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This article provides the latest updates on the AFFF (PFAS) firefighting foam lawsuit.

Fob James Law Firm represents victims all over the country with their Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) claims. We are currently taking cases involving kidney cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, and many other diseases.

If you would like to speak to our firefighting foam lawyers, fill out our confidential intake form or call 866-837-1010.

Throughout the AFFF litigation, we will post the latest news and updates below.

July 15, 2024 – Air Force Removes AFFF/PFAS Chemical from its Stock

The Air Force announced it is replacing current stocks of AFFF in fire and emergency services vehicles with a fluorine-free formulation. The new formulatoin does not contain chemicals with tox effects. This move is part of a larger Defense Department-wide effort to remove PFAS from firefighting activities. We applaud the removal of any AFFF based products used by firefighters.

July 1, 2024 – Landfills Linked to PFAS Chemicals

A new study by researchers at the University of Florida found that landfills release various types of “forever chemicals” [PFAS]. It appears these chemicals pollute the air as products in the landfill begin to break down. Time will tell if a new category of air pollution lawsuits will result from PFAS released by landfills

June 2, 2024 – Pathway for Non-Qualifying Diseases

In the current MDL, the types of diseases that will be litigated has been narrowed. This usually happens in a MDL. So what happens to all of the filed cases that do not have a “qualifying disease”? The Court established a pathway for cases that do not qualify for the MDL to continue. Specifically, the Court annouced a process where the non-qualifying cases can be voluntary dismissed and the statute of limitations tolled while the litigation plays out. These cases can be refiled at a later date.

May 1, 2024 – Number of Cases reaches 8,000

On a consistent basis, several hundred cases are filed each month in the MDL. With 323 cases filed in April, the total number of cases crosses the 8,000 mark.

April 1, 2024 – The Court Is Gearing Up for a “Science Day”

The Court entered Case Management Order 28 [CMO-28] which sets forth the obligations of the parties leading up to a “Science Day”.

A Science Day is a proceeding where the parties present an overview of the scientific evidence and expert testimony in connection with various diseases to the Court. In other words, a science day is a chance to educate the Judge on medical causation and other important issues.

CMO-28 requires the parties to exhchange peer reviewed studies which support or dispute as association of AFFF with the list of diseases identified by the PEC.

By May 15, 2024, the parties must submit the peer reviewed studies to the Court. Thereafter, the Court will schedule a science day.

The order also requires the parties to meet and confer on the process for selecting bellwether cases (test trials) and regarding Daubert and dispositive motions.

March 1, 2024 – Over 7000 AFFF Cases Filed

Over 7000 total cases have been filed in the AFFF firefighting foam litigation. We are hopeful that a global resolution can be reached for individual cases by the end of the year.

We are at the point in the litigation where the diseases with the strongest link to AFFF are defined. Based on the science, the following diseases have the strongest connection to AFFF:

  • kidney cancer
  • thyroid disease and cancer
  • testicular cancer
  • ulcerative colitis

If you do not have one of these four diseases, it does not mean you do not have a case. It just means the scientific evidence is not quite as strong. We believe the science is plenty strong enough for the following diseases as well:

  • pancreatic cancer
  • prostate cancer
  • male breast
  • liver cancer
  • bladder cancer

The case criteria for diseases with weaker causal connection may be narrower than the diseases with stronger connection. Again, just because you may not have one of the “strongest diseases” does not mean you do not have a case or that you have a less valuable case.

February 1, 2024 – Over 6400 AFFF Cases Filed

As of February 1st, plaintiffs have filed over 6400 cases in the AFFF litigation. We expect that number to increase as attorneys will file cases in anticipation of global settlement.

Around half of the 6400 cases were filed by municipality plaintiffs. Most of those cases have settled which leaves individual cases unresolved.

January 15, 2024 – Alabama Resident Filed AFFF Lawsuit

A resident of Alabama filed an AFFF lawsuit alleging exposure caused prostate cancer. Even though the lawsuit was filed in Alabama courts, the case will get transfered to the MDL. This is how cases are conslidated in mass torts. If the case is not resolved through the MDL, it could get transfered back to Alabama courts in the future.

December 15, 2023 – 25 Cases Selected for the Bellwether Discovery Pool

Twenty-five cases have been selected for the Bellwether Discovery Pool. The breakdown of the cases is as follows:

  • 5 kidney cancer
  • 8 testicular cancer
  • 8 hypothyroidism (thyroid disease)
  • 4 ulcerative colitis

Case specific discovery will begin in these cases. Some or all will eventually be set for trial. These trials are called “bellwether trials” aka test trials.

November 1, 2023 – Bellwether Trial Selection Is Underway

The parties are in the process of selecting “bellwether trials” this month. A bellwether is a test trial that allows Plaintiff’s leadership to evaluate the strength and weakness of the case. If the bellwether trials are favorable for plaintiffs, then this will increase the value of the cases (in theory) and put pressure on the defendants to settle. On the flip side, if bellwethers result in defense verdicts, then that would be bad for the plaintiffs.

A recent study published by the National Institute of Health links PFAS exposure to testicular cancer. The study found evidence of elevated serum PFOS concentrations and TGCT among U.S. Air Force servicemen. Accordingly, the study suggested further examination is needed among military and highly exposed populations.

August 4, 2023 – Tyco Fire Protection Will Stop Making Products With AFFF

Johnson Controls, the parent company of Tyco Fire Protection Products, announced that it will stop making fluorinated firefighting foams by June 2024. This includes Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF). Instead, the company will make non-fluorinated foam alternatives. Mass tort litigation benefits society by forcing change–in this case making products without toxic AFFF chemicals.

July 3, 2023 – Close to 4800 AFFF Lawsuit Have Been Filed

Just under 4800 AFFF lawsuits have been filed in the MDL. Now that municipalities have reached a global settlement in their toxic water cases, hopefully a resolution for the individual claimants will follow suit.

June 4, 2023 – Dupont and Two Others To Pay 1.2 Billion To Settle With Municipalities

Dupont and two related companies announced they would be 1.2 billion to settle claims brought by public water systems. The announcement came right before a scheduled bellwether trial in South Carolina over PFAS contamination.

In related news, 3M is reportedly considering setting aside at least 10 billion to settle individual claims. If true this is good news.

May 15, 2023 – Court Denies 3M’s Motion to Exclude Plaintiffs’ Expert Testimony

Judge Richard Gergel denied 3M’s “daubert” motion seeking to exclude testimony by Plaintiff’s causation experts. This is a big win for Plaintiffs in the firefighting foam litigation.

Specifically, Plaintiff’s experts found that the PFAS levels in 3M’s AFFF foam contaminated the City of Stuart, Florida’s water supply. 3M asked the Court to disallow this testimony. Ultimately, Judge Gergel’s order will allow causation testimony favorable to Plaintiffs to be heard by a jury.

May 8, 2023 – Researchers Discover PFAS On Firefighting Gear

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) analyzed turnout gear coats and pants used by firefighters. The results showed the presence of PFAS in all three layers. The highest PFAS concentrations were observed in the outermost two layers.

Hopefully, this study will help manufacturers and regulators understand current weaknesses in firefighting gear. Firefighters of course deserve the safest gear possible.

May 7, 2023 – Over 4,000 Lawsuits Have Been Filed In The MDL

Roughly 4,000 cases have now been filed in the MDL, which is consolidated all AFFF lawsuits in the US District Court for the District of South Carolina. Victims are still being diagnosed so we expect the number of lawsuits to increase.

May 5, 2023 – The First “Bellwether Trial” Is Underway — City of Stuart, Florida vs. 3M

A “bellwether” trial is basically a test trial. The result of this trial will give both plaintiffs and defendants an idea where they stand with an actual jury. If the jury finds for the plaintiff, this will be a huge win for all plaintiffs and could facilitate the settlement process.

May 1, 2023 – The CDC Launches a Registry for Firefighters Who Have Been Diagnosed Cancer

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the National Firefighter Registry (NFR) for Cancer. The registry will track trends involving cancer rates among firefighters. It will be interesting to see how the registry is impacted by AFFF “firefighting foam”.

April 11, 2023 Illinois Attorney General Sues AFFF Manufacturers

In a blow to makers of AFFF, the Illinois Attorney General, on behalf of the State of Illinois, has filed a lawsuit stating that “the [AFFF] companies” are “knowingly contaminating Illinois’ environment and natural resources”. This lawsuit is interesting because it alleges a new theory of damages and environmental torts against 3m, Dupont et al.

October 26, 2022 – Judge Gergel Appoints Mediator To Facilitate Settlement Discussion

Judge Gergel appointed Judge Phillips to serve as a court-appointed mediator to assist co-lead counsel for plaintiffs and defendants in trying to reach a settlement agreement. The parties of course are not obligated to settle. We believe the settlement process will take time and likely not occur until the end of 2023 (at the earliest). case has been assigned to Judge Mary Rowland in the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago.

We Represent AFFF Clients Nationwide

Fob James Law Firm is honored to represent victims and their families who have suffered injuries caused by the toxic chemicals in firefighting foam products.

We are ready to aggressively represent you and your family on your claim no matter what state you reside in.

Contact an AFFF Lawsuit Lawyer For Help

At Fob James Law Firm, our job is to fight for your best interests. If you’ve suffered an injury as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals in AFFF products, you should contact us immediately.

We can determine if you are eligible to file a claim or not. It won’t cost you anything to speak with us.

Additionally, you’ll never pay us anything until we successfully settle or win your case in court. Our AFFF / PFAS attorneys are experienced, dedicated, and they truly care about you.

We treat all of our clients exactly how we would want our own family members to be treated. Contact us right now at 866-37-1010 or set up a free case evaluation so we can help you.

Author Photo

Fob James

Fob James obtained a B.S., in software engineering from Auburn University and then continued his education by getting his J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law. After working for a large regional firm for several years where he obtained awards for both individual and corporate clients, Fob found that his passion was fighting for individuals who have been seriously injured or wronged by others. Fob believes that the jury is the great equalizer to the power and influence that large corporations have in society.