A jury in Pensacola, Florida federal court docket on Friday ordered 3M Co. to pay $77.5 million to a U.S. Military veteran who mentioned he suffered listening to injury because of utilizing the corporate’s military-issue earplugs.
The decision for veteran James Beal is the most important but for a person in a sprawling litigation over the earplugs that as of Might 16 included greater than 290,000 claims within the Pensacola court docket, by far the most important mass tort litigation in U.S. historical past.
Beal’s trial was the final of an preliminary set of 16 trials held to check the power of plaintiffs’ claims and facilitate settlement talks. Of these so-called bellwether trials, plaintiffs prevailed in 10, profitable a complete of almost $300 million. Juries sided with 3M within the remaining six.
“It’s clear 3M’s defenses – whether or not within the courts, to buyers, or the general public – are unconvincing and with out benefit,” legal professionals for the plaintiffs mentioned in a joint assertion.
“We’re upset and can attraction in the present day’s verdict,” the corporate mentioned in an announcement. “As in earlier bellwether trials, we have been prevented from presenting essential proof to the jury, and we’ll deal with that subject, amongst others, in our attraction.”
Beal, who served within the Military from 2005 to 2009 and within the Military Reserves till 2011, mentioned he wore 3M’s Fight Arms Earplugs model 2 whereas utilizing a wide range of weapons and because of this suffers from listening to loss and tinnitus.
Aearo Applied sciences, which 3M purchased in 2008, developed the earplugs, which have been issued to army service members between 2003 and 2015. Plaintiffs allege the corporate hid design flaws, fudged check outcomes and failed to offer directions for the right use of the earplugs.
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