Updates & timeline for AFFF exposure

February 2024 - PFAS Update

Thank you for your continued trust in ELG to represent you in the AFFF/PFAS litigation. Our lawyers and staff continue to work hard to protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve.

In the near future you will receive communications from our office regarding Product Identification for AFFF and/or Turnout Gear you may have used in your career. It is an important part of the litigation that helps all similarly situated firefighters. It also helps identify which AFFF products may have contaminated your local water supply. Please respond to these communications when available.

Also, leadership is negotiating a Plaintiff Fact Sheet specific to Turnout Gear. As you are aware, PFAS was present in both the AFFF and turnout gear that you used. When finalized by leadership and available to clients this supplemental fact sheet will be mandatory, so please work with our representatives to complete it as quickly as possible.

The AFFF MDL continues to move forward and numerous personal injury cases are being prepared for initial bellwether trials, likely in early 2025. Additionally, another water provider case is being readied for trial against an AFFF manufacturer that has not yet settled the litigation.

It will be a busy year in the AFFF litigation, and we are grateful for the opportunity to assist you. If you have any questions, please contact ELG at 205.328.9200.

January 2024 - Looking Ahead To The New Year

We hope your 2024 is off to a great start! Your legal team at ELG continues to work diligently on your behalf to push forward on your AFFF/PFAS case. Our lawyers serve on both the Personal Injury Committee and the Science Committee in the national litigation. This allows us to participate in discussions and make decisions that directly affect the rights of our clients. We anticipate 2024 to be an important year and should be able to provide more information on your specific case as the year progresses.

Please continue to be responsive to requests for information form our office or our co-counsel. If you ever have concerns about who you are speaking with, please contact ELG at 205.328.9200. We have several projects in the litigation where it is very important that you respond quickly to our requests for information.

We continue to collect information relating to use of AFFF and product identification. For our firefighter clients, a supplemental plaintiff fact sheet will be finalized soon which focuses on your use of turnout gear. Please be on the lookout for information on these.

ELG remains grateful for the opportunity to assist you and your family in this important litigation.

November 2023 - contact from Torticity or Epiq

We hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday! As we prepare for the end-of-year festivities, ELG wants to provide you with a brief update on your AFFF case.

We continue to work diligently to pursue recovery on your behalf. The science supporting PFAS chemicals causing cancer and other diseases continues to grow. We are consulting with numerous experts to determine the causal link between PFAS and your injuries. This process will continue throughout the litigation.

You will also receive additional communications from us regarding specific manufacturers or distributors of AFFF. Please respond as quickly as possible. A large part of the lawsuit will be identifying the specific type of AFFF and turnout gear you may have used in your career. This process is called "product identification." Your efforts and timely responses will help not only your case but other plaintiffs as well

You may also on occasion be contacted by Torticity or Epiq. These are associates of ELG and are assisting in data collection and other processes. Please cooperate with these entities. If you ever have a question about who may be contacting you, feel free to call our office at 205.328.9200 and speak with your client representative.

We hope you remain in good health, but should your health change or you receive an additional diagnosis please contact our office. Additionally, if your contact information changes please contact us as well. ELG remains grateful for the trust you place in our law firm.

October 2023 - class wide resolution for water providers

The initial water provider bellwether trial was set for June 2023. The primary defendants, 3M and DuPont, announced class wide resolution for water providers just before trial. This is the largest water provider settlement in United States history and is a much-needed settlement to address the nation's contaminated drinking water.

The settlement also allows the Court and the parties to turn their attention to the growing personal injury docket. The Court recently ordered the parties to select 28 plaintiffs to serve as the initial bellwether personal injury cases. These lawsuits are focused on consumption of PFAS contaminated water and span across four diseases. The parties must make these selections and begin case specific discovery before the end of the year.

We are also pleased that our firefighter clients' cases have begun gaining traction. As you are aware, our representation of you covers exposure to the PFAS in AFFF and the PFAS in your turnout gear. We will soon begin receiving discovery from the turnout gear defendants, which will allow us to continue to move your case forward. We also anticipate the firefighter cases will soon be assigned their own track in the litigation to further move forward with these cases.

Lastly, mediation efforts continue to potentially resolve all personal injury claims in the litigation. Our law firm is directly involved with these negotiations, and we are optimistic that a global resolution may be possible. However, this continues to be a slow-moving process, so please remain patient.

March 2023 - Pentagon to cease the use of firefighting foam containing PFAS

The Department of Defense will cease purchasing PFAS-containing firefighting foam later this year and phase it out entirely in 2024. Still, the replacement for AFFF has yet to be determined, and advocates are frustrated it has taken so long to stop the use of a product containing "forever chemicals" that, at high levels of exposure, may lead to higher cancer risk among other effects.

"The problem with PFAS is it's a highly effective fire remedy. The other problem, of course, is it's indestructible,"" said House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Ken Calvert. "So we need to find a solution. We need to find a replacement. It's been a lot harder than expected, but they're working on it," he added.

April 2022 - over 2,000 cases related to AFFF are pending in South Carolina court

The entire number of cases pending in the AFFF multi-district litigation in South Carolina is currently over 2,000, as this litigation keeps expanding. AFFF lawsuits have been accepted as bellwether trial candidates in the class action. Pretrial discovery in these lawsuits closed out in March, moving the process one step closer to trial. The expert witness deadline comes at the end of June.

2021 - Colorado also bans the sale of AFFF and other PFAS-containing firefighting foams

Starting August 2, 2021, Colorado bans the use of firefighting foam containing PFAS for training or testing systems that suppress fire. It also restricts the sale, manufacture, or distribution of AFFF and other firefighting foams containing these chemicals within the state. Other states where AFFF is currently banned are:

  • Illinois
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

February 2021 - AFFF manufacturer pays $17.5 million in the first MDL settlement

The residents of Peshtigo, Wisconsin, have reached a $17.5 million settlement with the manufacturers of AFFF. Part of multi-district litigation, the class action lawsuit had Tyco Fire Products L.P., Chemguard Inc., and ChemDesign Inc. as defendants. Of the $17.5 million settlement, $15 million will go to Classwide claims for harm and property damage caused by PFAS exposure.

The remaining $2.5 million will compensate Class Members who came to struggle with testicular cancer, kidney cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, and pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, according to the proposed settlement.

December 2018 - over 75 lawsuits filed over AFFF are consolidated in South Carolina

Over 75 class-action AFFF lawsuits filed are now consolidated in South Carolina to address claims of the dangerous impact of the product on public health and the environment. Although more than half of the 3M class action lawsuits were filed in Colorado, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation concluded that the South Carolina court had the capacity to handle the multi-district litigation.

2018 - commercial aircraft manufacturers and commercial airports can opt out of using AFFF

Congress passed the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act in 2018. It includes a noteworthy amendment that allows both commercial aircraft manufacturers and commercial airports to choose not to use AFFF or other PFAS-containing foams by 2021, according to the organization Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.

Moreover, in the same year, Washington passed new laws that banned the sale of PFAS-containing firefighting foam. The state also passed a new act giving itself the authority to regulate chemicals such as PFAS in more consumer products than just food packaging and firefighting foam.

1966 - AFFF is invented by the U.S. Navy and the 3M company

The formula of the notorious aqueous film-forming foam, known as AFFF for short, was created by the U.S. Navy together with the infamous company 3M. In 1966, the U.S. Navy received a patent on the invention, and by the mid-1960s, 3M was manufacturing AFFF for the military.

Furthermore, by the late-1960s, the U.S. Navy required all military vessels to carry AFFF aboard to be used in case of fire. In the 1970s, the Department of Defense began employing AFFF to extinguish fuel fires at all military bases throughout America.