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3m earplug lawsuit

3M Earplug Lawsuit

3M knowingly marketed, manufactured and sold dangerously defective earplugs, specifically the Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplug, Version 2 (or CAEv2), to consumers and the United States Military. If you served in the military between 2003 and 2015 and were issued CAEv2 earplugs and have been diagnosed with hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in ear), you may be eligible for compensation.

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Our Role

Seeger Weiss partners serve in key leadership positions in the 3M Combat Arms Earplug Products Liability Litigation. Founding partner Chris Seeger was chosen as Co-Lead Counsel, overseeing a team of attorneys for this litigation, the largest consolidated federal mass tort in American history. In addition, Seeger Weiss partner Dave Buchanan served as lead trial counsel for veteran client William Wayman and was co-lead on the trial team for the Sloan and Wayman bellwether case which resulted in $110 million for the plaintiffs, the largest award to date.

Case Updates

  • 8/26/22

    After a three-day hearing that took place August 15-17 in the Northern District of Indiana before the Honorable Jeffrey Graham, 3M was denied a preliminary injunction – meaning it will not be afforded the protections of bankruptcy and we will continue to hold it accountable for damage caused to veterans in the federal MDL proceedings before Judge M. Casey Rodgers in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

  • 7/26/22

    Aearo Technologies, an all-but-defunct 3M subsidiary headquartered in Indianapolis, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Indiana Southern Bankruptcy Court before the Honorable Jeffery J. Graham. In the filing, Aearo agreed to assume all the legal liabilities from 3M associated with its defective CAEv2 earplugs. This move, if successful, would allow 3M to avoid responsibility for the hundreds of thousands of veterans suffering from irreparable hearing loss and tinnitus caused by the company’s faulty earplugs.

  • 6/28/22

    Plaintiff Lloyd Baker filed a response brief today opposing 3M’s appeal of the verdict in his favor from the third bellwether trial. The brief criticized 3M for claiming that the government contractor defense provides immunity for the company’s “undisputedly inadequate” warnings, saying that excuse “founders at every step.” In fact, 3M failed to identify any evidence that the military prohibited them from warning about the CAEv2’s risks and dangers—the very defects that the jury unanimously concluded caused Mr. Baker’s hearing loss and tinnitus. Seeger Weiss was co-trial counsel for Mr. Baker. We believe the Eleventh Circuit will affirm Judge Rodgers’ prior ruling that 3M cannot use the government contractor defense and the jury’s verdict.

  • 6/1/22

    The bellwether trial process has now concluded, with the vast majority of juries ruling in favor of plaintiffs and against 3M. Overall, the plaintiffs won 10 of the 16 trials, securing more than $300 million in verdicts for 13 veterans. Going forward, Judge Rogers has ordered hundreds of cases to be prepared for trials across the country.

  • 5/20/22

    In the 16th and final bellwether trial, a jury awarded veteran James Beal $77.5 million for the bilateral tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss he suffered because of 3M’s defective earplugs. The verdict, the largest for an individual plaintiff to-date, included $5 million in compensatory damages and $72.5 million in punitive damages.

  • 5/10/22

    Seeger Weiss founding partner Chris Seeger, along with firm client and Army veteran Joseph Sigmon, were featured in an NBC News story about the 3M Combat Arms litigation and the severe injuries suffered by servicemembers due to the defective earplugs. Seeger Weiss represents thousands of former servicemembers who were injured by 3M’s dangerously defective earplugs. Learn more here.

  • 4/29/22

    Army veteran Jonathon Vaughn was awarded $2.2 million in the 15th bellwether trial. Vaughn is the 12th plaintiff to receive a favorable verdict in the ongoing litigation.

  • 3/25/22

    Juries returned verdicts totaling $58 million for combat veterans Luke Vilsmeyer and Steve Wilkerson in the 12th and 13th bellwether trials. These major wins for the plaintiffs follow a $110 million verdict in the 11th bellwether trial in January. Overall, plaintiffs have now won eight out of the 13 bellwether trials, equating to more than $200 million in total verdicts against 3M.

  • 1/27/22

    In the 11th bellwether trial, a jury awarded $110 million to Ronald Sloan and firm client William Wayman. Seeger Weiss partner David Buchanan served as lead counsel for Mr. Wayman as well as co-lead trial counsel in the consolidated trial. The verdict is the largest thus far out of the 11 trials that have taken place to-date. After the verdict was announced, Buchanan said, “Will, an Army Ranger and Blackhawk medevac pilot, and Ron, a Master Sergeant and tank commander, chose service and sacrifice over themselves. For its part, 3M chose sales over the safety of Will, Ron, and the hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians who used the Combat Arms Earplug.” Learn more here.

  • 12/13/21

    A jury awarded combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient Theodore Finley $22.5 million in the eighth bellwether trial, including $15 million in punitive damages. Following the Camarillorazo verdict in the seventh bellwether, the Finley verdict once again set the record for largest verdict and punitive damages awarded in the 3M Combat Arms Earplug litigation.

  • 11/15/21

    In the seventh bellwether trial, a jury returned a favorable verdict for active-duty US army Sergeant Guillermo Camarillorazo, awarding him $816,395 in compensatory damages and $12.2 million in punitive damages. Sergeant Camarillorazo is now the sixth servicemember who successfully held 3M accountable, and the jury assessed the largest punitive damages against the company thus far.

  • 10/1/21

    A federal jury returned a verdict of $8.2 million in favor of army veteran Brandon Atkins in the fourth bellwether trial, marking the largest plaintiff victory to-date. Plaintiffs have thus far prevailed in three of the first four bellwether trials.

  • 6/19/21

    Seeger Weiss partner Dave Buchanan represented veteran Lloyd Baker, serving as co-lead counsel in the third bellwether trial and securing a $1.7 million verdict. Following news of the jury’s decision, Buchanan said, “3M knew and withheld material information concerning the safety of the Combat Arms earplug—a product that, unfortunately, was used by hundreds of thousands of servicemembers, including Lloyd Baker. We’re pleased that the jury recognized 3M’s misconduct and the gravity of the injuries Lloyd was left with following his use of the Combat Arms earplug.”

  • 4/30/21

    After a four-week trial – the first of 16 bellwethers meant to test the strength of the plaintiffs’ arguments and give parties information that will shape any potential settlement – a federal jury in Florida found in favor of plaintiffs Luke Estes, Lewis Keefer, and Stephen Hacker. The jury awarded $7.1 million to the three veterans, including more than $6 million in punitive damages. This victory sets the stage for hundreds of thousands of servicemembers and veterans to hold 3M accountable for preventable hearing loss and tinnitus they suffered while relying on the company’s defective earplugs.

  • 7/24/20

    The honorable M. Casey Rodgers rejected 3M’s attempts to use the government contractor defense to dismiss thousands of lawsuits from servicemembers and veterans. In her ruling, Judge Rodgers said that there is “no evidence that the Army ‘actually participated in discretionary design decisions, either by designing [the CAEv2] itself or approving specifications.” Moreover, “there is no evidence—none—that the Army prohibited [3M] from warning of alleged dangers inherent in the use of the CAEv2.” The ruling is a milestone for plaintiffs, ensuring that they can hold 3M accountable in court. Learn more here.

  • 5/22/19

    Seeger Weiss LLP founding partner Chris Seeger was appointed co-lead counsel to oversee the 3M Combat Arms Earplug Litigation. Bryan Aylstock of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz was selected as lead counsel and Shelley Hutson of Clark, Love & Hutson was also chosen as co-lead counsel. The leadership team was formed after judges evaluated 190 applications and listened to 64 presentations over a 2-day period. Seeger has led some of the most complex, groundbreaking, and high-profile litigations in U.S. history, including National Prescription Opioid Litigation, Vioxx Product Liability Litigation, and National Football League Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation. Learn more here.

  • 4/3/19

    The judicial panel on multidistrict litigation ordered claims against 3M to be centralized before Judge M. Casey Rodgers in the Northern District of Florida. Plaintiffs allege that the company’s Combat Arms Earplugs version 2 were defective, causing hearing loss and/or tinnitus.