The 3M earplug lawsuit continues to move forward. Most recently, on November 15, 2021, the seventh trial in the ongoing 3M earplug lawsuit resulted in a $13 million award in the plaintiff’s favor. This jury award has led to other people who incurred injuries to wonder if they can move forward in pursuing a claim.
What You Should Know About Compensation From the 3M Earplug Lawsuit
The 3M earplug’s Florida trial was initiated by a sergeant in the Army over allegations that the CAEv2 tactical earplugs produced by 3M’s Aero Technologies LLC were defective and led to service members incurring hearing loss. The compensation, in this case, marks the largest jury award to date against 3M.
Most of the 3M earplug lawsuit’s compensation was awarded as part of punitive damages, which refers to fines that a defendant is required to pay as punishment for what the court considers to be particularly outrageous behavior. The compensatory damage awarded to the plaintiffs was designed to cover economic as well as non-economic losses related to hearing loss. The compensatory damages in the case were $816,395, while the remaining $12.245 million was awarded by the jury in punitive damages. Following the court’s award, 3M announced that the company intended to appeal this decision. Following the trial’s conclusion, however, 3M has lost more lawsuits involving earplugs than the company has won.
Details About the 3M Earplug Multi-District Litigation
At the conclusion of 2021, 3M will be facing approximately half a million claims filed by plaintiffs who are either current or former service members and whose injuries are related to either hearing loss or tinnitus. The majority of these lawsuits pending against 3M have been consolidated into multi-district litigation, which makes this 3M case the largest multi-district litigation ever. Some of these cases have been resolved in the North District of Florida under the court of Judge Rodgers. Two of the most recent trials were heard by courts in the Northern District of Alabama and the North District of Florida.
3M’s Aero Technologies LLC stopped production of CAEV2 tactical earplugs in 2015. Plaintiffs in 3M earplug lawsuits claim that the dual-sided earplugs were defective and that 3M failed to protect the hearing of service members in the field between 2001 and 2015. 3M has not confirmed these allegations and has also not recalled the earplugs. Instead, the company simply stopped making the product. In 2018, 3M also paid the Department of Justice a $9.1 million settlement following claims that the company sold defective earplugs to the military and failed to warn of the defect. Following this settlement, however, 3M was not required to admit liability.
Defective Earplug Cases Against 3M Where Plaintiffs Have Won Compensation
Currently, plaintiffs have prevailed in four of the seven trials against 3M that have occurred as of November 2021. These four lawsuit includes:
- A federal court in Florida awarded $7.1 million to Army veterans Stephen Hacker, Luke Estes, and Lewis Keefer. The veterans stated that 3M and Aero LLC supplied them with earplugs made for combat and that the men have subsequently developed serious issues including hearing loss and tinnitus.
- A jury awarded $1.7 to service member Lloyd Baker who lost his hearing following the use of 3M’s earplugs. Despite using 3M’s CAEv2 earplugs, the veteran who was an M240 machine gun operator began to lose his hearing while he was still in training at Fort Lewis before being deployed to Iraq.
- A federal jury awarded veteran Brandon Adkins $8.2 million after finding that 3M’s combat earplugs caused him to experience hearing loss and tinnitus.
Defective Earplug Cases Against 3M Where 3M Has Prevailed
Unfortunately, not all defective earplug lawsuits initiated against 3M have led to awards for the plaintiffs. Instead, 3M has prevailed in some trials. The trials so far where 3M has prevailed include:
- A Florida federal court found that veteran Joseph Palanki who had served in the Army and National Guard failed to prove his hearing loss and tinnitus claim.
- A jury cleared 3M of fault in a lawsuit initiated by a US Army veteran who claimed that she suffered hearing damage after the use of 3M’s military-issued earplugs.
- A court found that 3M and Aero Technologies were not liable for veteran Dustin McComb’s hearing loss and tinnitus.
What You Can Do if You Have Been Harmed by 3M Earplugs
If you are an active-duty service member or veteran who served between 2001 to 2015, you might be wondering if you have a case against 3M. Current as well as former service members who have been diagnosed with hearing loss might be able to obtain compensation and should speak with an attorney as soon as possible to discover their available options. An experienced lawyer can investigate the details of your situation, including whether it can be established that 3M defects led to your hearing damage.
If you have not yet been diagnosed with hearing loss after wearing 3M earplugs, you might be uncertain about how to proceed. You can only pursue compensation for damages that occurred instead of what might have happened. This means that you will not be able to proceed with a case if you cannot establish damages. Simply because you have not received a formal diagnosis, however, does not mean that you have not incurred damages as a result of 3M earplugs.
Provided that you are interested in moving forward with a claim against 3M, one of the best things that you can do is to speak with an experienced attorney about whether you can initiate legal action as well as what the claims process might look like. Remember, lawyers handle 3M earplug lawsuits on a no-win, no-fee basis. This means that if our lawyers are not successful in obtaining compensation for you, you do not owe anything in legal fees.
Contact a Defective Product Attorney
If you or a loved one has been negatively impacted by a 3M earplug or another defective product, one of the best things that you can do is contact a compassionate defective product lawyer. Contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe LLP today to schedule a free case evaluation.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information and may not be applicable in your jurisdiction.