Massachusetts court ruling advances IAFF lawsuit over toxic firefighter gear

March 12, 2024

Massachusetts Superior Court denies partial dismissal of IAFF’s toxic chemical lawsuit

The Massachusetts Superior Court has recently made a decision regarding a lawsuit involving the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF).

On March 5, 2024, the court ruled against the NFPA’s motion to dismiss the IAFF’s lawsuit, allowing the case to proceed.

This ruling marks a significant moment in the legal battle over firefighter protective gear standards.

Background of the lawsuit and its implications

The lawsuit was filed by the IAFF nearly a year ago, challenging the NFPA’s Standard 1971, which governs the production and use of firefighter protective gear.

The union’s legal action seeks to amend the standard, which they claim has led to the incorporation of carcinogenic PFAS chemicals, often referred to as ‘forever chemicals’, into firefighter bunker gear.

Justice Kenneth Salinger of the Massachusetts Superior Court has allowed two of the three counts of the civil complaint to move forward, opening the door for formal discovery.

Statements from the IAFF on the court’s decision

General President Edward Kelly of the IAFF expressed gratitude towards their legal team for the favorable court ruling: “On behalf of our Executive Board and our entire membership, I want to thank our attorneys from the PFAS Law Firms for their dedicated work.

This is a great ruling for our membership and our continuing efforts to force the removal of cancer-causing carcinogens from our gear.”

He added, “Our claims of civil negligence and unfair and deceptive business practices against the NFPA will now move forward.

“This lawsuit is a monumental undertaking, but we remain steadfast in the fight.”

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