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October 23, 2020

Veterans Selected for 3M Earplug Injury Trials Receiving Hearing Tests

Judge Approves Protocols for 3M Earplug Lawsuit Plaintiffs to Receive Medical Exams

A recently released case order approved protocols for bellwether plaintiffs in the 3M earplug injury litigation to receive medical examinations over claims that 3M’s military earplugs caused veterans’ hearing loss and injuries. This small group of military veterans each filed similar lawsuits against 3M that alleged the manufacturer sold dangerously defective earplugs to the military and caused the hearing loss of veterans across the world.

Currently, 3M Company and its Aearo Technologies subsidiary face over 150,000 lawsuits from military veterans who claim 3M’s Dual-Sided Combat Arms earplugs left them with hearing loss and tinnitus. Each of these lawsuits alleges 3M defectively designed the 3M Combat Arms earplugs, which were standard issue to the U.S. military from 2003 to 2015.

With the increasing claims raising similar allegations, litigation was centralized for coordinated discovery in the Northern District of Florida before U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers. Judge Rodgers established a “bellwether” trial program for these lawsuits, which prepares a small group of representative claims for early trial dates, set to begin in April 2021.

As part of the bellwether trial preparation, Judge Rodgers approved protocols for conducting medical examinations on the first group of bellwether plaintiffs to assess the alleged injuries caused by the defective military earplugs. The medical examinations are currently underway, as of October 20.

“The total examination time for each Group A Plaintiff must proceed efficiently and not exceed four hours,” Judge Rodgers indicated in the pretrial order. “Objective test results from the tests conducted during the examination must be produced to Plaintiffs’ counsel no later than seven days following the examination.”

The court will use the results of these tests in the individual bellwether trials along with other evidence and testimony raised by both parties. The court scheduled the first bellwether trial in the 3M earplug litigation for April 5, 2021, with additional cases to continue over the remainder of the year.

Though the outcome of these early trials will not bind on other claims, both parties will closely watch the results, as they may influence any settlement negotiations. A 3M earplug settlement may be necessary in order to avoid each of the individual cases filed in the litigation to be remanded back to the courts they were originally filed in. If this occurs, each case would be scheduled for future trial dates, which could take years to resolve.  

Legal Representation for 3M Earplug Injury Victims

Veterans across the nation and from all branches of the military have been impacted by 3M's dangerously defective earplugs: you may be one of them. If you served in the U.S. military between 2003 and 2015 and struggle with hearing injuries, it could be due to your use of 3M's Combat Arms earplugs.

Hearing injuries like hearing loss or tinnitus can significantly diminish your quality of life, impacting not just your personal health but your relationships with your loved ones. For this reason, many victims of 3M's defective earplugs are filing claims against the company to hold them accountable for their negligence and recover compensation to help them heal from their hearing injuries. If you believe 3M's defective earplugs caused your hearing injuries, reach out to our top-notch product liability attorneys at the McGartland Law Firm today.

For your convenience, we offer free, no-obligation case evaluations, and never charge you a penny out of pocket for our services. We operate on a contingency fee basis, so you don't have to worry about payment plans or maxing out your credit card; we only get paid if your case succeeds, and the money paid to us comes out of the amount awarded to you in your case.

Contact us today for your free case consultation at (866) 832-9300 .

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