AFFF Lawsuit Navy – Advocating for Navy Veterans Exposed to Toxic Firefighting Foam

At Class Action 101, we recognize the unique risks faced by Navy veterans who have been exposed to aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) in the line of duty. Our experienced PFAS lawyers are committed to representing these brave men and women in AFFF lawsuits, fighting for the justice and compensation they rightfully deserve.

What is AFFF?

Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) is a type of firefighting foam primarily used for extinguishing liquid fires, especially fires involving petroleum or other flammable liquids. AFFF works by forming a barrier between the fuel and the air, effectively cutting off the oxygen supply that feeds the fire, thus helping to quickly suppress and extinguish it.

The key components of AFFF include:


These compounds lower the surface tension of water, allowing the foam to spread rapidly over the surface of the flammable liquid.

Fluorinated Compounds

AF contains per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which are a group of man-made chemicals that include PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals. PFAS are known for repelling oil and water, making them effective in firefighting foams. However, they also raise concerns due to their persistence in the environment and potential health risks.

Foaming Agents

These agents help create a stable foam blanket that suffocates the fire.

Solvents and Stabilizers

These additional ingredients assist in maintaining the effectiveness and shelf-life of the foam.

AFFF has been widely used due to its effectiveness in rapid-fire suppression, particularly in high-risk areas such as airports, oil refineries, military facilities, and naval ships. However, its use has come under scrutiny due to environmental and health concerns associated with PFAS.

These substances are often referred to as "forever chemicals" because they do not break down easily in the environment or in the human body, leading to potential long-term health risks such as cancer, immune system disorders, and hormonal disruptions. As a result, there has been a growing movement to find safer, more environmentally friendly alternatives to AFFF.

Health Problems Linked to AFFF Exposure

AFFF Lawsuit Navy

Exposure to Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) has been linked to a range of health problems, primarily due to the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which are a group of man-made chemicals found in AFFF. These chemicals are persistent in the environment and in the human body and have been associated with several health issues:


The most significant concern is the potential link between PFAS exposure and various types of cancer. Studies have shown an increased risk of kidney cancer, testicular cancer, and other forms of cancer among individuals with high levels of exposure to PFAS.

Immune System Effects

PFAS exposure has been linked to immune system disorders, including reduced antibody responses to vaccines and increased rates of infections, particularly in children.

Reproductive and Developmental Issues

There is evidence suggesting that PFAS exposure can lead to reproductive problems. This includes pregnancy-induced hypertension/pre-eclampsia, changes in menstrual cycles, and complications in pregnancy. PFAS exposure is also concerning for developmental issues in infants and children, such as lower birth weight and delayed development.

Hormonal Disruptions

PFAS can interfere with the body's natural hormones, potentially leading to issues like thyroid disease. Disruption in thyroid function can greatly affect health, including metabolism, mood, and energy levels.

Liver and Kidney Damage

Some studies have indicated that PFAS exposure can lead to changes in liver enzymes and kidney function, potentially resulting in liver disease and kidney damage.

Cholesterol Levels

There have been associations between PFAS exposure and increased cholesterol levels, which is a risk factor for heart disease.

Other Health Concerns

Other potential health effects include increased risk of asthma, decreased fertility, and small decreases in infant birth weights.

It's important to note that understanding of the full range of health impacts associated with PFAS is still evolving. Many of these observational studies can show associations but not necessarily direct causation. However, the evidence has been compelling enough for health agencies and governments worldwide to take action in regulating PFAS substances, including those found in AFFF, and to encourage or mandate the development and use of safer alternatives.

Background on AFFF Use in the Navy

Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) has been a crucial tool in the United States Navy for combating shipboard and aviation fires, where rapid response and effective action are paramount for safety and survival. The use of AFFF in the Navy dates back several decades, becoming a standard firefighting agent due to its effectiveness in quickly suppressing fuel-based fires, which are a common and dangerous occurrence in maritime and aviation environments.

Deployment in High-Risk Scenarios

  • Shipboard Fires: AFFF has been widely used on naval vessels, including aircraft carriers, submarines, and destroyers. These environments are particularly susceptible to fuel and electrical fires, and AFFF's capacity to create a barrier between fuel and oxygen has been invaluable in preventing the spread of flames.
  • Aircraft Accidents: Naval air stations and aircraft carriers use AFFF in emergencies involving aircraft. The foam is applied in large volumes to engulf and suppress jet fuel fires, a common hazard in aviation accidents and emergencies.

Training Exercises

AFFF has also been regularly used in training exercises to prepare Navy personnel for emergency firefighting scenarios. These drills often involve the controlled use of AFFF, exposing personnel to the foam under simulated conditions.

Storage and Handling

The Navy has stored significant quantities of AFFF on ships and at naval facilities for immediate use in emergencies. Over the years, the handling and storage practices have led to direct exposure among Navy personnel and potential environmental contamination in surrounding areas.

Environmental and Health Concerns

Over time, concerns have grown about the environmental impact of AFFF, particularly its contribution to water and soil contamination near naval bases. The persistence of PFAS in the environment and its accumulation in the human body have raised significant health concerns for Navy personnel who have been regularly exposed to these chemicals.

Recent Changes and Ongoing Research

In response to growing evidence of the risks associated with PFAS, the Navy and other military branches have begun to explore alternatives to AFFF that are less harmful to health and the environment. This shift reflects an increasing awareness and response to the long-term implications of AFFF use.

The history of AFFF in the Navy is complex, balancing the need for effective firefighting measures against the emerging understanding of the health and environmental risks associated with PFAS. For Navy veterans who have been exposed to AFFF, the potential health impacts are a significant concern, forming the basis for legal claims and compensation efforts. At Class Action 101, we aim to address these concerns by providing thorough legal support to those affected, ensuring their rights and health are prioritized in seeking justice.

Assessing Damages in an AFFF Lawsuit Navy

Assessing damages in an AFFF lawsuit, especially in the context of Navy personnel exposure, involves a multifaceted approach. For fair compensation, it is crucial to accurately quantify the extent of harm suffered due to exposure to Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF). Here are the key factors and types of damages typically considered:

Medical Expenses

  • Past and Future Medical Costs: This includes all medical bills incurred due to illnesses linked to AFFF exposure, such as cancer treatments, hospital stays, medications, and ongoing care costs. Future medical expenses are also considered, especially if the exposure has led to chronic health conditions requiring long-term treatment.

Lost Wages and Earning Capacity

  • Immediate Income Loss: If the plaintiff had to take time off work for medical treatment or recovery, these lost wages are calculated as part of the damages.
  • Impact on Future Earnings: In cases where AFFF exposure has led to long-term or permanent disability, impacting the individual’s ability to work in the future, this loss in earning capacity is also factored into the damages.

Pain and Suffering

  • Physical Pain and Emotional Distress: Compensation for pain and suffering includes the physical pain and emotional trauma endured by the plaintiff as a result of their health issues related to AFFF exposure.
  • Quality of Life Reduction: This considers the impact on the plaintiff’s overall quality of life, including limitations on activities, lifestyle changes, and the psychological impact of living with a chronic illness.

Punitive Damages

In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded if the conduct of the AFFF manufacturers or other defendants is found to be particularly egregious or reckless. These are intended to punish the defendants and deter similar conduct in the future.

Wrongful Death Damages

In the tragic event that AFFF exposure leads to a fatality, the plaintiff's family may file a wrongful death claim. This can include funeral and burial costs, loss of the deceased’s expected income, loss of companionship, and the emotional distress of the family members.

Other Economic Losses

  • Additional Costs: This can include costs related to caregiving, travel expenses for medical treatments, home modifications for disability accommodations, and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Legal and Expert Costs

  • Litigation Expenses: The costs of the lawsuit, including attorney fees, expert witness fees, and other legal expenses, may also be factored into the settlement.

In an AFFF lawsuit, particularly for Navy personnel, it's important to comprehensively document all aspects of the damages suffered. This often involves detailed medical records, expert testimony (medical experts, occupational therapists, economists), and a thorough accounting of financial losses and personal suffering. Each case is unique, and the assessment of damages will depend on the individual circumstances of the plaintiff’s exposure and resultant health issues.

What is the Average AFFF Settlement Amount?

The settlement amount in AFFF (Aqueous Film-Forming Foam) lawsuits varies widely and depends on several unique factors. These include the severity of health issues linked to AFFF exposure, the extent of medical expenses, lost wages and earning capacity, pain and suffering, and the potential for punitive damages. Settlements can range from modest amounts to multi-million-dollar awards, with the specifics of each case, including the strength of legal representation and the defendants' resources, playing a crucial role in determining the final amount. It's essential to consult with a AFFF lawyer for a more accurate estimate based on the individual aspects of a case.

Is There an AFFF Class Action Lawsuit?

Yes, several class-action lawsuits and multidistrict litigation (MDL) cases have been filed against manufacturers and users of Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) due to health issues linked to PFAS exposure. These lawsuits aim to address common claims of negligence and failure to warn about the dangers of PFAS. Consulting a legal professional specializing in environmental or toxic tort law is recommended for the most current information on these legal actions.

Seek Justice Now: Join the AFFF Class Action Lawsuit

If you or a loved one has been affected by exposure to AFFF and are facing health issues, don't wait. Join our fight for justice and compensation. Our experienced legal team is dedicated to holding those responsible accountable. Contact us today for a free consultation and take the first step towards protecting your rights. Your story matters, and we're here to help you every step of the way.

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