3M hearing protection lawsuit surpasses asbestos as one of the largest inter-district litigation in history
Do you need an attorney for the 3M earplugs lawsuit? Call 954-384-6114. Our 3M litigation attorneys can discuss your statutory rights in relation to the 3M earplugs claim payout.
American conglomerate 3M, known for manufacturing safety and other equipment for various industries, is now making headlines after facing multiple district disputes in Florida. 3M is alleged to have manufactured a faulty earplug that was used by American troops for over a decade. Many soldiers who used this earplug suffered from hearing loss and tinnitus.
Why is Florida in the center?
A 2019 study by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs found Florida had the third largest number of military personnel, who in the wars after the 11th had more members per capita than the national average. Florida also ranks 3rd in the country for the largest number of veterans. Given the palpable presence of active and retired military personnel, it makes sense for the Florida courts to cite a wide variety of lawsuits against 3M.
3Ms claims it will not accept charges of faulty earbud design, refuted by the $ 9.1 million settlement with the DOJ in 2018, has not stopped attorneys from filing lawsuits. The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation says in its 2020 fiscal year it can confirm an inflow of more than 200,000 lawsuits against 3M for the design of the faulty earbud. This makes this inter-district litigation the largest in recent United States history. To put these statistics into perspective, the MDL with asbestos, which previously held this title, reached around 186,000 lawsuits. Unlike the 3M lawsuit, it took the asbestos lawsuit more than a decade to become the largest MDL; the 3M MDL lawsuit lasted only a year.
What was the 3M design debacle?
In 2007, 3M announced the acquisition of Aearo Technologies Inc., a manufacturer that sold double-ended earplugs to the US military between 2003 and 2015 to protect soldiers either fully or partially from loud noise. In theory, the design allowed soldiers to wear hearing protection while either hearing commands or completely muffling loud noises during gunfights. Initial tests showed that the end of the earbud, which was intended for full protection, achieved a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) that hovered around the NRR range for the side that allowed soldiers to hear commands, which made it clear that it wasn’t blocking enough noise. Worse, the side with less protection achieved an NRR of -2, which meant that it actually increased the noise the soldiers were exposed to.
After reviewing these results, 3M determined that the cause of this problem was that the stem of the earbud was too short. Since the earplug was symmetrical, both sides were affected. 3M has tampered with assembly procedures to achieve an acceptable rating on the fully protected site, but has not retested the site known to amplify noise and sold the product accordingly. Not only did 3M fail to tell the military that one side would actually increase the noise, but it also failed to explain to the military how the other side had to be adjusted to function properly. In other words, 3M appeared to be selling a faulty earplug that did not protect American soldiers’ ears adequately.
If you have hearing loss and / or tinnitus, served in the U.S. military or the reserves between 2003 and 2015, or were a DOD contractor during the same period and used the Combat Arms Two-sided Earplug (CAEv2) while on duty, you have possibly entitled to compensation.
Our team at Oppenheim Law is aware of the emotional strain these impairments can put on individuals and their lives. For this reason, our law firm provides a team of professionals who are committed to eagerly representing our clients.
Please do not hesitate to contact us at (954) 384-6114 so we can review your possible legal claim and inform you of your statutory rights so that you can receive the compensation you are entitled to.
Oppenheimer Law | 3M earplugs lawyers
2500 Weston Road # 209
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33331
originally published at: https://www.oppenheimlaw.com/3m-earplug-lawsuit-surpasses-asbestos-as-one-of-the-largest-multi-district-litigation-cases-in-history/
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