On November 15, a federal jury in Pensacola, Florida found 3M to be 100% liable for Sgt. Guillermo Camarillo’s hearing loss.
Camarillo was awarded $816,000 in compensation and $12.25 million in punitive damages, making it the largest award so far in a litigation where more than 250,000 service members have filed claims.
The lawsuits claim that 3M’s Combat Arms Earplugs version 2 (CAEv2) were defective because they could loosen imperceptibly and fail to protect a user from loud noises.
Thousands of service members returned from Afghanistan and Iraq suffering from tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or permanent hearing loss. 3M stopped selling the earplugs in 2015.
The verdict in Camarillo’s case came shortly after another jury in Pensacola found in favor of 3M in another lawsuit that was filed by Joseph Palanki, a 50-year-old Army veteran from Tennessee.