Hearing loss due to unqualified earplugs!Two veterans were awarded $110 million

2022-06-05 0 By

Two Army veterans have been awarded $110 million in the latest in a series of lawsuits accusing 3M of selling faulty military earplugs that caused hearing damage to soldiers, Military Times reported.A federal jury in Pensacola, Fla., awarded William Weyman and Ronald Sloan $15 million each in compensatory damages and $40 million in punitive damages Thursday.It is worth noting that the ruling is the largest single expenditure since a series of trials began last year.”The jury found defects in the military earplugs sold by 3M, a diversified American multinational, that caused irreparable hearing damage to our nation’s men and women in uniform,” Weiman and Sloan’s legal team said in a joint emailed statement.”The fact that the jury rejected 3M’s defense and awarded millions of dollars in damages to each plaintiff underscores the seriousness of the injuries caused by 3M’s earplugs and 3M’s deplorable oversight.”Sloan, who served 21 years in the army, and Weyman, who served 20 years, both said they wore military earplugs made by 3M in Iraq and Afghanistan and were later diagnosed with tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss.His lawyer said Weyman’s hearing problems also exacerbated his post-traumatic stress disorder and caused problems with memory, concentration and sleep.In its own press release, 3M said it planned to appeal the decision, arguing that having two plaintiffs in a trial “could be disruptive and ultimately affect the outcome”.”3M’s defense is based on the fact that the CAEv2 military earplugs are effective and safe to use, and that our actions are consistent with our company values and our long-term commitment to keeping the U.S. military safe,” the company said.The multinational noted that it had won five cases related to earplugs for the military.”We will continue to vigorously defend ourselves throughout the proceedings,” 3M added.3M sold defective combat earplugs to the U.S. military between 2003 and 2015 that resulted in hearing loss for nearly 300,000 service members and others.The lawsuit accuses 3M of concealing design flaws and misstating test results, while 3M argues that the military earplugs met expectations in repeated tests by the military and that hearing loss can occur in combat even with the “robust” protection they provide.These lawsuits are linked through so-called multidistrict litigation, in which multiple federal lawsuits with common facts are handled by a single court.It has become the largest federal mass tort lawsuit in US history.The court ruled that out of thousands of lawsuits against 3M, juries have heard 11 so-called bellwether trials.Bellwether trials are trials that select a few cases from a larger group to see how they will develop, often in order to determine settlements.So far, 3M has won five leading cases, while the plaintiffs have won six, for a total of $160 million.