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Jury Finds for Army Veteran Plaintiff in Recent 3M Earplug Trial


For more than two years, 3M has been the subject of over two hundred thousand lawsuits and multiple trials concerning its Combat Arms Version 2 earplugs, which are linked to tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and hearing loss. Although any person injured by 3M’s earplugs can file suit, most pending claims have been filed by military service members (both veterans and active duty).

The two most recent trials resulted in verdicts on opposing ends of the spectrum. On October 1, 2021, a Florida jury awarded a veteran who suffers from tinnitus $8.2 million in damages, finding that 3M sold a defective product that caused unnecessary injuries to the plaintiff. The plaintiff in the recent trial is the third trial (out of four) that has resulted in a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. However, on October 29, 2021, a jury found in favor of 3M and denied another veteran’s claims of tinnitus and hearing loss.

The October 1, 2021 verdict involved Brandon Adkins, a soldier in the U.S. Army from 2004-2009, including 2 tours in Afghanistan. He alleged partial hearing loss and tinnitus because of his use of the Combat Arms earplugs. Ringing in the ears while trying to perform military duties can be difficult. While war is certainly loud, the entire purpose of having earplugs intended for military use is to protect the ears and the combat arms did not perform as intended. The jury found in favor of Mr. Adkins on his claims against 3M for design defect, strict liability failure to warn or instruct, negligent failure to warn or instruct, fraudulent misrepresentation, and fraudulent concealment.

The October 29, 2021 defense verdict came in Michelle Blum’s case. Between 1989 and 2009, Ms. Blum served in the U.S. Army Reserves, Army, and the National Guard. In 2003, she began using the Combat Arms earplugs while serving in the Army in South Korea as well as in training at Fort Drum. Her noise exposures included weapons fire, grenades, and mortars. She was born with a congenital hearing condition, which defendants argued was the cause for her alleged injuries.

Who Qualifies to File a 3M Earplug Lawsuit?

The number of lawsuits being filed in the 3M Earplug multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Florida continues to rise as more service members learn that their tinnitus and hearing loss may have been caused by use of 3M’s defective combat arms earplugs between 2003 and 2015.

The litigation is large and Judge Rodgers, overseeing all of the MDL cases, continues to schedule trials. No settlement has been reached and trials will continue to move forward in the hopes of pushing the entire litigation to a resolution. Numerous trials have already been scheduled through 2022.

Contact a 3M Earplug Lawyer Today for a Free Case Evaluation

If you suffer from tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or hearing loss and you believe your injuries were caused by your use of 3M’s combat arms earplugs, you have limited time to act by speaking with a 3M earplug lawyer.

At Searcy Denney, we employ a strong team of 3M earplug injury lawyers who currently represent clients injured by 3M’s combat arms earplugs. To find out if you qualify to file a claim against 3M, contact our office right away to receive your free case evaluation by calling (800) 780-8607 or by completing a free case evaluation form on our website.

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