First foam firefighting lawsuit settles for 17.5 Million paving the way for Louisiana Firefighters.
Louisiana – June 7, 2021
Earlier this year, Tyco Fire Products, a major manufacturer of “firefighting foam,” also known as aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) and the town of Peshtigo Wisconsin agreed on a 17.5 million dollar payout to address the dangers associated with AFFF and the cancer-causing chemicals that accumulate in humans and cause extreme long lasting environmental pollution. Tyco operated a Fire Training Center in Marinette, Wisconsin and the facility spilled wastewater containing polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from firefighting foam that contaminated groundwater for the nearby town of Peshtigo, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). In a landmark class action settlement, the town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin has agreed to a $17.5 million payout with Tyco Fire Products due to well-water contamination from PFAS in firefighting foam. The settlement is the first in the country to deal with property damage, injuries, and medical expenses from toxic firefighting foam.
Dangerous working conditions.
Louisiana families depend on the industrial jobs provided by chemical and oil companies, and these plants and refineries are known to be extremely volatile working environments, with an increased frequency of fires that need to be controlled by Louisiana firefighters, who bear increased exposures to AFFF. Louisiana residents may also be negatively affected by AFFF run off that settles in the ground, causing dangers to the water supply, as well as increased air pollutants. Attorneys at the Law Offices of Stag Liuzza can offer consultation to individuals who are concerned that their health problems may be caused by exposure to AFFF and apprise them as more successful class action suits end with necessary damage awards.
Worker’s compensation laws.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission has a specific process to be undertaken when a person becomes injured on the job, contracts an illness that is job-related, or dies on the job, necessitating a workers’ compensation claim for monetary damages. Environmental attorneys at Stag Liuzza understand legal remedies for large scale work accidents and catastrophic losses, such as toxic exposures that result in death, or leave workers with permanent disability and deplete, or endanger the ecosystem. If a death is related to job-related AFFF exposure, the Louisiana Workforce Commission may be responsible for death benefits and burial expenses.
Death Benefits. When an employee dies from a work accident within two years after the last treatment for the injury, Louisiana pays death benefits to the deceased worker’s surviving legal dependents. Generally, these benefits are paid in weekly payments amounting to a percentage of the deceased employee’s pre-injury wages. If the employee did not leave any legal dependents, the surviving biological and adopted children will together receive one lump-sum payment of $75,000.
Burial expenses. Louisiana also pays up to $8,500 in reasonable expenses to bury the deceased employee.
Oil rig dangers.
Working with oil and natural gas is inherently dangerous due to the combustible and volatile nature of these compounds requiring safety personnel to use AFFF. Fires and explosions happen and poisonous gases are often released, coupled with the dangers of the use of AFFF by firefighters, can prove to be dangerous and deadly to the health of field workers in that occupation. There are regulations that support safe cleanup to reduce the risk of long-term effects in the field. If an individual feels that pre and post-cleanup activities surrounding oil fields resulted in prolonged exposures to AFFF, it may be prudent to discuss the case particulars with experienced attorneys who understand toxic chemical management and waste laws, relevant to subsequent dangers of AFFF exposure.
STAG LIUZZA, LLC
One Canal Place
365 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
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