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Plaintiffs Win Verdicts Against 3M for Defective Earplug Injuries

Posted on in 3M Earplugs

chicago 3m earplug lawsuit lawyerCurrently, the product manufacturer 3M is fighting a large number of lawsuits from plaintiffs who have suffered hearing loss and related injuries after using earplugs the company provided to the U.S. military. Plaintiffs have alleged that the 3M earplugs in question, known as Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 or CAEv2, did not provide sufficient protection against loud sounds that could damage the ears, especially since 3M did not provide the military with proper instructions to ensure that earplugs would be used correctly by their users. Some recent verdicts have indicated that mass tort litigation against 3M may be likely to succeed, and those who have been injured by these products may be able to receive large amounts of compensation.

Recent Multi-Million-Dollar 3M Earplugs Verdicts

Juries have decided in favor of plaintiffs in two recent trials that concluded in March of 2022. The first verdict involved a man who served in the Army National Guard for a relatively short period of time, including combat duty in Afghanistan. Even though his use of 3M earplugs was limited, he suffered hearing loss and tinnitus. The jury in his case awarded him $8 million.

The other case involved an Army veteran who served in the Army for a total of 21 years. During this time, he used 3M earplugs between 2006 and 2017. Even though these earplugs were primarily used during training, his continued exposure to loud noises throughout his years of service and the lack of protection provided by the earplugs led him to suffer permanent hearing loss, as well as severe tinnitus. The jury in his case awarded him $50 million, which is the second-highest verdict in a 3M earplugs trial to date.

Defenses Raised by 3M in Defective Earplugs Trials

So far, 13 bellwether trials have been held to serve as indicators of the issues that will be covered and the accusations and defenses that may be raised in mass tort cases involving thousands of people who have been injured by a defendant. In these trials, juries have ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in eight cases, while they ruled in favor of 3M in the remaining five cases. 3M has stated that it plans to appeal verdicts in several of these trials.

One of 3M’s primary arguments in these cases has been what is known as the “government contractor defense.” The laws in the United States provide federal government agencies with immunity in most product liability cases, and contractors who supply products to the government may also be able to share this immunity. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that this immunity may only apply in certain situations. It detailed the criteria that a manufacturer will need to meet, including showing that reasonably precise specifications were provided to a manufacturer by a government agency, the equipment provided by a manufacturer met these specifications, and the manufacturer provided warnings about dangers or risks related to products due to issues that were known only to the manufacturer. While 3M has attempted to use this argument, courts have rejected the company’s claims, stating that the criteria for using this defense have not been met.

Contact Our Chicago 3M Earplugs Injury Lawyers

Over 280,000 people have filed lawsuits against 3M because they suffered hearing loss after using earplugs the company supplied to the military. With so many cases being pursued, navigating the legal system can be very complex, so it is important for anyone who has suffered harm because of these issues to work with a lawyer who is experienced in cases involving mass torts. To get legal help and make sure you will be able to take the proper legal action and seek compensation for your injuries, contact our Illinois defective earplugs attorneys today at 866-553-9812 and schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.foxbusiness.com/technology/3m-50-million-army-veteran-earplugs-lawsuit

https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigation/jury-says-3m-owes-50-mln-us-army-veteran-latest-earplug-trial-2022-03-25/

https://www.hanover.com/resources/risk-management-businesses/hanover-risk-solutions/government-contractor-defense

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