Breaking News: AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit Set to Bring Compensation Payouts in 2024 – What Victims Need to Know

Charleston, South Carolina: With the approaching year of 2024, victims of Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) contamination are eagerly awaiting a settlement in their long-standing legal battle. The question on everyone’s minds is whether a settlement is on the horizon, and if so, what compensation payouts can be expected?

In October 2023, a glimmer of hope emerged when a global settlement agreement resolved a large number of AFFF water contamination claims filed by local water authorities and municipalities. The defendants, including 3M and DuPont, agreed to pay a staggering $10.3 billion as part of the settlement deal.

Although the chances of an AFFF firefighting foam settlement before the end of the year seem slim, there is an air of optimism as we look ahead to 2024.

Recently, a new Case Management Order was issued in the firefighting foam multidistrict litigation (MDL) that sets the stage for the long-anticipated bellwether trial process in the AFFF cancer cases. By the end of this year, the MDL judge will select a group of 28 cases for initial discovery, followed by a smaller group for the first round of trials.

With the resolution of the water contamination cases against the major defendants, the focus of the AFFF class action lawsuit will now shift to individual claims brought by firefighters and military personnel. These lawsuits have been filed by former firefighters, military personnel, and others who have been diagnosed with cancer after years of regular exposure to AFFF. The firefighting foam contains poly-fluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS), which have been linked to various types of cancer.

The link between AFFF and cancer has prompted a wave of product liability lawsuits against the manufacturers. Companies like 3M and DuPont, who have been manufacturing firefighting foam for decades, are facing allegations that they were aware of the health risks associated with PFAS but failed to warn the public or take preventive measures to avoid environmental contamination.

The scientific evidence supporting these lawsuits points to several potential mechanisms by which AFFF increases the risk of cancer, including genotoxicity, hormonal disruption, immune system suppression, and increased oxidative stress. AFFF lawyers rely on expert witnesses such as toxicologists, environmental scientists, hydrogeologists, and epidemiologists to present the scientific evidence in court.

Despite the mounting evidence against them, companies like 3M and DuPont allegedly suppressed research on the harmful effects of PFAS and actively tried to influence independent academic research to evade litigation. Their negligence has left them vulnerable to a growing number of AFFF lawsuits.

If a global settlement deal is reached in the AFFF firefighting foam cases this year, it is estimated that the average settlement payouts for individual victims will range from $300,000 to $450,000. These payouts are expected to be tiered, with the strength of the plaintiff’s case determining their ranking. Factors such as the type of cancer, the extent of AFFF exposure, and the age of the plaintiff will play a crucial role in determining the settlement offers.

3M and DuPont, as the primary defendants, shoulder most of the liability in this litigation. However, numerous other companies that manufactured and sold AFFF will also be involved in any eventual settlement deal.

For those who have yet to take legal action, it is not too late to join the fight. The AFFF class action MDL continues to receive new cases each month, with over 300 new lawsuits added in the past 30 days alone.

The journey towards justice for AFFF victims has been long and arduous. While a settlement in 2024 is not guaranteed, there is a prevailing belief among AFFF lawyers that a resolution is imminent. The defendants, it is rumored, are eager to put these cases behind them. As the legal battle rages on, victims remain hopeful that they will finally receive the compensation they deserve for their suffering.