More firefighters expected to join P-FAS lawsuit
The class-action lawsuit filed last week seeks to capture all firefighters who may be suffering from exposure to toxic chemical foams.
KUAM sat down with the attorney representing the plaintiffs on the case.
There are 23 named plaintiffs, a majority of who are airport firefighters have filed a class-action lawsuit against a variety of major corporations in the united stated that were manufacturing the toxic chemical foam, P-FAS.
This is a medical monitoring lawsuit that covers everybody that may have been exposed to the toxins explains the attorney on the case Michael Berman.
"In case the court does approve the medical monitoring class they can sign up for the class and on basis they will be able to be medically monitored going forward and they will have more peace of mind about their situation," he said.
Berman says the product has been used as early as the 1940s.
"I think the people should understand a gasoline fire, a kerosene fire or a diesel oil fire cannot be put out by water, so there was a drive in the community, the science community the chemical community to come up with compounds or a type of treatment that would put these fires out rapidly in order to save more lives," he said.
For this reason, the chemicals became widespread and deeply entrenched in the firefighting communities across the United States,
"It really started on the military bases first, and the military bases were on the cutting edge of using these chemicals and they began recommending it to civilian firefighters and that's how it all spread out," Berman said,
This puts Guam in a uniquely dangerous position, as the island is home to large military bases, and there are concerns of how many people have been exposed to the foam product and the risk factors they now suffer from. Berman says several of his clients have thyroid problems, and that is a prevalent issue connected to the foam.
"I have approximately 30 people who have come to me to give me their medical reports and there is a sizeable portion of those suffering right now from ailments directly connected to this," he said.
Twenty-three clients now, but Berman says it could easily reach in the hundreds.
"The next step is all of these cases all across the united states have been consolidated to a multidistrict court litigation there is one federal court in South Carolina designated as the mdl," he said.
Those that were injured in direct connection to toxins and determined from the medical monitoring would then result in more cases to follow.