Litigation for the defective earplugs that 3M sold to the U.S. Military between 2003-2015 began on March 29 in Pensacola, Florida. The 3M litigation has become the largest lawsuit of its kind with nearly 230,000 claims against the company pending in federal court.
The lawsuits against 3M stem from hundreds of thousands of Veterans suffering from hearing problems after being issued the company’s combat arms dual-ended earplugs (CAEv2) in foreign conflicts. The defective earplugs were improperly designed and failed to block out the sounds of war when inserted into the ear. As a result, service members given the CAEv2 now live with hearing loss and tinnitus in one or both ears.
A verdict could potentially cost 3M hundreds of millions of dollars.
In the first bellwether trial, Judge M. Casey Rodgers of the U.S. District Court for Northern Florida will hear three consolidated 3M earplug claims. The trial is expected to last five weeks through the end of April. There are two more bellwether trials set for May and June.
Who are the plaintiffs in the first trial?
The plaintiffs in the current trial are Army Veterans who allege they’ve suffered significant hearing loss and tinnitus due to the use of the defective Combat Arms CAEv2 earplugs.
Their lawsuits are tied together in multi-district litigation (MDL). This process eases the court system by combining complex product liability lawsuits. However, plaintiffs are awarded based on the severity of their injuries.
Can I still join the 3M earplug lawsuit?
Veterans, both Retired and Active Duty, can join the 3M earplug lawsuit if they served in the following wars:
- War of Afghanistan
- Iraq War
- War in North-West Pakistan
- War in Somalia
- American-led intervention in Libya
- Operation Ocean Shield in the Indian Ocean
- American- led interventions in Iraq (2014-2017)
- American-led intervention in Syria (2014-present)
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