Firefighters Sue for Cancer-Causing PFAs in San Jose
It goes without saying that firefighters are some of the bravest members of our society. It takes tremendous courage to rush into a burning building to ensure the safety of innocents. These people put their lives on the line every single day and deserve our utmost respect. But who protects the firefighters? When these professionals start to develop cancer due to the materials and equipment they have been given, who stands up for them? Unfortunately, this is becoming a story that is all too common in the United States, and multiple firefighters in San Jose have been forced to file personal injury lawsuits as a result.
If you think you have developed cancer or any type of injury due to toxic materials at the workplace, it is vital to get in touch with a qualified personal injury attorney in San Jose as soon as possible. Our legal professionals can guide you toward a positive outcome. PFOAs have resulted in a number of lawsuits, and victims have recovered seven-figure settlements on more than one occasion. That being said, it can be difficult to fight against massive corporations that make these toxic products, so it is important to work with the most experienced personal injury attorney you can find.
Firefighters around the Nation are Standing Up
On February 17th, it was reported that dozens of new lawsuits had been filed by firefighters who allege that they have been intentionally exposed to toxic chemicals on the job. They claim that PFOAs are present in their equipment and fireproof apparel, and many state that they have developed cancer as a result. While certain chemicals can keep firefighters safe from the flames, they can also cause long-term damage.
PFAS are also known as polyfluoralkyl substances, and they were the subject of the 2019 film Dark Waters. This film highlights the fact that Teflon and PFAS were used on a wide variety of household goods by major corporations – despite these corporations being aware of the serious health risks. Unfortunately, PFAs are still in widespread use today despite heightened awareness and ongoing lawsuits.
Firefighters are suing the companies that manufactured their equipment, and they are refusing to name their own fire departments as defendants. They claim that the entire firefighting community was unaware that this toxic equipment was a health risk, and the fault lies entirely at the feet of the manufacturers. In addition, the manufacturers of a specific type of firefighting foam have also been named as defendants.
CBS News reported that several firefighters from San Jose have joined the lawsuit, including retired fire investigator Teresa Mauldin. During her life, Mauldin struggled with numerous cancers and was forced to get a double mastectomy. Not long after, a bladder cancer reappeared, forcing her to quit her job.
Another injured victim is retired San Jose Fire Captain Dan Stapp, who is still struggling with various forms of cancer after leaving his position. To date, he has undergone both radiation and hormone therapy for prostate cancer. Both of these individuals firmly believe that they would not have developed cancer if they had been issued uniforms that didn’t contain PFAS. Sadly, they assumed that the manufacturers of this equipment would value human life and safety as much as they did. They seem to have been wrong in this belief.
In total, 49 firefighters have taken legal action against two manufacturers: DuPont and 3M. DuPont is the same company that was the subject of the film Dark Waters, and it has been sued in the past for allowing people to become exposed to PFAS.
Many of these individuals have younger family members who are also firefighters. In their minds, this lawsuit is not just about them – it is about ensuring that future generations of firefighters can carry out their duties without risk of developing cancer. This is something that the entire community of San Jose obviously needs to prioritize. If people are dissuaded from becoming firefighters because of the cancer risk, we will all suffer.
What is Happening with the Lawsuit?
As you might expect, the manufacturers of this PFA-laced firefighting gear are denying all wrongdoing. They say that there is not enough scientific evidence to establish a clear link between cancer and the firefighting equipment, and they insist that their products are completely safe for human use – but firefighters are staunchly arguing otherwise. Some have received blood tests that show that the concentration of PFAS in their bloodstream is far above the normal levels. Many firefighters today also refuse to bring their firefighting gear into their homes because they are afraid it might affect the health of their family members.
Despite the manufacturers’ protests, the scientific community agrees that PFAs are extremely harmful. They are also known as “forever chemicals” because once humans ingest them, they will never leave. Our bodies are simply incapable of breaking them down. It is estimated that every single person in the United States has at least some of these “forever chemicals” inside them.
The truth is that these chemicals are extremely effective at aiding in fighting fires – but what is the human cost? You would think that with all of the incredible technology we have access to today that there must be a better solution out there. Unfortunately, manufacturers tend to opt for the cheapest, most convenient option possible when creating new products.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching the San Jose area for an experienced personal injury attorney, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. Over the years, we have helped injured victims of all types, and we are passionate about fighting for the rights of those who have suffered legitimate damages due to negligence. PFOAs continue to affect our communities, and the use of these toxic chemicals needs to stop. If we cannot ensure the safety of our own firefighters, then our entire community could be at risk. That being said, anyone who has suffered damages due to PFOA exposure deserves to take legal action against those responsible. Reach out today and book your consultation, – take your first steps toward justice.