3M Co wins lawsuit alleging earplug design cover up

3M Co has won a lawsuit wherein the plaintiff had alleged that the company had covered up defects in the design of earplugs that are used by the military.

This is the second case alleging that 3M fudged test results, hid design flaws, and failed to instruct the military in the proper use of the earplugs, which were used by the army between 2007 and 2013.

Both decisions are in “bellwether” cases, wherein the parties select a set of cases from the thousands that are pending to test the strength and weaknesses of the claims. The next such trial begins on June 7.

In a statement 3M said, it will “continue to defend itself in upcoming trials; it went on to add, its “Combat Arms Earplug Version 2 product is and has always been safe and effective to use”.

Attorneys of the plaintiffs Bryan Aylstock and Christopher Seeger said, “We continue to believe that the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that 3M knew their CAEv2 earplugs were defective, yet allowed our service members who relied on them for hearing protection to suffer from preventable hearing loss and tinnitus.”

Earlier this year in April, three veterans who had accused the company of covering up design defects in its earplugs were awarded $2.1 million each in punitive damages, totaling to $830,500 in compensatory damages for medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering.

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