3M Military Earplug Lawsuits Finding Success With $110M Verdict
Over 300,000 American Military service members and others have sued 3M – claiming that they suffered sever hearing loss as a result of using faulty earplugs manufactured by the company. The litigation has quickly become one of – if not the largest – Federal mass tort litigation in U.S. History. All totaled, Plaintiffs in six trials have won more that a combined $160 million dollars.
In particular, these cases deal with the “CAEV2 Tactical Earplug” produced by Aearo Technologies LLC. Aearo Technologies LLC was subsequently bought by 3M. In general, the lawsuits allege that the earplugs were defective and lead to hearing loss and Tinnitus. Similar to “ringing in the ears,” Tinnitus typically manifests symptoms including hearing phantom noises, headaches and difficulty concentrating.
Federal Jury Awarded Two Combat Veterans $110 Million Dollars for Ear Damage Caused by 3M Earplugs
On January 22nd, 2022, a Federal Jury awarded two combat veterans – Ronald Sloan and William Wayman – $15 million dollars each in compensatory damages and $40 million dollars each in punitive damages. This represents the largest verdict yet for 3M Earplug lawsuits – and serve as a likely bellwether for cases to come.
This case comes on the heels of a $13 million dollar jury verdict in favor of an army sergeant in Florida. In November of 2021, a Florida jury heard the case of Army Sgt. Guillermo Camarillorazo. This case was largely viewed as a sign of things to come, and the biggest headline gleaned from the case was how strongly the jury believed that punitive damages were appropriate. While the compensatory award was fairly modest, the jury ordered over $12 million dollars in punitive damages to the Plaintiff.
3M has settled with the Federal Government for $9.1 Million Dollars
3M has not explicitly taken responsibly for the earplug defect, nor has it publicly acknowledged that it, or its predecessor has done anything wrong. However, in 2018, 3M entered into a settlement with the Federal Government totaling $9.1 million dollars related to the use of the “CAEV2 Tactical Earplug.” As part of that settlement, 3M was not required to admit responsibility or liability.
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Dennis P. Sawan
Licensed in Ohio and Georgia
Christopher A. Sawan
Licensed in Ohio and Michigan