AFFF Lawsuit: Eligibility, Steps, and Potential Compensation

Filing an AFFF lawsuit involves seeking legal recourse for the adverse health and environmental impacts caused by Aqueous Film-Forming Foam, commonly known as AFFF. As concerns about AFFF contamination continue to rise, understanding the steps, eligibility criteria, and potential compensation becomes essential for affected individuals and communities.

Currently, over 4,000 federal lawsuits have been filed concerning AFFF. The lawsuits involve claims of cancer among firefighters and due to water contamination. The scale of the litigation has led to the formation of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) class action lawsuit, overseen by U.S. District Judge Richard M. Gergel in South Carolina, where pretrial proceedings are taking place.

This article aims to shed light on the process of filing an AFFF lawsuit, providing an overview of the steps involved, eligibility considerations, and the potential compensation that may be sought.

What is AFFF?

AFFF, short for Aqueous Film-Forming Foam, is a specialized firefighting foam used to suppress and extinguish flammable liquid fires. It is commonly employed by firefighters and emergency responders to combat fires involving petroleum-based products, such as gasoline, oil, and jet fuel. 

AFFF forms a thin film on the fuel surface, suppressing fire and preventing re-ignition. However, AFFF contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which are persistent chemicals that can pose health and environmental risks. 

The widespread use of AFFF has led to concerns about PFAS contamination in water sources and its impact on human health and ecosystems.

Health and Environmental Concerns Of AFFF

AFFF raises significant health and environmental concerns due to its association with PFAS. These toxic chemicals, found in AFFF formulations, have been linked to various adverse health effects in humans, including cancer, liver damage, immune system disorders, and developmental issues. 

Additionally, AFFF use has resulted in the contamination of water sources, leading to long-lasting environmental impacts. PFAS compounds do not break down easily, posing a persistent threat to ecosystems and potentially entering the food chain. 

According to WBUR, 3M, a major chemical manufacturer, has agreed to pay a maximum of $10.3 billion over 13 years to assist municipalities in testing and purifying public water supplies contaminated with toxic PFAS chemicals. 

This settlement follows numerous lawsuits against 3M, including one by Massachusetts, for its involvement in polluting drinking water. The company’s production of firefighting foam containing PFAS has led to contamination in various locations within the state.

Understanding these health and environmental risks is essential for individuals affected by AFFF and underscores the urgency for legal action to address the damages caused.

Determining Eligibility for AFFF Lawsuit

Assessing eligibility for filing an AFFF lawsuit involves considering several criteria, including:

  • Exposure to AFFF: Determining if the individual or community has been exposed to Aqueous Film-Forming Foam through firefighting operations, training, or other circumstances where AFFF was used.
  • Health Issues: Evaluating if there are documented health issues that can be linked to AFFF exposure, such as cancer, respiratory problems, or other related conditions.
  • Proximity to Contaminated Areas: Considering the proximity of the individual or community to areas known to be contaminated with AFFF, such as fire training sites, airports, or industrial facilities.

These factors play a crucial role in determining eligibility for an AFFF lawsuit. It is essential to consult with experienced environmental litigation attorneys to assess individual circumstances and establish a strong case for seeking legal recourse.

The AFFF Lawsuit Filing Process

When filing an AFFF lawsuit, the process typically involves several key steps. First, it is crucial to consult with an attorney experienced in environmental litigation. They will assess the viability of the case, gather evidence, and prepare the necessary legal documents. Next, the appropriate jurisdiction for filing the lawsuit needs to be determined. 

The case will progress through various stages, including investigations, discovery, negotiations, and potentially a trial. It is important to be aware that the legal process can be complex and time-consuming, requiring patience and diligent cooperation with legal counsel.

AFFF Lawsuit Settlement and Compensation Amount

TorHoerman Law notes that if you or a family member experienced exposure to firefighting foam, you could be eligible for an AFFF exposure lawsuit. Your situation might be considered for inclusion in the AFFF MDL (AFFF Multidistrict Litigation). 

The AFFF multidistrict litigation consolidates lawsuits nationwide that claim cancer diagnosis or other injuries due to AFFF exposure.

As of now, no settlements have been achieved in the AFFF litigation. However, legal professionals estimate that AFFF lawsuit settlement amounts could range from $40,000 to $300,000 or potentially higher, depending on various factors such as the strength of the case and individual circumstances.

It is crucial to note that specific compensation amounts cannot be guaranteed, as they are contingent upon individual circumstances, the extent of harm suffered, and the outcomes of legal proceedings. Consulting with legal professionals is essential to gain a better understanding of the potential compensation that may be sought in each specific case.

Legal Consultation and Advice

Seeking legal consultation from experienced attorneys specializing in environmental litigation is of utmost importance when considering an AFFF lawsuit. These attorneys possess the necessary expertise to assess the viability of the case based on factors such as the extent of AFFF exposure, associated health issues, and environmental contamination. 

They can guide individuals through the legal process, provide an accurate evaluation of their eligibility for filing a lawsuit, and offer valuable insights into building a strong case. 

With their knowledge and experience, these attorneys can significantly increase the chances of a successful outcome and ensure that the rights of those affected by AFFF contamination are protected.

Filing a Class Action or Individual AFFF Lawsuit

When considering an AFFF lawsuit, individuals have the option to join a class-action lawsuit or pursue an individual lawsuit. Joining a class action provides strength in numbers, allowing plaintiffs to pool resources, share legal costs, and present a unified front against the defendants. It can be advantageous in cases with widespread contamination. 

MedTruth reported that a class action lawsuit was filed against 3M, DuPont, and other PFAS chemical manufacturers on July 15, 2022. The lawsuit also includes Honeywell, Carrier, and other AFFF manufacturers as defendants. The plaintiffs in the case assert that they developed cancer and other health issues due to prolonged exposure to these persistent chemicals known as “forever chemicals.”

On the other hand, pursuing an individual lawsuit offers more control and personalized attention to one’s specific circumstances and damages. Considerations for both approaches include potential settlement amounts, timeframes, and the need to prove individual damages. Deciding between class action and individual lawsuits should be based on the unique circumstances and preferences of each plaintiff.


Seeking justice for the health and environmental consequences of Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) involves navigating a complex legal process. Those affected by AFFF contamination must comprehend the necessary steps, eligibility requirements, and potential compensation. 

Consulting experienced environmental litigation attorneys is essential to navigate the intricate legalities and receive personalized guidance for each unique case. By pursuing legal action, individuals can hold accountable those responsible for AFFF contamination and work towards achieving justice for the harm caused.

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