3M responsible for veteran’s hearing loss in new earplug trial (1)


3M Co. and its subsidiary Aearo Technologies LLC on Friday lost a hearing loss and tinnitus lawsuit that kicked off a new round of witness trials in Florida federal court over corporate battle earplugs, and must pay $ 8.2 million in compensatory damages.

Punitive damages were not on the table in that case, according to the plaintiffs’ lawyer in the litigation, who announced the result.

U.S. Army veteran Brandon Adkins is the sixth serviceman to present his claims to a jury in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. Three veterans were awarded more than $ 7 million in total in a consolidated lawsuit, followed by a defense verdict for 3M and Aero in the second lawsuit and a reward of $ 1.7 million for a veteran in the third trial.

Lead counsel for the plaintiffs, Bryan Aylstock, Shelley Hutson and Christopher Seeger said in an emailed statement: On behalf of all veterans who are now facing preventable hearing loss and tinnitus “due to traffic jams. ‘hear.

“Three juries have now found 3M at fault,” they said.

3M said in an emailed statement: “While we are disappointed with today’s verdict, this is only one of the first stages in this litigation, with many more cases to be tried. in front of different juries. “

“There have only been four trials so far: one jury has approved our case in its entirety and another concluded that the product was not defective in its verdict in favor of 3M in four of the five complaints by the complainant, “he said. The company is weighing its legal options in the case and believes Adkins has not proven his case, he said.

The court dismissed 3M and Aearo’s retrial requests in the cases they lost, and they appealed those cases to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

The barometer lawsuits are part of a consolidated multi-district litigation over Aearo Combat Arms Version 2 earplugs, encompassing approximately 260,000 claims. Many were filed “only administratively” as part of a fictitious agreement, but the court asked the plaintiffs’ lawyers to transfer these cases to the active roll, 10,000 to 20,000 cases at a time. The plaintiffs are current and former members of the military, as well as civilians, who claim to have developed hearing loss and tinnitus.

Prior to the final trial, Judge Casey Rodgers precluded Adkins from presenting the doctors’ testimony that he had “hidden hearing loss”, concluding that they did not adequately support the diagnosis in his case.

Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz PLLC; Clark, Love & Hutson GP; Seeger Weiss LLP; Levin Papantonio Rafferty; Mostyn’s law; Ciresi Conlin LLP; Laminack, Pirtle & Martines; Pulaski Kherkher Firm PLLC; OnderLaw LLC; Gori Law Firm; and Wagstaff & Cartmell are among the plaintiffs’ counsel. Additionally, Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP represent Adkins.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP; Moore, Hill and Westmoreland PA; and Dechert LLP represent the defendants.

The case is Adkins v. 3M Co., ND Fla., # 7: 20-cv-00012, verdict 10/1/21.

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