Over 230,000 military men, women and veterans have the possibility of receiving millions in damages against 3M Co. after a Florida jury found the earplug manufacturer liable for hearing loss from defective earplugs the company sold the military for 12 years.
On Friday the jury awarded over $7.1 million in damages to 3 former members of the military from Kentucky and Georgia. The first “bellwether trial” of a massive and complex lawsuit against the company.
If this verdict continues to stand, 3M could be forced to pay out perhaps millions more to service members who used the alleged faulty Earplugs. 3M, and Aearo Technologies (a subsidiary of 3M) had sold the earplugs to the Department of Defense between 2003 to 2015. The equipment became standard-issue for troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.