Articles Posted in 3M Earplug

Our law firm handles 3M earplug lawsuits throughout the country. This page provides the latest news and updates on the 3M class action lawsuit for victims.

There is some interesting perspective in the comments below from soldiers plaintiffs in the 3M earplug lawsuits.  Our lawyers also provide some excellent graphs and charts of how these lawsuits are going that we have updated in March 2023 to reflect the latest 3M verdict, failed effort by 3M to hide behind a bankruptcy court, and new settlement talks in 2023.

We summarize where we today in this litigation overview of the 3M litigation.  You can also find our latest thoughts on when the 3M earplug lawsuit will settle in light of recent developments.

The 12th bellwether test trial in the continuing 3M earplugs litigation gets underway today in the case of Wilkerson v. 3M Co. (7:20-cv-00035).

The results in the first 11 test trials, which featured the claims of 14 individual plaintiffs, have been decidedly mixed, but the most recent trial grabbed national attention when a pair of plaintiffs were awarded $110 million.

The trial in the Wilkerson case that begins today marks the first case in “Trial Group D,” which will include 4 additional trials through the end of May. Trial Group D will end the opening phase of the earplug bellwether trials, after which things will get a lot more intense and complicated.

The very first bellwether trial in the 3M earplugs litigation featured the claims of 3 plaintiffs (Luke Estes, Stephen Hacker, and Lewis Keefer) and ended in a jury verdict awarding the 3 veterans a total of $7.1 million in damages for their alleged hearing loss. Ten more bellwether trials followed, with the most recent ending in a $110 million verdict for 2 plaintiffs.

Immediately following the first bellwether trial, 3M’s defense team vowed that they would fight the verdict on appeal. Last week, 3M’s attorneys filed their appellate brief laying out their argument for why the U.S Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit should overturn the verdict and accept a legal defense that would effectively halt the earplug litigation entirely.

3M’s Legal Arguments in a Nutshell

3M is defending over 280,000 cases alleging that its Combat Arms Earplugs caused military veterans to suffer hearing loss. The 3M earplug litigation is the largest mass tort ever, but until now it has drawn very little attention from investors and financial analysts. That might be about to change. Over the last few days, market analysts from JP Morgan and Morningstar have started to raise some concerns and cautioned that 3M’s earplug liability could potentially be massive.

Background of the 3M Earplug Litigation

For over a decade, 3M’s Combat Arms Earplugs were standard issue equipment for all U.S. Military service members.  The earplugs were supposed to protect soldiers from hearing loss from loud noises, but in 2018 3M settled a false claims lawsuit with the U.S. Government alleging that 3M knew that design defects in the earplugs made them ineffective.

The 11th bellwether trial in the 3M earplugs litigation ended yesterday with a sobering result for 3M. The jury in Sarasota awarded a total of $110 million to a pair of plaintiffs, Roger Sloan and William Wayman, which included $80 in punitive damages. This is by far the biggest verdict in the ongoing bellwether test trials involving 3M’s allegedly defective earplugs and the size of the punitive damage award should be a blast of reality for 3M. In this post, we will take a closer look at this blockbuster verdict and what it could mean for the future of the 3M earplug lawsuits.

Past Results in 3M Earplug Bellwether Trials

The trial that concluded yesterday was the 11th bellwether test trial in the 3M earplugs litigation (there have been 14 individual plaintiffs). 6 out of the bellwether trials have resulted in verdicts with sizeable damage awards to 9 individual plaintiffs. The 9 successful bellwether plaintiffs have been awarded a total of just under $162 million in damages.

The 8th bellwether trial in the massive 3M earplugs litigation concluded last week with a $22.5 million verdict for the plaintiff. This is the biggest verdict so far in the 3M earplug bellwether trials and it marks the second jury in a row that has hit 3M with significant punitive damages. In this post, we will take a closer look at this most recent verdict and what it could mean for the future of the 3M earplug lawsuits.

3m earplug trial verdicts

Facts in Finley Case

Finley exclusively wore the CAEv2 during boot camp, training (2006-2007), and during deployment in Afghanistan (2008-2009).

This post has the latest news in the 3M earplug lawsuits.

November 30, 2021 Update: The latest 3M earplug trial (Finley) started yesterday.  (Get the full story on Finley.)

November 23, 2021 Update: Last month, 3M filed a motion seeking to compel one of the bellwether plaintiffs (Steven Wilkerson) to submit to genetic testing. At his deposition, Wilkerson testified that he had 2 cousins who were born deaf. 3M wanted to test Wilkerson to see if his hearing loss could be caused by genetics rather than defective earplugs. Magistrate Judge Gary Jones denied the most last week. Judge Jones said that hearing loss in Wilkerson’s parents or siblings might justify testing, but deafness in “distant relatives” did not. Wilkerson was substituted in as a bellwether plaintiff following the dismissal of Chad McNeal. Wilkerson’s case is scheduled for trial in March 2022.

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