The Town of West Tisbury and Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts have chosen The Ferraro Law Firm to represent them in multidistrict litigation suits concerning the widespread use of PFAS-containing firefighting foam which has led to contamination of soil and groundwater in many areas, leading to public health concerns.

PFAS are a group of chemicals that have been used in various products for many years, including firefighting foam (AFFF), which can resist water, oil, and heat. However, studies have shown that PFAS can leach into groundwater, contaminate soil, and persist in the environment for a long time. These substances are also bio accumulative, meaning that they accumulate in the bodies of animals and humans over time, posing significant risks to human health.

One of the most significant risks associated with PFAS is their potential to cause cancer. Studies have found that exposure to PFAS increases the risk of testicular, kidney, and thyroid cancers, ulcerative colitis, pre-eclampsia, among others. Additionally, PFAS exposure has been linked to reproductive and developmental disorders, immune system dysfunction, and liver damage.

AFFF containing PFAS has been widely used for many years, particularly in fighting fires involving flammable liquids such as gasoline or jet fuel. Although PFAS-containing AFFF is effective in extinguishing these fires, it poses significant risks to human health and the environment. The widespread use of PFAS-containing firefighting foam has led to contamination of soil and groundwater in many areas, leading to public health concerns.

West Tisbury’s involvement in the lawsuit was decided when a state report was released in January 2023 that named the West Tisbury fire department as the source of “imminently hazardous” levels of PFAS in local, private water wells. Firefighting foam was listed as the main cause.

When asked about the case by The MV Times, a news source local to West Tisbury, Attorney James Ferraro, Jr. stated, “The town bears zero responsibility for this issue. The blame lies squarely with the manufacturers and distributors of PFAS-containing AFFF.”

The Ferraro Law Firm is no stranger to environmental toxic torts such as AFFF.  The firm’s team of dedicated and skilled attorneys have devoted their careers to fighting for justice on behalf of individuals and families who have suffered harm due to exposure to harmful chemicals and environmental hazards. Many members of the firm have witnessed first-hand the devastating impact that toxic exposure can have on a person’s health, finances, and overall well-being, and the firm has dedicated its practice to holding responsible parties accountable for their negligent actions.

In terms of the South Carolina MDL lawsuit, a bellwether trial involving Stuart, Florida, is set to take place in June. 

“Depending on the outcome of that case, settlement discussions could come to fruition in late 2023 or 2024. We are going to seek a recovery that compensates West Tisbury for past and future costs related to the remediation of the affected wells… plus all other costs associated with their PFAS contamination response efforts,” Ferraro reported to The MV Times. 

To learn more about Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), please visit The Ferraro Law Firm’s resource page here