Worried soldier in battlefield

01 May 2021

Jury Awards $7 Million to Plaintiffs in First 3M Combat Arms Earplug Bellwether

Attorney Katherine Cornell, of Pulaski Kherkher Law firm, part of the trial team for the first-ever 3M Combat Arms Earplugs MDL trials, is pleased to announce that a federal jury found 3M Co. fully liable for the plaintiff’s hearing damage injuries and awarded plaintiffs $7,130,500.00 in damages. The total includes $2.1 in punitive damages for each of the three plaintiffs involved in the bellwether trial.

The jury deliberated only one day after plaintiffs presented evidence the earplugs were defective and that 3M chose not to warn the U.S. military that the earplugs could fail to protect military members from damaging concussive sounds. The Combat Arms (CAV2) earplugs were standard issue in the U.S. military between 2003 and 2015.

More than 200,000 cases are centralized under U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers in the Northern District of Florida in one of the largest MDLs in U.S. history.

The jury’s decision in the bellwether trial to award more than $7 million to plaintiffs could influence tens of thousands of other cases. A second trial is scheduled in May for the same claims, and a third is slated for June. The trials and verdicts that arise from these bellwether cases can potentially shape how the other cases are resolved.