AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit

Our lawyers are handling AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits around the country.

This page provides the most recent news and updates on the AFFF firefighting foam class action lawsuit and provides our prediction of the settlement amounts that plaintiffs with AFFF cancer lawsuits can expect to receive.

Firefighting Foam (AFFF) Class Action Lawsuit

Aqueous film-forming foam (“AFFF”) is used to extinguish fires and is commonly referred to as firefighting foam. It was recently discovered that prolonged use or exposure to certain chemicals in AFFF firefighting foam can cause cancer. Anyone who was regularly exposed to firefighting foam and subsequently diagnosed with kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, or testicular cancer, may be able to file an AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit and get financial compensation.

All of the AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits in federal courts have been consolidated together into a “class action” MDL in the District of South Carolina. As of August 2022, there are over 2,500 plaintiffs with firefighting foam cancer lawsuits pending in the AFFF MDL. After bellwether test trials, the AFFF class action MDL will hopefully end in a global settlement.

AFFF Firefighting Foam Causes Cancer

AFFF (“aqueous film-forming foam”) is a sprayable type of foam that is specifically designed to extinguish high-intensity fires fueled by accelerants such as gasoline. The active chemicals in AFFF firefighting foam belong to a family of chemicals known as PFAS (poly-fluoroalkyl substances).

PFAS are a unique group of chemicals that are highly resistant to extreme heat and are not broken down by oil or water. Unfortunately, the indestructible nature of PFAS means that they do not biodegrade or break down in the environment. PFAS have a tendency to move through soil and end up contaminating groundwater and rivers. For this reason, PFAS are often referred to as “forever chemicals.”

Over the last decade, an emerging body of scientific research has established that chronic exposure PFAS in firefighting foam can cause certain types of cancer. The Environmental Protection Agency published a health advisory in 2016 noting that animal studies showed that prolonged exposure to PFAS resulted in kidney and testicular cancer.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) conducted several studies which found that human exposure to PFAS results in a significantly increased rate of kidney, prostate and testicular cancer.

Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Cancer Society have reached the same conclusion and listed the chemicals in AFFF firefighting foam as human carcinogens.

Exposure to AFFF Firefighting Foam and PFAS

Anyone who has been regularly exposed to AFFF firefighting foam over long time periods is potentially at risk of developing cancer from PFAS. Chronic exposure to PFAS in AFFF firefighting foam can occur in one of two ways: (1) occupational exposure to AFFF, and (2) PFAS contamination in drinking water.

Occupational AFFF Exposure

Individuals who worked in certain jobs or professions in which AFFF firefighting foam was regularly used (either by themselves directly or by people around them) have what is considered “occupational exposure” to PFAS from firefighting foam. Firefighters who regularly used AFFF or conducted training exercises with AFFF firefighting foam are the most obvious example of individuals with occupational exposure.

Other examples of individuals with occupational exposure to AFFF firefighting foam would include people who worked at locations where AFFF was used, disposed of or manufactured. For example, firefighting foam was regularly used during training exercises are commercial airports, military bases, and industrial facilities. Anyone who worked at these facilities may have been exposed to PFAS through indirect contact.

Groundwater PFAS Exposure

The other category of people with chronic exposure to PFAS from AFFF firefighting foam would be individuals who consumed drinking water that was contaminated with PFAS. Hundreds and possibly thousands of residential areas across the country had groundwater that was highly contaminated with PFAS from firefighting foam.

Many of the residential locations with groundwater contaminated by PFAS are located near military bases or airports where AFFF firefighting foam was regularly used. The PFAS in the firefighting foam eventually seeped through the soil and made their way into the water table.

Cancers Caused by AFFF Firefighting Foam

Scientific research has determined that chronic exposure to AFFF firefighting foam (both occupational exposure and groundwater contamination exposure) can cause increased rates of specific types of cancer. The types of cancer that have been linked to AFFF exposure include:

  • Kidney cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Leukemia (and other blood cancers)
  • Prostate cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Individuals who can prove that they were exposed to chemicals in AFFF firefighting foam and subsequently developed one of these cancer types may be able to bring an AFFF lawsuit and get financial compensation.

Who Are the Defendants in AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuits?

The defendants named in the AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits are companies who manufactured and sold AFFF products. Firefighting foam has been manufactured and sold by a variety of different companies. DuPont and 3M were two of the biggest manufacturers of AFFF firefighting foam and they are key defendants in the current AFFF lawsuits.

Evidence has been uncovered which shows that by the 1970s manufacturers like 3M, DuPont and others were already very much aware that the PFAS in their AFFF products were potentially toxic to the environment. Moreover, these companies became aware in the 1990s that these chemicals were harmful to humans and that long-term exposure might be linked to cancer.

Settlement Amounts for AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuits

The AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits will eventually be resolved in a mass tort global settlement. In these types of settlements, the defendants contribute a large sum of money into a settlement fund which is used to pay settlement awards to individual plaintiffs who agree to accept the settlement.

The amount of settlement compensation received by individual plaintiffs is based on a tiered ranking system. Plaintiffs with the strongest AFFF cancer cases are ranked in the top tier and receive the highest settlement payouts. Plaintiffs with weaker cases are ranked in lower tiers and receive less compensation.

In the AFFF lawsuits, the top settlement tier will probably be for plaintiffs with long-term occupational exposure to AFFF and diagnosis with one of the more dangerous cancer types that have been linked to AFFF (e.g., kidney cancer or pancreatic cancer). AFFF plaintiffs in lower settlement tiers would include people with less occupational exposure or a diagnosis with less serious types of cancer.

Based on settlement payouts in prior mass tort cases involving cancer, our lawyers predict that AFFF firefighting foam cases in the top settlement tier will have average settlement amounts in the $300,000 to $600,000. Our estimated value for 2nd tier cases is $150,000 to $280,000. Cases the 3rd tier may end up with settlement payouts of $75,000 or less.

AFFF settlement value

Are You Eligible to Bring an AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit?

Our mass tort attorneys are currently seeking AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits. For our law firm, eligible plaintiffs meet two basic criteria:

  • AFFF Exposure: eligible plaintiffs will need to be able to show that they were regularly exposed to PFAS from AFFF firefighting foam in an occupational setting (e.g., firefighter, airport worker, etc.) or from contaminated groundwater.
  • Cancer Diagnosis: plaintiffs who can prove that they were exposed to AFFF for long time-periods will also need to show that they were subsequently diagnosed with one of the cancers that have been linked to PFAS: kidney, testicular, prostate, pancreatic, liver, bladder, ovarian, etc.

AFFF Firefighting Foam Class Action Lawyers

Miller & Zois, is currently accepting new AFFF firefighting foam cases in all 50 states. Contact our AFFF class actions lawyers today to get your case started. Call 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.



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