Half a dozen workers at the Florida State Fire College as well as two of the worker’s spouses have chosen to file what is known as a class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit seeks specific damages for injuries at the site. The lawsuit accuses the manufacturers of specific chemicals known as firefighting suppressants have led to their various health issues. These chemicals were frequently used on the grounds of the college. The six employees and their spouses claim that the exposure caused many problems including cancers and other kinds of diseases.
The lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. The plaintiffs allege the companies that made the chemicals deliberately hid evidence the public was entitled to know. They allege that officials here repeatedly hid scientific findings indicating that chemicals found in the suppressants have been shown to be carcinogenic. They also allege that the chemicals the companies manufactured are also dangerous for the environment. Each former employees allege that manufacturers have known about the highly adverse effects of their products they sell for nearly five decades. The lawsuit alleges that, despite this knowledge, the companies deliberately chose to manufacture the products as well as sell them to the public.
Ten manufacturers are named in the lawsuit. This includes some of the most famous and companies in the United States such as The 3M Company as well as Tyco Fire Products, L.P. Company officials are accused of knowing about the dangers of the products and refusing to share this understanding with the public at large. They are also accused of failing to look for ways to design safer products for consumers. The products in question are what are known as aqueous film-forming foam. They contain both perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonate. These two chemicals form the foundation of the lawsuit and the basis of the allegations that these products can trigger harmful effects.
Officials at the EPA describe both chemicals as chemicals that are known to be toxic to humans and animals. They can be absorbed with ease in the body via the mouth and will continue to linger in the environment for many years. Over time, EPA officials have demonstrated they tend to continue accumulating in many body parts including the kidneys and liver. Firefighters use them when fighting fires that are caused by liquid fuels such as petroleum. Varied plaintiffs who are part of the suit include administrative employees as well as firefighters and those involved in classes designed to instruct others in the art and technique of fighting fires.
Those who are suing allege they absorbed the chemicals through varied means. In particular, they allege that they were exposed to the chemicals because it accumulated in the college’s faucets and other areas where workers used the water for drinking and other purposes. Workers from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have examined the wells at the college. Three wells were tested. Two were found to contain levels of the chemicals about four times higher than officials recommend present in any drinking water.
The plaintiffs are asking for a jury trial to hear their claims of bodily harm. They are seeking an award for damages they believe should total more than five million. In addition, they are also asking officials to establish a program designed to monitor the health of those who were exposed but have not developed symptoms yet. In their opinion, manufacturers should be held liable for varied actions that directly contributed to this issue. They believe that officials grossly failed to protect health and warn them of possible physical dangers.
Learn more about Hazardous Chemical Lawsuits.