Queens Firefighter Gear Injury Lawyer
Firefighters face danger each time they go out on a call. And while there is no way to ever mitigate against all of the risks inherent in the profession, the one thing that firefighters should expect is that their own equipment will not make them sick. Yet there is mounting evidence that the presence of toxic chemicals in commonly used firefighter gear significantly increases the risk of developing life-threatening cancers.
The firefighter gear injury lawyers at Sullivan & Galleshaw are prepared to work with you if you have reason to believe that your own cancer or other serious health condition may be related to the presence of these toxic chemicals. While there is still much we still need to learn about this issue, there have already been multiple lawsuits filed throughout the country seeking to hold the manufacturers of firefighter gear responsible. And these cases are grounded in solid scientific evidence suggesting a direct connection between the presence of these chemicals and cancer diagnoses.
The Danger Posed by Toxic PFAS Chemicals and “Firefighter Foam”
Back in the 1940s, big business started manufacturing products using a group of manmade chemicals under the name of “poly and perfluoroalkyl substances,” or PFAS for short. Today, there are thousands of PFAS chemicals in use. A National Geographic report noted that PFAS is used in “everything from household items to fast food wrappers.” These chemicals are popular largely due to their resistance to “moisture, heat, and stains,” National Geographic said, a result of the fact that PFAS substances are made by combining carbon and fluorine, “one of the strongest bonds that can be made in organic chemistry.” This means PFAS-based chemicals break down very slowly, if at all. Indeed, many scientists refer to PFAS as the “forever chemical”
What does this have to do with firefighters? Well, most of the “bunker gear” used by firefighters here in New York City and around the country contain significant amounts of PFAS chemicals. This includes many commonly used fire-suppressing foams.
According to a December 2020 report by Bloomberg Law, the issue now before the courts is whether PFAS is “getting to firefighters’ bodies and accumulating there.” PFAS is absorbed into the body’s skin through sweat, Bloomberg noted, and while firefighting garments typically contain a thermal liner, PFAS particles can still break through to the skin from the outer shell and moisture barrier.
Lawsuits have already been filed against a number of firefighter gear manufacturers, including 3M Company and Johnson Controls Inc. The firefighter plaintiffs in these cases have alleged they developed various forms of cancer as a result of PFAS exposure, including but not limited to:
- testicular cancer;
- pancreatic cancer;
- bladder cancer
- kidney cancer;
- prostate cancer;
- liver cancer;
- leukemia; and
What Compensation Can Firefighters Seek Due to Toxic PFAS Exposure?
In any product liability case, the plaintiff is entitled to seek monetary damages, which reflect their economic and non-economic losses caused by the defendant’s negligent conduct. So if you can prove your cancer was the result of PFAS exposure from firefighter gear or fire-retardant foam, you may receive compensation for any or all of the following:
- Medical Bills – This includes the cost of any treatments related to your cancer or other PFAS-related health condition, such as hospital bills, prescription medications, and even expected future expenses.
- Loss of Income – If cancer has left you unable to work or limited your potential for earning income in the future, you may seek damages for these losses as well.
- Non-Economic Damages – Cancer causes more than quantifiable financial losses; it also creates a significant amount of pain and suffering, as well as other forms of emotional distress and an overall loss of enjoyment of life. Non-economic damages are designed to compensate these losses, which are by definition intangible.
Contact a Dedicated Queens Firefighter Gear Injury Lawyer Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
Every day, we learn about more cases of firefighters–and others exposed to PFAS chemicals–who have developed cancer and other serious health ailments. If you suspect PFAS exposure is the root cause of your own condition, it is in your best interests to speak with a New York City firefighter gear injury attorney.
The team at Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP, can review your case and help you decide whether legal action is necessary and warranted to obtain financial compensation for your injuries. Call us today at 718-843-0300 to schedule a free, no-risk consultation.