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May 13, 2022

Federal Judge Dismissed over 20,000 Veterans from Military Earplug Lawsuit

For years, thousands of lawsuits have been filed against 3M Company for veterans who have been negatively impacted by defective “Combat Arms” earplugs sold by 3M. 3M Company entered into a contract with the federal government to provide hearing protection for the armed forces in the early 2000’s. 3M allegedly knew the earplugs were defective and did not disclose the defect to the military. Veterans who used the earplugs while serving between 2003-2015 and who suffered hearing loss or tinnitus were able to bring suit against 3M. This caused a wave of mass-tort litigation, with over 270,000 cases still pending. On May 6, District Judge M. Casey Rodgers of the Northern District of Florida ordered dismissals of more than 20,000 veterans, primarily because the veterans failed to provide the court with their official service records, the DD214. However, according to the court documents, veterans can get their cases reinstated if they can produce their DD214 by a specific time. Previous cases against 3M have varied, with veterans receiving damages awards between $800,000 to $55 million in nine cases. Leading attorneys involved in these suits stated that juries have entered verdicts in favor of two-thirds of the service members, and that “3M cannot escape the fact that they are facing more than 200,000 claims from U.S. service members'' for causing irreversible hearing damage.  


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