FLORIDA – According to a news article posted on wuwf.org, a trial date is set for a 3M military earplug lawsuit that will affect thousands of active and veteran military members. The lawsuit is seeking compensation for hearing loss and tinnitus injuries caused by ear protection, manufactured by 3m, that failed to meet the military specifications. According to whistleblower litigation and allegations asserted in lawsuits filed against 3M, the company’s military earplugs were defective and caused hearing loss.
This trial will be heard in Pensacola, Florida, by Judge Casey Rodgers, the Chief U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Florida. The trial in March involves three military members. After this trial, the following two earplug hearing loss trials are single-plaintiff cases known as ”bellwether trials,” which help the courts and the parties involved decide on evidence, facts of the case, and procedures for future 3M earplug trials.
This 3M earplug lawsuit is only filed against 3M, not the military or the federal government. In 2018, 3M settled their case with the federal government. 3M agreed to pay the federal government $9 million in a whistleblower case. However, this money was not meant to compensate military members injured by the defective earplugs. The federal government sued 3M for knowingly selling the defective military earplugs at ten times the legitimate cost.
At this time, the military has been providing records to the plaintiffs. A federal judge also rejected 3M’s effort to apply the Government Contractor Defense Act to dismiss earplug lawsuits and shield 3M from liability. 3M also attempted to place some of the liability on the government. A federal judge has not rendered a decision concerning the amount of liability the military has in these cases.
According to WUWF, 3M sent an email statement about the 3M earplug trial in Pensacola, Florida. The email stated that 3M is confident in their case, and the company looks forward to defending itself. 3M’s attorneys believe that they will demonstrate that the Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 product was not defective and did not cause hearing loss injuries. The company also stated that the Combat Arms Version 2 earplugs are a safe and effective earplug.
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Have you or a loved one sustained hearing loss or tinnitus due to a defective 3M earplug?
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