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May 8, 2020

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Firefighting Foam Contaminating Drinking Water

Individuals from a West Virginia community filed a class action lawsuit against several firefighting foam manufactures, alleging cancer-causing chemicals in the foam contaminated local drinking water supplies. Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, the complaint indicates that Martinburg, WV’s drinking water was contaminated by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), chemicals health officials consider potentially carcinogenic. The plaintiffs claim PFAS tainted the drinking water through aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) sprayed by a nearby West Virginia Air National Guard base for years.

According to the lawsuit, AFFF manufacturers knew or should have known about the cancer risks associated with PFAS in firefighting foam, which caused an unacceptable risk of harm for residents near the West Virginia Air National Guard base. Firefighting foam manufacturers named as defendants in this lawsuit include the following:

  • 3M Company
  • Tyco Fire Products, L.P.
  • The Ansul Company
  • National Foam, Inc.
  • Buckeye Fire Equipment Co.
  • Chemguard
  • E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Co.
  • The Chemours Co., LLC

The plaintiffs---Mike Stengel, Sondra Maragugilio, and a minor identified by the initials C.S.---claim that the drinking water had high levels of PFAS since at least 2014. The class action lawsuit seeks compensatory damages for personal injuries and medical monitoring for those exposed to contaminated drinking water.

“Defendants collectively designed, marketed, developed, manufactured, distributed, released, trained users, produced instructional materials, sold and/or otherwise handled and/or used AFFF with knowledge that it contained highly toxic and long lasting PFASs, which would contaminate Plaintiffs’ blood and/or body with PFAS, and the resultant biopersistence and bioaccumulation of such PFAS in the blood and/or body of Plaintiff,” the lawsuit says.

Firefighting Foam Lawsuits

Increasing numbers of lawsuits are being field by individuals alleging PFAS in firefighting foam are causing individuals severe injuries, including cancer. PFAS are manufactured to be resistant to oil, water, grease, and heat, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says they have been added to firefighting foams since about the 1940’s. Firefighters across the country in local, municipal, industrial, and military airports are at the highest risk of developing firefighting foam cancer.

According to the lawsuits, PFAS can build up in individuals bodies and never break down, causing tumor to develop. Firefighting foam cancer PFAS in firefighting foam caused people, notably firefighters, to develop cancer including testicular cancer, bladder cancer, and liver cancer.

Were You Exposed to Firefighting Foam?

If you were exposed to firefighting foam and developed cancer, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side to ensure your rights are protected is crucial when filing a product liability claim. For award-winning representation, reach out to the McGartland Law Firm today for your free case consultation; we have representatives standing by 24/7 to answer your case questions and concerns.

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