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Army Veteran Prevails in Third 3M Earplugs Trial

A U.S. Army veteran was awarded more than $1 million in the third 3M military earplugs bellwether trial on June 18, 2021.

At the conclusion of a two week trial in Pensacola, Fla., jurors awarded the plaintiff $1.7 million in compensatory damages. No punitive damages were awarded since punitive damages are not permitted in the plaintiff’s home state of Washington.  However, because the jury found the plaintiff partially liable for his injuries, his award was reduced to $1,054,000.

This was the second trial win (and fourth plaintiff win) in the overall litigation. In May, jurors awarded a $7 million verdict that included more than $6 million in punitive damages against 3M for selling the military earplugs that failed to protect service members. The earplugs — used widely from 2003 to 2015 — were supposed to provide soldiers with two levels of protection: one side to block out all noise and a second side to block loud noises, but still allow soldiers to communicate with one another. However, the plugs were difficult to insert correctly and many who used them now suffer from hearing loss and tinnitus (a ringing in the ears).

So far, more than 200,000 service members from all branches of the military have filed lawsuits against 3M for knowingly selling earplugs that did not provide adequate hearing protection. The company is accused of hiding design flaws, manipulating test results and failing to instruct the military how the earplugs should be used. RPWB represents veterans and service members nationwide who suffer from hearing problems after using 3M military earplugs. The firm is in the leadership of the national litigation.

Counsel for plaintiffs are already preparing for the next two bellwether trials scheduled to begin on September 20, 2021, and October 18, 2021.  Additionally, we expect the judge to schedule another joint trial involving multiple plaintiffs in January of 2022, though this has yet to be finalized.

There is limited time for affected service members who do not yet have a lawyer to join the lawsuit. RPWB represents current and former military personnel who enlisted between 2002 and 2015, used the ear plugs and were diagnosed with tinnitus and/or hearing loss. Potential clients include service men and women who were deployed to combat zones, notably Iraq and Afghanistan.

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with hearing loss or tinnitus as a result of using these faulty military earplugs, please call us at 1-888-855-9481 or fill out the form below to begin your free, no obligation case review.

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