AFFF Settlement in 2023? (2023)

This page is about the AFFF lawsuits and where we are in February 2023. Victims have been waiting a long time, hoping for firefighting foam settlement. Is there a settlement on the horizon? If compensation payouts are offered, what could they be?

In this post, we will look at how the firefighting foam litigation has developed, discuss the latest AFFF MDL news, and look at what to expect in 2023 from this ongoing mass tort.

AFFF Firefighting Foam Linked to Cancer

Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) or firefighting foam is used to extinguish certain types of fires. AFFF contains high levels of poly-fluoroalkyl chemicals (“PFAS”), which are commonly known as “forever chemicals.” Recent scientific research has shown that PFAS are very toxic to the human body, and chronic exposure to the PFAS ins AFFF firefighting foam has been linked to several different types of cancer.

The new research showing AFFF can cause cancer has led to a wave of firefighting foam product liability lawsuits. These lawsuits have been filed by former firefighters, military personnel, and others diagnosed with cancer after years of regular exposure to AFFF.

(Video) AFFF Lawsuits Settlement Amount Projections (Fire Fighting Foam - Feb 2023 Update in Comments)

AFFF firefighting foam has been used for decades to prevent dangerous fires, particularly those fueled by petroleum. AFFF is used regularly in live action and training exercises by professional firefighters, military personnel, and other occupations. Victims with this occupational exposure to AFFF include firefighters and military personnel. The military used this foam more than people think. The military used AFFF regularly to put out gasoline-based fires, and military personnel was frequently exposed to it during training exercises.

Many different companies have manufactured and sold AFFF over the years. Two of the biggest manufacturers of firefighting foam in the U.S. are 3M and DuPont. All AFFF products contain PFAS, a group of chemicals containing fluorine and carbon and often referred to as “forever chemicals” because they do not biodegrade in the environment.

Scientists have been aware for a long time that PFAS were harmful to the environment because they never go away and can contaminate groundwater supplies. More recently, however, evidence shows that PFAS may be carcinogenic. In 2016, a series of scientific studies found that chronic exposure to PFAS in firefighting foam can significantly increase the risk of certain types of cancer.

The Science Behind AFFF Lawsuits

The science behind AFFF lawsuits involves the study of the properties and behavior of PFAS chemicals in the environment and their potential health effects on human and wildlife populations. PFAS chemicals are highly persistent and can remain in the environment for many years, and they are known to contaminate water sources, wildlife, and food supplies.

(Video) AFFF Firefighting Foam Class Action Lawsuit Update

Studies by theInternational Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have concluded that individuals regularly exposed to PFAS chemicals have an increased risk of developing kidney, prostate, and testicular cancer. TheAmerican Cancer Society (ACS) and has since identified PFAS in firefighting foam as a human carcinogen. Further research identified additional types of cancer that appear to be linked to AFFF exposure, including thyroid cancer, colon cancer, bladder cancer, and lymphoma.

In AFFF lawsuits, plaintiffs typically allege that the manufacturers of AFFF foams failed to warn about the potential health risks associated with PFAS exposure and failed to take adequate steps to prevent environmental contamination.

How does this happen? You do not need to explain how it happens to pass the Daubert standard required to get a AFFF lawsuit to trial.The exact mechanisms by which firefighting foam increases your cancer risk are still being studied, but several potential pathways have been suggested:

  1. Genotoxicity: Some studies have suggested that PFAS chemicals can cause DNA damage, leading to mutations that increase the risk of cancer.
  2. Hormonal disruption: PFAS chemicals have been shown to interfere with the endocrine system, altering the levels of hormones in the body. This hormonal disruption has been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer.
  3. Immune system suppression: PFAS chemicals have been shown to suppress the immune system, potentially increasing the risk of cancer by reducing the body’s ability to fight off abnormal cells.
  4. Increased oxidative stress: Some studies have suggested that PFAS exposure can increase oxidative stress in the body, leading to cellular damage and an increased risk of cancer.

But however it happens, this evidence showed that individuals with long-term occupational exposure to AFFF firefighting foam were at increased risk of developing cancer.

AFFF Firefighting Foam Class Action Lawsuit

Publication of the new scientific evidence linking PFAS in firefighting foam to cancer prompted a growing wave of firefighting foam cancer lawsuits. AFFF cancer lawsuits began getting filed in courts across the country against 3M, DuPont, and other companies that manufactured and sold firefighting foam products.

(Video) AFFF Lawsuit Update 2022

The AFFF lawsuits allege that manufacturers like 3M were aware of the link between PFAS and cancer as early as the 1990s and did not know about it. The first wave of AFFF lawsuits began getting filed in 2017, and by 2018 enough firefighting foam cases were pending in federal courts across the country to prompt the JPML to consolidate them into a new class action MDL.

The firefighting foam class action lawsuit was created in December 2018 and assigned to Judge Richard Gergel in the U.S. District Court for South Carolina. As of January 2023, there are a total of 3,387 active cases pending in the AFFF class action MDL. Some of these cases involve claims by local governments that PFAS in firefighting foam contaminated the water supply. The rest are traditional product liability cases alleging that exposure to AFFF caused cancer.

First Bellwether Trial Set for May

The first bellwether test trial in the AFFF class action MDL is scheduled for May 2023 in the case of the City of Stuart v. 3M Co. et al.. The City of Stuart case involves claims that AFFF contaminated the municipal water system in Stuart, Florida. Two additional bellwether trials are supposed to follow after this trial is concluded.

The outcome of the first bellwether trial in May will have significant implications for the future course of the litigation. Bellwether trials are often critical in moving both sides in mass tort litigation toward a global settlement deal.

History tells is that trial dates often lead to settlements in MDL class actions.

(Video) AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuits (November 2022 Settlement Update in Comments)

What Can We Expect in the AFFF Litigation in 2023?

Our lawyers firmly believe the AFFF firefighting foam class action lawsuit will have some settlement payouts for individual victims in 2023. Is this a guarantee? Hardly. But the pressure of this trial may trigger a global settlement deal at some point in 2023 with at least some of these defendants. A settlement might even occur before the first bellwether trial in May.

What Will the Settlement Payout be in AFFF Cases?

If we get a global settlement deal done in the AFFF firefighting foam cases this year (as we are predicting), our lawyers estimate that the average settlement payouts will be around $300,000 to $450,000. The settlement will likely create a tiered system in which individual claims are ranked into tiers based on the strength of the plaintiff’s case.

Cases ranked in the highest tier will get bigger settlement payout offers compared to those in lower tiers. Where an individual case is ranked will depend primarily on three factors: (1) the type of cancer, (2) the extent of the plaintiff’s AFFF exposure, and (3) the age of the plaintiff.

The type of cancer the plaintiff alleges was caused by exposure to AFFF will be significant because the causation evidence is much more substantial for certain types of cancer. The cancer types with the strongest link to AFFF are thyroid, testicular, kidney, and bladder cancer. Cases involving these cancer types and significant exposure history will probably be in the top tier.

The plaintiff’s personal exposure history refers to how much they were exposed to AFFF firefighting foam. A plaintiff who used AFFF 2 or 3 times a year for just five years will have a weaker case than a plaintiff who used AFFF 10-20 times per year for three decades.

(Video) AFFF Fire Fighting Foam Lawsuit Update

Contact Us About a Firefighting Foam Lawsuit

Our AFFF lawyers are currently accepting new firefighting foam cases from clients who meet the following criteria:

  • Frequent exposure to AFFF (firefighting foam) for at least one year; and
  • Diagnosis with one of the following types of cancer: pancreatic, testicular, prostate, kidney, bladder, or lymphoma.

Our firefighting foam lawyers stand ready to assist your potential claim. Call our firefighting foam law firm today at 800-553-8082 or reach out to us online.


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2. AFFF Fighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit - Get Free Case Review For Firefighters Diagnosed With Cancer
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3. AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit 2022
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4. AFFF Fighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit - Get Free Case Review For Firefighters Diagnosed With Cancer
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5. Fire Law Roundup for April 3, 2023
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6. Firefighting Foam Lawsuits: Everything You Need To Know
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