Last Thursday, a federal jury awarded two US soldiers $55 million each. This was for the pain and suffering caused by defective earplugs manufactured by 3M Corporation.
This is the largest award yet to result from hundreds of thousands of lawsuits over 3M’s military earplugs.
2 US Soldiers Awarded $55 Million Each
The Pensacola, Florida federal jury sided with the two US soldiers, US Army veterans Ronald Sloan and William Wayman.
They claimed that the combat earplugs supplied by the 3M Corporation did not work as designed. As a result, they suffered hearing damage from their missions while using the earplugs.
The federal jury agreed that 3M’s Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 featured a defective design that eventually caused hearing loss for the plaintiffs.
The $110 million represents the highest figures that came from the 3M lawsuits. Outside of Sloan and Wayman, there are hundreds of thousands of lawsuits filed against the company.
2 US Soldiers Among 300,000 Who Sued 3M
Sloan and Wayman are among the 300,000 US service members who filed a lawsuit against 3M for the defective earplugs.
They claimed they suffered hearing damage as a result of using the equipment in actual field patrols. As such, the 3M lawsuits are now the largest federal mass tort litigation in US history.
Sloan and Wayman each received $15 million for compensatory damages. They also got $40 million each in punitive damages. Previously, the largest award given to a successful lawsuit against 3M totaled $22.5 million.
Meanwhile, Lawyers Bryan Aylstock, Shelley Hutson, and Christopher Seeger celebrated the win. They issued a joint statement that juries continue to agree on 3M’s liability. “They are responsible for causing irreparable hearing damage to those who served our country,” they said.
However, 3M also issued a statement where they expressed disappointment in the verdict. They also vowed to file an appeal against the ruling.
The company said that it won the last two trials involving the earplugs. It also said that its conduct remained consistent in its commitment to keeping the US military safe.
Meanwhile, 3M’s subsidiary, Aearo Technologies, developed the earplugs. 3M acquired the company back in 2008 to help develop military equipment.
Plaintiffs allege that the company hid design flaws and doctored test results. In addition, it also failed to provide instructions on how to properly use the product.
Specifically, this is the 11th trial involving 3M that reached a verdict. In six trials, plaintiffs have won more than $160 million in total awards. The courts also sided with 3M in five of the lawsuits. Another five are scheduled later this year.
Watch the Select Justice LLC video outlining 3M Earplugs Compensation:
What do you think of the defective earplugs provided by 3M to the US Armed Forces? Do they deserve the lawsuits they’re facing right now?
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