North Jersey Litigators Battle for Victims in Firefighting Foam Lawsuits

Dedicated lawyers pursue claims related to cancer and other problems 

Risk of serious injury and death is part of the job for firefighters and nothing can change that. However, when these heroes are unwittingly exposed to danger because a manufacturer failed to ensure that its product was safe, firefighters deserve strong legal support. At Seigel Law in Ridgewood, our proven New Jersey lawyers represent firefighters who have contracted serious medical problems connected to the use of Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF). This substance, which is designed to extinguish liquid fires, contains chemicals that have been reported to cause numerous types of cancer and other health problems. If you or someone you love became ill and you suspect it might be due to AFFF exposure, we are here to help. 

What is AFFF and what is the danger of the PFAS chemicals that it contains? 

AFFF is used to put out fuel fires and other blazes that erupt from flammable liquids, which often are not easily doused by water. AFFF’s chemical components often include per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which were used in many products, including household items, until their link to cancer was identified. While small amounts of PFAS might not pose a serious threat, they are not biodegradable. Heavy or repeated PFAS exposure in a certain area can result in contaminated groundwater and other health hazards. Elevated levels of toxicity have been found in firefighters who frequently employed the substance and at fire training facilities where AFFF is often used. 

Medical conditions linked to the use of firefighting foam

Some experts refer to PFAS as “forever chemicals,” because it can be virtually impossible to undo their effects once they have contaminated an environment. One study found that these substances promote the migration of cancer cells in the body, leading to conditions such as:

  • Kidney cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer

PFAS exposure is also associated with higher risks of thyroid disease, liver damage and immune system problems. If you are a firefighter suffering from one of these conditions, it is critical to determine if direct or indirect contact is to blame. Our seasoned product liability attorneys work with epidemiologists and other experts to get the information victims need to present the strongest possible legal case. Presently, the number and complexity of AFFF claims have led to consolidation of these cases in a Multidistrict Litigation matter before the U.S. District Court in the District of South Carolina. Should you qualify for legal relief, we can bring an action on your behalf. 

Liability and damages in AFFF matters

Several different large manufacturers, including 3M and Chemguard, made AFFF and could be held liable for the harm that it has caused. Just as the manufacturers have a duty to ensure the safety of their products, there is a duty of governments and other entities that employ firefighters to lower the risk of serious injury or illness when possible. We have recovered millions of dollars for New Jersey clients in personal injury and wrongful death claims and know how to hold liable parties accountable. Damages in an AFFF lawsuit could include payment for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. Wrongful death plaintiffs can recover relief in the form of reimbursement of funeral expenses and income that the decedent likely would have earned over their lifetime. Depending on the findings against the defendant, punitive damages might be available, too. New Jersey’s general statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years, but any difficulty discovering the tie between AFFF and a particular condition can extend that timeframe. No matter when you believe you or your family member contracted a PFAS-related condition, you should reach out to us as soon as possible. 

Contact a North Jersey lawyer for a free consultation about an AFFF claim

Seigel Law in Ridgewood advocates on behalf of firefighters who have experienced health problems potentially linked to Aqueous Film-Forming Foam used in the course of their duties. Please call 201-444-4000 or contact us online for a free consultation to discuss your legal options if you believe you might be entitled to compensation.