AFFF lawsuit. This is a set amount that covers all legal services related to the case.

Flat fees can vary widely, but they provide certainty about the total cost.

Contingency Fees

Many lawyers handling AFFF lawsuits operate on a contingency fee basis. This means they only get paid if they win the case or secure a settlement.

The lawyer’s fee is then a percentage of the settlement or award, typically between 20% and 40%.

Additional Costs

In addition to lawyer’s fees, there may be other costs associated with an AFFF lawsuit.

Here is a sample breakdown of potential additional costs:

ExpensePotential Cost
Court filing fees$150 – $400
Medical records$20 – $100
Expert witness fees$200 – $400 per hour
Deposition costs$1000 – $3000
Postage and copying$50 – $200

Keep in mind that these are price estimates, and the actual sum of your expenses will vary depending on your attorney. Some lawyers may cover these costs initially and deduct them from the final settlement, while others may require you to pay for them as needed.

What Are the Potential Risks of Filing an AFFF Lawsuit?

statue of lady justice

The potential risks associated with filing an AFFF lawsuit will depend on the case’s specifics. Besides considering the case’s progression, it can also affect the client in the long-term while the lawsuit is ongoing.

Here are some of the key risks of AFFF claims to consider:

Financial Risk

Legal proceedings can be expensive.

While many lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, there may still be costs associated with the lawsuit that you need to cover. These could include court fees, costs for expert witnesses, and other litigation expenses.

Time Investment

AFFF lawsuits can be costly and time-consuming.

The process involves gathering evidence, filing paperwork, and potentially going to trial. This can take months or even years, when you may need to take time off work or make other financial decisions.

Emotional Stress

Lawsuits can be emotionally draining. This is particularly true for AFFF lawsuits, where you may be required to relive traumatic experiences or face cross-examination in court.

Uncertain Outcome

There is always a risk that you may lose the lawsuit.

Even if you have a strong case, the outcome of legal proceedings can be unpredictable. If you lose, you may not receive any compensation for your injuries or losses.

Potential Impact on Reputation

In some cases, being involved in a lawsuit can have implications for your personal or professional reputation. This is particularly relevant if the details of the case become public.

Statute of Limitations

Each state has a statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits, which limits the time frame within which you can file a lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, you may lose your right to seek compensation.

Did You Know?: As of March 2024, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina multidistrict litigation has 7,170 unresolved lawsuits related to aqueous film-forming foam.

Positive Updates on AFFF Firefighting Foam Regulations

New memos from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have led to significant developments in AFFF lawsuits. Firefighting foam containing PFAS chemicals can only be used under stringent regulation, with these products ultimately becoming prohibited by July 4, 2025.

The updated regulations mandated by different institutions and the success of several AFFF lawsuits show a positive sign for claimants moving forward. While these advancements increase the chances of a successful lawsuit, reaching a proper settlement still depends on building a solid case with a legal expert.

DISCLAIMER: This article does not provide legal advice and is intended for informational purposes only. Always consult with a professional for recommendations related to your specific situation.

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