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3M Hit with $7.1M Verdict in Earplug MDL Bellwether Trial

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2021 | 3M Earplug Lawsuits

3M was hit with a $7.1 million verdict by a Florida federal jury in the first bellwether trial of a multidistrict litigation consolidated trial involving 3M’s earplugs and their widespread impact on U.S. military personnel.

The Verdict

On April 30, three Army veterans were awarded $2.1 million each in punitive damages. The jury awarded another $160,000 to one of the plaintiffs for pain and suffering, and another $305,500 and $320,000 to the other two plaintiffs, respectively, for medical costs, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

3M’s Dual-Ended Combat Arms™ Earplugs


3M’s Dual-Ended Combat Arms™ (CAEv2) earplugs

The veterans claimed that 3M’s Dual-Ended Combat Arms™ (CAEv2) earplugs did not work as claimed by 3M, ultimately causing irreparable hearing loss

The dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs were designed with one side to block out all noise and the other to let through voice commands while blocking out harmfully loud sounds such as those emanating from explosives. Now discontinued, these earplugs were once standard-issue for soldiers deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq between 2003 and 2015.

The companies allegedly knew about performance issues with the design as early as 2000. 3M released the product despite the earplugs failing to pass safety tests.

Future 3M Earplug Lawsuits

This verdict came after a 5-week trial and repeated attempts by 3M to call for a mistrial. 3M continues to stand by the safety of its earplugs and believes it is the U.S. Military that should be held liable. However, the U.S. District Judge countered that the military cannot be responsible for the design or safety warnings of the product.

More than 240,000 service personnel have brought claims against 3M and the device’s predecessor, Aearo Technologies. Typical victims in these cases are veterans between the ages of 30 and 49 who served in the Army, as well as other service branches, and allege a combination of tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears) and hearing loss.

Discuss Your Options with The Law Offices of Peter Angelos, P.C.

If you or someone you love is a veteran with hearing loss, they deserve to be compensated. The Law Offices of Peter Angelos, P.C. has extensive trial experience and a reputation for success demonstrated by exceptional results over the past 50 years. Contact us today for a no-charge consultation and evaluation of your case.