3m defective earplugs

3M Earplug Litigation Update: Recent Bellwether Trials Award Significant damages in Favor of Injured Service Members

Updated April 22, 2022.

Lacy Katzen LLP is no longer accepting new referrals in the 3M Combat Ear Plugs Litigation

The 3M Bellwether trials continue to move forward with about 20 cases now having seen the inside of a courtroom nationwide. The 3M multidistrict lawsuits (MDL) allege that our military service members were falsely advised the Combat Arms earplugs issued by the military for many years would protect their ears from dangerous impulse noises. Further, that the company was aware of the problems with the earplugs and hid the information putting users at risk. As a result, over 275,000 lawsuits have been filed by retired and active-duty soldiers who suffered significant hearing loss and tinnitus.

Similar claims concerning use of products are often combined by the courts into MDL for purposes of organization and judicial economy. Bellwether trials are test trials that act as a predictor for future cases. If most juries decide in favor of the claimants, it is a good indication that future juries will do the same. By the same token, if most juries decide in favor of the manufacturer, it signals the claims may be weak. These trends help the parties decide if they wish to try to settle the claims out of court and has an impact upon the value at which the claims might settle.

The first trials were a mixed bag with some going in favor of the plaintiff and some to the Defendant 3M (roughly 2 to 1 in favor of the Plaintiffs). This was a disappointing start for Plaintiffs. However, recent cases seem to indicate a stronger tendency toward verdicts in favor of injured soldiers. In November of 2021, there was a $13 million dollar plaintiff’s verdict. In December of 2021 there was a $22.5 million verdict. Favorable verdicts continued in January with a stunning $110 million verdict in a case involving two plaintiffs. In late March, a jury awarded $50 million to a single Plaintiff, followed by an $8 million dollar verdict in another case.

Other cases are currently underway.
Of course, whenever there is a big verdict, 3M has the opportunity to appeal. They have already filed some appeals. We will have to see how things turn out. What is clear is that juries seem to be outraged by the conduct of 3M at the expense of the sons and daughters who have served our country with bravery and honor.

In 1950 Lacy Katzen LLP was founded by two World War II veterans; Herb Lacy and Leon Katzen. Built upon a foundation of hard work, service and love of country, Lacy Katzen LLP stands behind the men and women of America’s military. It saddens us to hear allegations that our military personnel have been harmed by defective combat earplugs by a manufacturer who knew of the problems but turned a blind eye to the issue.

If you or a loved one served our country in the military from 2003-2015 and have documented hearing loss or tinnitus, it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible because time limitations apply. Please contact attorney Jacqueline Thomas for assistance.

**If you would like to read previously published articles regarding 3M earplug litigation, please click on the links below.

December 15, 2021: 3M Earplug Litigation Update: Verdict Awarded to Former US Service Member

June 9, 2021: 3M Earplug Litigation Update: Federal Jury Clears 3M in Second Bellwether Trial

May 6, 2021: 3M Earplug Update: $7.1 Million Awarded to Former US Service Members in First Bellwether Trial

April 20, 2021: 3M Earplug Litigation Passes New Milestone of First Bellwether Trial

February 24, 2020: 3M Earplug Litigation Update


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