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Hakim Injury Law: Camp Lejeune claims

California PFOA Water Contamination Attorneys: Protecting Your Rights

October 24, 2022

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) are part of a large group of synthetic chemicals known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Some of these chemicals have been commercially used since the 1940s. For almost as long, the manufacturers of these substances have known that they pose a significant danger to human health. But, they kept selling products laced with PFOA and PFOS anyway.

Since PFAS substances are very stable and don’t bond with other chemicals, these products included non-stick food coating, Stainmaster carpet, and animal taxidermy chemicals. More importantly for thousands, and perhaps millions, of people who lived near airports and Air Force bases, firefighting foam also contained high amounts of PFOA.

The stability of PFAS is good for these products, but very bad for human and animal health. Once these chemicals enter the water, and therefore enter the body, they usually remain there. These “forever chemicals” have been linked to a number of serious illnesses, some of which are outlined below. Additionally, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, there is no safe PFOA/PFAS exposure level. 

DuPont, and the other companies that manufactured and sold PFAS-laced products, only cared about their profits. In contrast, the dedicated PFOA water contamination lawyers at the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim only care about water poisoning victims. If you, or anyone in your family, drank water from a well near a military base or airport, that water was probably contaminated. Cancer and other such illnesses often have latency periods that exceed thirty years. In other words, many PFOA water contamination victims are sick for decades, yet they don’t even know it.

PFOA Illnesses

As mentioned, almost as long as companies have sold PFOA-laced products, they’ve known these substances were very harmful. In 1951, only four years after DuPont began using PFOA in Teflon, it advised commercial users to treat it as a hazardous substance. 

In the 1960s, DuPont tests revealed that PFAS enlarged the livers of laboratory animals. A decade later, further tests revealed that factory workers had high PFOA levels in their blood streams. DuPont told no one about these findings.

Today, many victims are paying the price for these cover-ups, in the form of serious, chronic illnesses like:

  • Reproductive health issues, like miscarriage, low birth weight, and birth defects,
  • Testicular, pancreatic, kidney, liver, and other forms of cancer,
  • Cardiovascular disease, like high blood pressure and stroke,
  • Kidney disease,
  • Liver disease,
  • Colitis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, type one diabetes, and other autoimmune diseases,
  • Type two diabetes,
  • Respiratory disease,
  • Neurological disease, especially in children, and
  • Osteoarthritis.

The diseases sap the quality of life from victims, or might even end their lives prematurely. Therefore, our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys are able to obtain substantial compensation in court. The available options depend on the circumstances of the PFAS exposure.

All these legal options have some things in common. Maximum compensation is one item. Perhaps more importantly, these claims put careless companies in the spotlight, so everyone knows what they did.

Government Benefit Claims

If you worked at an airport that used PFOA or a factory that manufactured it, workers’ compensation benefits might be available. If you served at a military base that used PFOA, Veterans Administration disability benefits are often available.

Generally, workers’ compensation benefits are no-fault benefits that replace lost past and future wages. These benefits also pay current and future medical bills. In most states, victims are able to choose their own doctors.

A work-related connection is often straightforward. Determining the amount of damages in these cases is usually much more difficult.

Los Angeles personal injury attorneys often partner with accountants and other outside professionals to determine items like a reasonable amount of lost future wages due to PFOA water contamination. A similar partnership with an independent doctor usually provides evidence of future medical expenses.

Likewise, VA disability benefits usually include monthly cash and free medical care. A Claims Examiner usually determines the degree of disability, based largely on a C&P (compensation & pension) medical examination.

The VA has ruled that only military firefighters are presumptively eligible for benefits. These veterans often inhaled PFOA-laced dust or mist spray. Other veterans may be eligible for benefits as well, but the claims are more complex.

Both VA disability and workers’ compensation matters have high initial denial rates. Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys focus on appeals which ensure that victims get the compensation they need and deserve.

Civil Damage Claims

People who lived and/or worked near facilities that used PFOA can usually file civil damage claims against the PFAS manufacturer. Generally, manufacturers are strictly liable for the injuries their defective products cause.

Causation, or a connection between PFOA use and illness, is usually the critical issue in these matters. A Los Angeles personal injury attorney often uses illness clusters to establish cause. At the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim, we used advanced technology to make this connection and also make this connection clear to jurors.

Damages in a civil injury claim usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages may be available as well, if there is clear and convincing evidence that the company or other defendant intentionally disregarded a known risk.

Consult Our Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers Today!

PFOA water contamination causes serious and long-term injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney for Camp Lejeune water contamination claims, contact the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim & Sharona Hakim, Attorneys. We routinely handle these matters on a nationwide basis.

Credit: Photo on Freepik

Sharona Hakim

Sharona Eslamboly Hakim, Esq. is a successful personal injury attorney and the principal of the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim firm in Beverly Hills, California.

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