A jury has awarded $8.2 million to a veteran who lost his hearing despite using 3M Combat Arms Earplugs version 2 (CAEv2), in the biggest-ever jury verdict involving the earplugs.
The lawsuit was filed by a 35 year-old U.S. Army serviceman from Tacoma, Washington, who was diagnosed with tinnitus and hearing loss in 2008. He used 3M earplugs while serving in the Army between 2004 and 2009, including two tours in Afghanistan.
After a 10-day trial, the jury in Pensacola, Florida, found 3M to be 100% liable for his injuries.
3M is currently facing legal claims involving around 259,000 service members who accuse the company of selling defective earplugs and failing to warn them about the risk of hearing loss.
3M has already lost two other trials involving the earplugs. One trial ended in a jury awarding $7.1 million to three veterans. Another trial ended in a $1.7 million verdict in favor of another veteran.
The lawsuits are centralized in a mass-tort litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida — Case No. 19-MD-2885.