Anyone who lived on or near a military base and believes they developed cancer, thyroid disease or another illness as a result of exposure to contaminated water.
What’s Going On?
DuPont, 3M and other companies that made firefighting foams used in military base training exercises are being sued over claims that, knowing their products contained PFAS chemicals that could contaminate local groundwater and cause serious health effects, they failed to take the steps necessary to protect the public. More than 700 military bases are suspected or confirmed to have had their water contaminated due to the use of firefighting foams.
What Diseases Have Been Linked to PFAS Chemicals?
Birth defects, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease and several types of cancer, including lymphoma, leukemia, liver cancer, kidney cancer, testicular cancer, and multiple myeloma, have all been linked to PFAS exposure.
What You Can Do
If you suspect you or a loved one developed cancer or another disease as a result of drinking or otherwise being exposed to contaminated water, fill out the form on this page. Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are offering free consultations to those who lived on or near military bases to help these individuals determine whether they can take legal action.
How Could a Lawsuit Help?
A lawsuit could provide money for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of life’s enjoyment, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish and more.
If you lived on or near a military base and developed cancer, thyroid disease or another health problem, it’s possible that your condition may have been caused by toxic chemicals in your drinking water.
Residents and servicemembers are now taking action for the harm they suffered, so read on for more about the link between military bases and water contamination, as well as what’s involved in filing a lawsuit.
Military Bases & Water Contamination: What’s the Link?
For decades, military bases used a type of firefighting foam, known as aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), to put out fires in training exercises. A specialized substance designed to extinguish fires caused by petroleum and other flammable liquids, AFFF is known to contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of toxic chemicals.
Reports suggest that when the foam was washed away following training simulations, it seeped into the ground and nearby streams, contaminating the tap water base residents and locals used for drinking, bathing, cleaning and more.
Toxic “Forever Chemicals”: What Are PFAS?
PFAS, which is an umbrella term for a group of manmade chemicals that includes perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), are often referred to as “forever chemicals.” This is because PFAS hardly ever break down in the environment and can accumulate, remain and persist in the body – particularly the bloodstream, liver and kidneys – for decades. This means those with continued exposure to the chemicals are particularly at risk for adverse health effects.
PFAS can be readily absorbed through ingestion, (e.g., by drinking contaminated groundwater or eating fish exposed to the chemicals) and inhalation – and can even enter the body through the skin. Further, it has been established that PFAS can pass through breast milk and cross the placenta from mother to fetus during pregnancy.
Diseases Caused by PFOS and PFOA: Cancer, Thyroid Problems, Birth Defects
Even at low levels, PFAS can cause a number of adverse health effects and have been linked to low birth weights, cancer, immune system problems, thyroid hormone disruption and increased cholesterol. Some studies have also suggested that exposure to PFAS can cause birth defects, increased blood pressure during pregnancy and fertility issues. In fact, women living on George Air Force base in California were encouraged not to get pregnant while on site due to the dangers associated with PFAS-contaminated water.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are now investigating potential lawsuits on behalf of individuals who lived on or near a military base and who have been diagnosed with any of the following:
Myeloma, including multiple myeloma
Thyroid disease (hyperthyroidism)
They are also handling cases in which mothers living on or near military bases were exposed to PFAS chemicals and gave birth prematurely or delivered children with birth defects.
List of Military Bases with Contaminated Water
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are particularly interested in speaking with people who lived on or near the following bases, which are believed to have had their water contaminated with PFAS chemicals:
Alameda Naval base, California
Chanute Air Force base, Illinois
China Lake Naval base, California
Dallas Naval base, Texas
Dover Air Force base, Delaware
Eielson Air Force base, Alaska
Ellsworth Air Force base, South Dakota
England Air Force base, Louisiana
Jacksonville Naval base, Florida
Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia
Joint Base San Antonio, Lackland, Randolph, Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis, Texas
Moody Air Force base, Georgia
NAS Oceana Naval base, Virginia
Patrick Air Force base, Florida
Pease Air Force base, New Hampshire
Peterson Air Force base, Colorado
Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York
Port Hueneme Naval base, California
Richards-Gebaur Air Force base, Missouri
Seymour Johnson Air Force base, North Carolina
Wright-Patterson Air Force base, Ohio
Wurtsmith Air Force base (Oscoda), Michigan
PFAS Water Contamination Map
A map of the base locations listed above can be viewed below. Click on a marker for base information.
If your base is not on the map or list above, this does not mean you were not exposed to PFAS chemicals from firefighting foam. These are simply the specific bases attorneys working with ClassAction.org are looking into.
More than 700 military sites are suspected or known to have been contaminated with PFAS; the Environmental Working Group keeps an updated map of these sites here.
What Could I Get from a Lawsuit?
In a successful case, you may be able to receive compensation for the following:
Past and future medical expenses, including prescription costs, surgery, medical treatments and doctors’ visits
Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
Physical pain and suffering
Disability and impairment
Loss of life’s enjoyment
Loss of marital benefits (care, comfort, sex, etc.)
Who Would I Be Suing in a PFAS Lawsuit?
In most cases, your lawsuit would be filed against the company that manufactured the firefighting foam believed to be the source of your PFAS exposure; you would not be suing the U.S. military.
Companies that manufactured AFFF with toxic chemicals include, but are not limited to, the following:
Tyco Fire Products
The 3M Company
The Chemours Company
National Foam Inc.
What’s Involved in Filing a Lawsuit?
Before filing a lawsuit, your attorney will ask you questions about your work history, places you’ve lived and how your health has changed since being exposed to contaminated groundwater. He or she will also gather medical documents related to the condition you are alleging stemmed from your PFAS exposure.
Once your attorney has enough information to move forward with a case, he or she will draft a document known as a “complaint” that outlines the company or companies you are suing, how you were exposed to PFAS, the medical condition that developed as a result of the exposure and the monetary damages you are seeking. This document will also lay out why the manufacturers of toxic firefighting foam are responsible for the harm you suffered.
For instance, your attorney may allege that the companies:
Failed to adequately warn the public of the certain health risks associated with AFFF
Sold an unreasonably dangerous product when safer alternatives existed
Failed to provide reasonable instructions on the safe use, storage and disposal of AFFF
Repeatedly represented that the levels of PFAS being found in U.S. residents’ bodies presented no risk of harm or toxicity and were not medically significant
Had the resources and ability to fund and/or sponsor studies to confirm their representations that PFAS in the body present no health risk, yet failed to carry out such research
Knew the compounds in their AFFF products were carcinogenic and could enter the water supply, yet withheld this information from the public and government entities
Attacked, challenged and tried to discredit studies that alleged, suggested or even implied that adverse health effects were linked to their firefighting foams
Did not recall their products or instruct the public they should not be used upon phasing out production of the toxic firefighting foams and changing their formulas
Once your attorney files the complaint with the court, your lawsuit officially begins. From there, your attorney will engage with those representing the defendants – that is, the companies being sued – and the court in an attempt to resolve your case.
During this process, the attorneys may:
File motions, briefs and other paperwork with the court
Consult with experts
If the case does not get dismissed and the defendants are not willing to settle the matter, the case will proceed to jury trial.
Is this a Class Action Lawsuit?
No. Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are not handling these cases on a class action basis. This is because individuals who have fallen ill as a result of PFAS exposure have suffered significant harm that warrants the cost and time associated with filing an individual lawsuit. This means if you want to pursue legal action over your injury, you will need to file your own lawsuit with your own attorney.
You can learn more about the difference between class action and individual lawsuits here.
How Much Does a Lawyer Cost?
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are handling these cases on a contingency-fee basis. This means you only pay if they win your case. Their payment will come as a percentage of your settlement or jury award.
What You Can Do
Want to find out if you can file a lawsuit? Just fill out the form on this page to get started.
After you get in touch, one of the attorneys we work with may reach out to you directly. He or she will ask you a few questions – and answer any of yours – and help determine whether a lawsuit is a viable option for you.
It costs nothing to speak to one of the attorneys we work with, and you’re never obligated to take legal action just because you talked to someone about your rights.