3M loses first trial of military earplugs

3M Co., Ltd.

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The safety of earplugs sold to the military for years after a federal jury in Florida awarded three veterans $ 7.1 million on Friday and discovered that the company did not warn of product defects. Lost in the first proceedings in sexuality.

More than 230,000 service members, veterans and others have allegedly accused 3M earplugs Causes deafness.. Widely used in the U.S. military and other branches, the unique yellow and green plugs ensure that one side completely blocks noise and the other protects your ears from harmful ballistic noise while capturing nearby voices. It is designed.

Based in Minnesota, 3M has endorsed the safety of earplugs, which were discontinued in 2015. A spokeswoman for a company disagreed with the ruling on Friday and said he did not believe that plaintiffs were responsible for proving that “the product design was flawed or negligent.” Or caused the intended injury of a veteran. She said the company evaluates “multiple reasons for appeal.”

3M Combat Arms earplugs.



A veteran lawyer said: “The evidence is clear. 3M knew that the earplugs were defective, but allowed service members to suffer these life-changing injuries.”

The jury’s verdict follows a five-week trial in the US District Court in Pensacola, Florida. This procedure is intended to help shape the outcome of tens of thousands of other proceedings, along with the trials scheduled for May and June. It was integrated into the Florida State Court through a process known as a multi-district proceeding. The jury’s verdict helps to set a benchmark for settlement negotiations and support a company’s strategy to keep itself protected from claims.

The jury granted each of the three men $ 2.1 million in punitive damages, as well as medical expenses, loss of income, and recovery of pain and distress.

The number of earplug plaintiffs far exceeds those who are suspected of being harmed by other products or drugs, such as herbicides, baby powder, and anticoagulants.

In tens of thousands of cases, plaintiffs claim that 3M had known for years that the second version of its combat arm earplugs tended to loosen and make more noise than specified. They claim that 3M did not give the military proper instructions on how to tightly seal the earplugs.

According to the company, the earplug design reflected the functionality required by the military, and the U.S. government was responsible not only for informing the product’s creation, but also for training soldiers on proper use. That is.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers began focusing on finding earplug users after the 2018 Settlement 3M agreed with the US Department of Justice. The company has agreed to pay $ 9.1 million without acknowledging liability to resolve allegations that it did not disclose product defects.

Write to Saralandazzo

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3M loses first trial of military earplugs

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